Innovative Urban Gardening
Donny Tenney is the horticulturist for the city of Buckhannon, West Virginia. A life-long rural farmer, Donny soon realized that urban farming requires some innovative thinking -- so he introduced the EarthBox container system to the city of Buckhannon as an integral part of his beautification plans.
A typical street scene in Buckhannon.
He places EarthBoxes on bridges, under restaurant windows, and along the avenues of his city. "The EarthBox makes our job a lot easier," Donny points out, "because it's a self watering system that only requires a one-time fertilization application per season. Once the boxes are planted, they basically care for themselves -- and that's a good thing!"
Our New EarthBox
We'd like to remind you of the recent launch of our EarthBox Education newsletter, which is dedicated to news about Earthbox in the classroom, the community and internationally. We invite you to subscribe to this bi-monthly newsletter, so you can keep abreast of what's happening in the EarthBox Education realm. To do so, follow these simple steps:
- Click on "Update Profile/Email Address" at the bottom of this newsletter.
- Enter your email address in the field provided and click Submit.
- An email with the subject line "Update your profile" will be sent to you. Open it and click on the "Update your profile" link.
- Select the "Education Newsletter" box in the left column.
- Click "Save Profile Changes."
Grab Some Free Goodies!
Want to win an EarthBox gift certificate? Just send us your best EarthBox-related recipe or article, and you might find yourself a winner.
Here are the categories we'd like you to shoot for:
- A helpful story that provides EarthBox owners with information
- A story on your most successful crop
- Your greatest number of EarthBoxes in use at once
- Your best disaster story, so everyone can learn from your mistakes
- Your quickest recipe using an EarthBox harvest
- Your spiciest recipe using an EarthBox harvest
- Articles on non-traditional uses of the EarthBox
Your entry should be brief and to the point. We'll pick a new winner every month, and we'll post each month's winner in an upcoming issue of the newsletter.
Just send your contest entries to photos@Earthbox.com, with the word "contest" in the subject line, and we'll take a look!
We Have a Winner!
We've chosen the first winner in our ongoing "Grab Some Goodies" contest! Elaine from Palo Alto, Illinois will receive a $25 EarthBox gift certificate for her story. We'll be posting more winners as we choose them -- and we're still waiting to hear from you!
Here's Elaine's EarthBox tale:
"I had so many tomatoes from the three plants that I put in my EarthBox that I am still using them in January.
"I take 6 tomatoes, wash them and put them in a Ziploc bag, and freeze them. Great for soups and stews all winter.
"Last fall I had so many, I cooked some down with the herbs I also grew and put them in containers in the freezer. When I cooked spaghetti and put the tomato sauce over it, it was out of this world! Also very healthy -- no preservatives, salt, etc.
"I love my EarthBox, and plan on having two more this summer!"
|Send Us Your Photos and|
To place an order, call 866-727-5532 (24/7)
or visit our online store
Some of the most frequent questions we get at EarthBox have to do with growing media. There have been many conversations on the Forum
about potting mix vs. potting soil, and we thought we'd take this opportunity to specify the growing medium required for best results.
We've found that the best potting media can have different names, depending on the geographic region of the country. We call it potting mix
, which is the term most often used in the Northeast. In the West it's often known as potting soil
, even though it doesn't contain any soil at all. Potting mix in the western half of the country is a product that you mix into the soil when planting trees or landscape plants, which makes it unsuitable for EarthBox gardening.
The point is, depending on where you live, you'll be looking at bags of potting media with different names or references. The most important thing is the ingredients it contains, not what it's called.
Read the label carefully, and look for a mix containing large amounts of organic matter such as peat moss, bark fines, or coir (coconut fiber), along with either vermiculite or perlite. Avoid any medium that contains soil, rock or clay, or any products described as "partially composted," or a "byproduct."
After extensive testing, we recently determined that a growing medium that boasts "moisture control" or "water grabbing crystals" is okay to use. Try to avoid a potting mix that contains fertilizer for a full year's feeding; but fertilizers rated for a season or a three-month time release are acceptable, especially if they're water-soluble. We found the amount of fertilizer to be minimal.
In general, any growing medium that's labeled for container gardens, hanging baskets or seed starting is well suited for EarthBox gardening. You'll find that an appropriate EarthBox growing medium has a much lighter weight than soil.
Many garden centers and chain stores will have their own mixes, and in some cases their own brands (i.e. Lowe's Professional Potting Mix). Below are some national and regional brands of potting mixes that are okay to use. This is by no means an exhaustive list, but rather a general guide.
- Miracle-gro Potting Soil
- Miracle gro Moisture Control Potting Mix
- Miracle-gro Organic Mix
- Pro-mix BX
- Pro-mix numerous other formulas
- ASB Potting Mix
- Eko Potting Mix
- Sun-Grow Metro Mix 360
- Sun-Grow, numerous other formulas
- Baccto Professional Potting Mix
- Baccto Lite Premium Potting Soil
- EB Stone Edna's Potting Soil (west coast)
- EB Stone Flower & Vegetable Planting mix
- Kellogg's Gardener & Bloom Blue Ribbon Blend Potting Soil (west coast)
- Kellogg's Champions Blend Potting Soil (west coast)
Note: the quantity needed for each EarthBox is about 2 cubic feet, or 60 dry quarts.
We hope you've found this information helpful!
|Fresh from the Forum
Though it isn't spring yet in most areas of the country, it's not too soon for you to start thinking about and planning your garden. One important but often neglected aspect of gardening is enlisting the help of beneficial insects. There are many helpful bugs that will keep the bad bugs at bay and help protect your produce.
You can find out who they are, what they look like, and where to find them in the Tips and Tricks section of the Forum. Just visit the "Good Bugs"
||Retailer of the Month
Grangetto's Farm and Garden Supply
At EarthBox, we value our partnerships with our authorized retailers. There are nurseries and garden centers throughout the country that carry our systems; some even offer seminars and workshops on getting the most out of your EarthBox.
This month, we salute Grangetto's Farm and Garden Supply in San Diego County, California. For more than 50 years, Grangetto's has been supplying San Diego's North County gardeners and growers with the products they need, from pest control to seed and sod. This family owned and operated business began as a supplier of crop oils and fertilizers, serving the agricultural community.
The Grangettos have since expanded their product line to include irrigation products and materials needed by golf courses, municipalities, professional landscape maintenance companies, and do-it-yourself gardeners. Among other things, they proudly offer EarthBox products to their customers.
The Grangetto brothers were raised on the family avocado ranch, and bring real-world production experience to their customers. Eddie develops custom fertilizer programs for avocados and citrus growers, while Kevin works with nursery and landscape customers. Both are licensed PCAs (Pest Control Advisors) and CCAs (Certified Crop Advisors). Being involved in these professional organizations allows them to stay on top of the latest technology available for their growers.
According to Kevin Grangetto (pictured above with his father), "We want to continue to look at our markets and make the necessary changes to satisfy our customers."
Visit them online
for more for more information and for details about their four convenient locations. While you're there, check out their garden newsletter for timely tips, coupons, monthly specials, garden club meeting times, events, and much more!
||From Our Customers
"I received some great answers to my questions here last spring. Encouraged, I bought six EarthBoxes. And you were all right -- it was the best gardening decision I've ever made!
"Those six boxes did better than entire gardens I have had in the past. I had more space in those situations, but poor soil. Likewise, they did many times better than other container gardens I've had, which always dry out too quickly or rely on containers that are too small.
"We grew lettuce and broccoli in the spring, and we could not keep up with the lettuce.
"Later in the summer, we had cucumbers, tomatoes, eggplant, and peppers. The plants were HUGE...so large that when I pulled them out at the end of the year, the root balls had totally filled the EarthBoxes. Other times I've gardened, the root systems were wimpy.
"We had more tomatoes than we could eat. I had eight plants: four produced poorly thanks to blossom end rot (though the vines were beautiful), but the other four went crazy!
"I can't wait for this year....we only have a fourth-floor patio this year, with less sun. A new challenge!"
|The patented EarthBox was developed by commercial farmers, and proven in the lab and on the farm. Our maintenance-free, award-winning, high-tech growing system controls soil conditions, eliminates guesswork, and more than doubles the yield of a conventional garden -- with less fertilizer, less water and virtually no effort. It's used successfully on a daily basis by commercial farmers, educators, and consumers. Distributors are also finding it to be a popular growing system.|
EarthBox is a remarkably easy-to-set-up system that can be used to grow produce virtually anywhere. EarthBox systems have been incorporated into community gardens all over the world, enabling families and neighbors to share fresh produce, while minimizing work and expenses. EarthBoxes can even be found in classrooms. Our EarthBox Pre-K through 12th grade standards-based curriculum support packages can bring science to life, with hands-on cross-curricula lessons that teach principles of growing and nutrition utilizing the scientific method in student-driven experiments.
To find out more, visit www.earthbox.com.