Friday, March 23, 2012

DIY Garden Box (aka EarthBox) part 2

Building the garden box was the hard part, not that it was difficult at all. Filling it up is easy and I love the garden center at Lowe's. I spent a long time reading the backs of seed packets and the inserts in herb and vegetable pots.  

64 quart bag of Potting Mix (Potting mix, not potting soil or regular dirt. This is very important!) 
2 cups Fertilizer (Any normal mix of fertilizer is fine. I used 10-10-10.) 
Garbage bag (White works best here in Florida. Blacks ones cause the soil to get too hot and kill the plants.) 
Plants! Yea! 

Time to get dirty. 

First, move your box to where you want it to live. It gets really heavy really fast.

You will need damp potting mix. I had a watering can handy and would wet the potting mix as I dumped it in. Start by filling, but not packing, the 2 soil tubes. Once your box starts getting full, add the soil so that it creates a ditch lengthwise across the box.

After all the soil is in, spread about 2 cups of fertilizer in the ditch that you created. You don't have to measure, just approximate.

Spread the plastic garbage bag across the top of the box and secure with the leftover outer ring of the lid. This keeps bugs and weeds out of the soil and prevents water from evaporating from the potting mix.

Cut X's into the trash bag where you want your plants to go. I found this link from the EarthBox site very helpful. My boxes are slightly larger, so I planted an extra row or so. Plant you plants in the X's.

Using a funnel, fill the box with water through the PVC pipe. Once water starts to trickle out of the hole you drilled in the box, it is full. The water will wick up the potting mix through the soil pipes and water the plants. Some plant roots may even grow through the soil and holes in the lid and directly into the water.

That's it! Keep the water topped off for the first couple of day. After that, water as needed. I water mine every 3 days or so. It doesn't take much to fill the box with water since the plastic keeps it from evaporating.

Here is my little garden. In 1 box I have a cherry tomatoes, sweet heat peppers, zucchini squash and basil In the 2nd box I planted 8 cucumber plants. This is way over the recommended amount, but I sprouted my own plants from seeds and didn't want them to go to waste. I'll not use the entire seed packet next year! In the last box I have 10 spinach plants. (I also have a peppermint plant. Apparently they will completely take over a garden box and are not recommended, so I have it planted by itself in a large flower pot on my patio table. I'm out here now and it smell delicious.  )

They are all thriving so far. We have already eaten a few cherry tomatoes and a pepper.

Since this picture was taken, I've actually rotated the boxes so that the PVC pipes are in the back. Liam loves to pull on them and it would be really bad if he pulled one out. Happy gardening! 


  1. That is really cool! Amazing what we can do with just a tiny bit of space,huh?

  2. It is amazing. I love my little garden and find it so therapeutic to be on my porch with a bit of nature.