Grow Anywhere with Earthboxes
Photograph © Kerry Michaels
I am something of an Earthbox evangelist. I think they are amazing and I have a small fleet of them all over my driveway positioned to get the best sun my yard has to offer. For me they are perfect because they allow me to plant early--I use the dark colored boxes and they heat up quickly, creating a tomato spa and their self-watering and one time fertilizing gives me a margin of error that I love.
I plant all kinds of veggies in them: tomatoes, cukes, tomatillos, eggplant and peppers so far. They aren't cheap, but according to the company, they have some that are 20 years old and still kicking--no planned obsolesce here. And I have found that the plants in Earthboxes do have a higher yield and better survival rate than just about any other method I've tried.
I just bought two of their new Earthbox Jrs for my mom to use as railing boxes. They'll be perfect for lettuce and herbs and the annuals she loves. She'll have to plant them with draping plants, so the shower-cap looking cover won't show. But there are so many great plants that are blousy and will spread out for cover, that it should look great when it's filled in.
In planting my old Earthboxes I couldn't remember how much fertilizer and dolomite I would need. A lovely person in customer service answered my question.
You need 3 cups of organic fertilizer and 2 cups of dolomite. There is a link on the website for approved brands, but there are others that will work. I've had great luck with Coast of Maine Bar Harbor Blend potting soil. I fill the boxes with about 1/2 to 3/4 of older potting soil and then mix fresh for the rest.
For more info on Earthboxes: