In This Issue
EarthBox Education
Know Your Frost Dates
Retailer of the Month
From Our Customers
Join Our Community
About EarthBox
EarthBox Education:
Mr. Handyman to the Rescue
This year, the director of Pennsylvania's Dunmore Senior Center, Jeanne Hugenbruch, planned to plant fruits and vegetables with the seniors in the 50 EarthBoxes funded by local rotary clubs. 


However, the boxes sat dormant all summer, because there were no funds or assistance available to install a fence -- a requirement to keep pests and vandals out.

Then the Mr. Handyman franchise in Lackawanna County stepped in, to support The Growing Connection (TGC), a collaborative gardening effort that sponsors projects around the world and in our own backyards.

Four Mr. Handyman employees spent three days installing a fence. The labor was free, and the materials were funded by the Dunmore Rotary Club.

Completion of the fence means the seniors will be planting garlic with children from the local HeadStart class this fall. In the spring, they'll take full advantage of the season to grow beans, tomatoes, herbs, and flowers. Many meals will be prepared on-site with the produce.

This TGC project was funded by the Scranton, Dunmore, Abington,
Mount Pocono, Mid Valley, and North Scranton Rotary Clubs.
Grab Some Free Goodies!
Want to win an EarthBox gift certificate? Just send us your best EarthBox-related recipe, article, or photo, 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
  • A photo illustrating a successful EarthBox 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 winner in an upcoming issue.

Send your contest entries to, with the word "contest" in the subject line, and we'll take a look!

Quick Links

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Home Gardening Seal

Fall is upon us. Now that temperatures are dropping, you need to be aware of your area's projected first frost date if you plan to plant new crops in your EarthBoxes. Once you've determined that, be sure to consult your seed packets for information on the number of days it will take the plants to mature, bloom, and set fruit; if the time to maturity exceeds the number of days left in the season, then it's a good bet you shouldn't plant.

Some plants with a multi-year lifecycle can handle the cold weather if properly cared for, and we've all seen the regenerative power of pansies after a frost. However, a hard freeze will kill most plants. Hot-weather vegetables like tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants are especially susceptible; they may succumb even to a light frost.

We hope you find this information useful as you plan for your fall gardens, and continue to harvest your summer bounty!

Enjoy the fall season,

Frank's Signature
Frank DiPaolo
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Know Your Frost Dates 

Every year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) publishes a series of frost dates for the entire country. While the frost dates are based on historical records and aren't absolute, they do offer a good general reference; but remember that an unexpected late frost in the spring, or a surprise early frost in the fall, is always a possibility.
If frost is even remotely possible, keep a close eye on the weather forecasts. And remember to take microclimates into account; factors like urbanization, prevailing winds, elevation, direction of sunlight, and proximity to water can all affect whether or not a frost actually occurs.

Frost vs. Freeze
Since some plants are somewhat frost tolerant but will die if a solid freeze occurs, you should keep the difference between a frost and a freeze firmly in mind. A frost occurs on a clear, still night, when heat radiating from a surface lowers the temperature of that surface to the freezing point of water. Condensation on the surface freezes into a thin layer of ice crystals, which can kill some tender plants without harming other species. You'll need to cover those tender plants to protect them from harm on nights when frost is likely.
A freeze occurs when the air temperature drops to below freezing for a significant period, whereupon plant tissues begin to freeze. A hard freeze, which is enough to kill many plants, occurs when temperatures plunge below 25 degrees. Whether or not a plant shrugs off a hard freeze depends on the length of the exposure and the plant's hardiness.
The USDA has mapped plant hardiness zones for the entire U.S., based on ten-degree temperature differences across the continent. Unless you live in a particular microclimate or can otherwise protect fragile specimens, it's best to stick with the plants recommended for your specific zone when planting.

Fair warning: the most recent USDA hardiness zone map was compiled in 1990. While it still works as a general guide, in recent years the vegetation zones have been shifting steadily northward as average annual temperatures increase. For the same reason, first frost dates are occurring later in the year for many areas. The National Arbor Day Foundation offers one of the most up-to-date hardiness zone maps here. Check your location yearly against the Arbor Day hardiness zone map, to be sure your zone hasn't shifted.

Frost Protection
While it's not practical to protect most non-woody plants from frost and freeze damage in the long-term, it's possible to do so during a short-term cold snap. The simplest way is to cover them with something that helps them retain heat rather than radiate it away, such as cloth or thin plastic sheeting.
If you go this route, and especially if you use plastic, try to keep the covering from touching the leaves; this can damage the foliage, either physically or because the covering itself gets cold and steals the heat from the leaves. A wooden frame or a floating row cover can help prevent this.

To protect the roots, maintain a layer of mulch around the bases of your plants, so that the soil will also retain heat.
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Fresh from the Forum 
Fall Garlic
fresh from forum 1 Thinking about growing garlic in the fall?  Check out this discussion in the Q&A section of our Forum.
Retailer of the Month
Yamagami's Nursery
Every month, we highlight one of our valued partners, so you can learn more about them and their products. This month we salute Yamagami's Nursery in Cupertino, California.

consumerYamagami's is a family-owned, full-service nursery, in business since 1948. Customers will find a complete range of products and services at Yamagami's, from lawn care to exotic plants. They offer a vast selection of fruits, herbs, and vegetables for the edible landscape, including hard-to-find Asian varieties. Yamagami's also provides custom-planted containers and features a You-Plant-A-Pot table, where customers plant their own pots under the guidance of nursery employees, with no charge for soil or fertilizer.

You'll find a wealth of information about gardening at Yamagami's, both on site and online. In person, you can speak with one of their trained staff about your lawn and garden needs, or avail yourself of their plant doctor service -- which includes house calls. Or visit their website for online gardening guides, monthly garden planners, the Q&A section, video podcasts, and links to other important and timely information.

Yamagami's Nursery is open 7 days a week.  Visit them at:
1361 S. DeAnza Boulevard
Cupertino, CA  95014
From Our Customers 
Sneaky Tiki
tiki hut"My tiki hut was falling apart, so I took off the top and sides. Now it's my EarthBox garden -- but it needs a new name. Any ideas?"

Antioch, CA
Zone 9
Join Our Community

EarthBox is on Facebook!  Now you can become a fan of EarthBox, joining a community of fellow EarthBox users for conversations, advice and photo sharing -- or just to check out whatever new information EarthBox has to enhance your gardening experience!

To place an order, call us at 866-727-5532 (24/7) or visit our online store.

About EarthBox 
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  
EarthBox® 1350 Von Storch Avenue · Scranton, PA 18509 · 1-866-727-5532