Wednesday, March 3, 2010

EarthBox® - It's Not Just For Tomatoes!

A few years ago, my mom bought an EarthBox®. I'd heard about them, but I thought, "Why spend the money when I could just grow the same things in the garden?"  She wanted to grow tomatoes in it and I didn't really like tomatoes anyway.

Then she grew tomatoes. I mean...




I grow tomatoes successfully every summer, but I only purposely put a couple of plants out in addition to allowing a few volunteers to remain, since Romie is the only one who eats them.  Last year, I grew one 'Cherokee Purple' and one 'Brandywine,' both heirlooms. The volunteers are almost always the cherry type.

But the size and amount of tomatoes my mom grew in her EarthBox® were nothing short of amazing. She'd show them off every time I visited her.  How on "Earth" she managed to get those plants to perform like that can only be attributed to their tried and true method of growing.  I suddenly looked at her EarthBox® through new eyes.

She liked her EarthBox® for several reasons.  Using their planting system, she set the plants in (only two!), added the fertilizer, filled the reservoir with water, and she was done.  She can start the plants earlier in the spring, because it's on casters which allows her to move the EarthBox® inside on cold nights and back outside during the day. She waters again when the reservoir indicates it's needed. That's it until she starts enjoying the fruits of the EarthBox®'s labor.

Last week, she asked me if I wanted to have her EarthBox®. What do you think I said? "Why yes, I'd be happy to take that off your hands!" Because tomatoes aren't the only things you can grow well in the EarthBox®. Pretty much anything you can grow in a garden, you can grow in the EarthBox®, only better!

Beginning Thursday, March 4th, the EarthBox® is discounted by 15% when purchased through my OpenSky Shop.  Just use the code EARTHBOX15 when checking out. The 15% discount is good through next Thursday, March 11th.  This means you can get one for yourself for an incredible price just in time for spring planting!

In addition, you can get 10% off any of the products featured in OpenSky's Spring is Coming! promotion.  Visit the page at: to see which products you can purchase for 10% less from March 4-11, 2010.  When you enter your e-mail address, you will receive a special code that will allow you to receive the discount.

(You'll notice the EarthBox® offered on this promotional page as well. But you can buy it for a 15% discount by using the code EARTH15 when checking out.)

Photo of EarthBox® from


A Suburban Farmer said...

I have one and quite frankly, I was very surprised at how well it worked. I'm usually skeptical of these things, but when you add the things in the kit (like slow-release fertilizer) plus the cover for the top which is man-made mulch...AND they have a great watering all just worked beautifully!

All of my plants grew large and healthy. I honestly paid very little attention to it.


Jeannie Hanson said...

Hi! I'm doing an EarthBox "trial" this's currently in my backyard waiting to be planted, come April. I'm looking forward to seeing how it works. I have a garden business (design, coaching, seasonal maintenance) and I love to incorporate edibles, but some clients aren't able to be very hands on so I think this could be a practical option.
Did your mom grow heirloom tomatoes or were they the more standard nursery tomatoes?

Diane said...

This is a dumb question probably, but is there any soil in it? I'm a little tempted, not for tomatoes (which are icky!) but maybe peppers or container cukes.

Kylee Baumle said...

Chris ~ It's always good to hear of another's experience with things. After all, my Mom's experience changed my thinking about things. (She has a way of doing that. LOL) Glad to hear yours was a good one! I'll be anxious to try it this spring!

Geno's Garden ~ I just called my mom to ask her and she said she'd grown both. She said she got slightly better yields with 'Big Boy' than she did with her heirlooms, but she grew the heirlooms last year, and we all know last year was the pits for tomatoes last year. Still, she said the difference wasn't great.

Diane ~ No question is dumb, in fact, I'm glad you asked this, Diane! (Do I sound like an infomercial yet? LOL) You use potting mix in it, undoubtedly to assure good drainage. Oooh, peppers would be very cool to grow! I'm thinking I'll grow my cucumbers in it. Not sure yet!

F Cameron said...

That looks like a great choice for balconies and decks -- out of reach of deer, even if you have enough land to grow tomatoes!

Diane said...

Haha, I teach genetics to undergrads, and let me tell you, there *are* dumb questions :) However! Thanks for the info; I was starting to wonder if this was some kind of miracle hydroponic system (which would also be very interesting to try someday). Since this will be my first year growing food, the thought of having one container that will (more or less) definitely succeed is very appealing. The fact that it's portable is a plus.

Rose said...

I grow tomatoes in my garden, but mine don't look as good as your mother's in this Earthbox! This would be especially good for someone living in an apartment or with limited gardening space.

Congratulations on your red witch hazel, Kylee; now that's what I call good luck! I've been wanting to ask you if you have started your MG class yet. We've had four sessions so far, and I have learned so much. You're going to love them!

Melanie J Watts said...

Wow, that's amazing.The only way for me to get red tomatoes is in my greenhouse.

Peg Wiggins said...

I so want one of these!
My brother & his wife have 2 of them and they have grown tomatoes in one and bell peppers in the other for 2 or 3 years now.
The plants flourish in this type of planter and certainly produce more quickly & abundantly.
They have stakes or some type of cage as the plants become quite large.
Love the fact that there are no weeds!
Kylee, this is a great invention.

Layanee said...

But why is Mom giving it away?

Unknown said...

I'm with Melanie--can only get ripe tomatoes in the greenhouse. I've never seen one of these EarthBoxes (too lazy to find the R mark) and wonder if they're even available here. In my spare time, I'll have to check them out. Maybe they'll send one to a Canuck gardener to trial. One can always hope. ;-)
Now I want a tomato sandwich...

Kylee Baumle said...

Cameron ~ Its portability is one of the best things about it!

Diane ~ LOL! You should try it!

Rose ~ That picture wasn't my mom's. I asked if she had a picture, but she didn't.
Yes, I started my classes just yesterday! I'm glad to finally be able to do this!

Melanie ~ Is that because you don't have enough hot days outside the greenhouse?

Peg ~ Well, you should treat yourself then, since they're so reasonable this week! Yes, there is a stake/trellis you can get for them, which I also carry in my shop.

Layanee ~ I knew someone would ask that! I asked her that, too. She said she was just cutting back, simplifying her life. She doesn't have a vegetable garden anyway and only a small flower garden. I told her if she decided she ever wanted to grow her tomatoes again, she could have it back.

jodi ~ I would have loved it if they would have sent one to me to trial! But now I'll get to do it anyway since Mom is giving hers to me. You should contact them to see!

min hus said...

I have 4 or 5 earth boxes now and have been using them for two years with fabulous results.

I've grown tomatoes (heirloom and hybrid), cukes, peppers and zucchini in them. I've also grown the same things at the same time in my yard, and the earthboxes beat them hands down every time. In fact I planted six tomato plants last year and was giving bags of tomatoes away a week at peak time.

The only thing that gets kind of painful is watering them in, say, July. I have to water mine every day, and it's not the quickest activity in the world.

I also saw them at the Andersons' last year (along with some supply refills), for those who want to try one without ordering by mail/the net.

And no, I'm not employed by earth box. :) But it has been my only way of successfully growing veggies.

Stratoz said...

you got me thinking. you got me thinking.

Anonymous said...

I bet roller skate gardening would be fun! ;~)

Unknown said...

I followed the link from the EarthBox facebook page and loved reading all of the comments. I have been growing in EarthBoxes for the last 7 years and it has been a wonderful experience. I started off getting plants from a nursery, but now that I live in Wisconsin and the growing season is so short, I love my Earthboxes even more. Due to the homeowners association... they don't like gardens too much and everyone can see my backyard, I grow everything on my patio. This year I have already started my seeds and they are growing beautifully in my sun room. So far I have 7 different types of tomatoes (yellow pear, roma, italia, beefsteak, better boy, sweetie, and super sweet)-- ok so I love tomatoes. In addition I have peppers carnival (yellow, purple, white and orange), California Wonder, and Anehiem peppers. Also okra because I can't even find them at the farmer's market up here. Plus these are great for melons. I have grown / am growing watermelon, catalope and honey dew in them. Of course I am going to try growing them on a trellis and use panty hose to hold up the melons. :) Every year I try to add something different and all my friends / co-orkers love it because I have too many to eat for my family.

Kerry said...

I too was skeptical, but was really impressed with the Earthbox. I grew two giant tomato plants in one box. I made a bamboo trellis for them and was really pleased. In one windstorm the whole thing blew over, but even after that it was ok.

They are really water efficient, though if you're growing tomatoes especially, when the plants get big, you still have to water at least once a day.

Kylee Baumle said...

min hus ~What a great review by someone who uses them! You're making me want to buy another one before I've even tried it myself!

Wayne ~ Thinking is good. Doing is better! (When done after thinking. LOL)

Terry ~ Do it and video it so we can all see! :-)

Michelle ~ The EarthBox has been perfect for your situation, hasn't it? I hadn't thought about doing my melons in it! Now THERE's an idea I'll have to give more consideration. What a space saver that would be!

Kerry ~ Good for you, making your own bamboo trellis! Joe Lamp'l did that for his $25 Victory Garden, too. (Saw him yesterday at the Chicago Flower & Garden Show.) Wish we had a supply of it here so we could do the same!

Thanks for the great feedback!

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