The EarthBOX is truly a marvel in the garden. Invented and originally developed right here in Central Florida, the EarthBOX was the magnum opus of Mr. Blake Whisenant, a Florida Agriculture All-Star Hall of Famer who wanted everything for home gardeners and farmers.
With a keen eye on his goals of sustainability, environmental conservation, increased food production from a small footprint, and ease of use, Mr. Whisenant created this marvelous tool that, in my opinion, every gardener should have. Learn 5 reasons for making the investment in your garden success with EarthBOX by reading this article!
Reason #1 for an EarthBOX Garden: Convenience
The EarthBOX is many things, but one of things we love most about them is their convenience factor – it’s on point!
Your EarthBOX is a self-contained gardening system that promotes a healthy plant and strong root system without the need to plant in the ground. This means that it can be placed on wheels and moved around wherever you want it. Too much sun? Move it! Not enough sun? Move it! It’s also easily moved inside if the weather gets bad (too windy – like hurricanes! – or too cold).
It can be placed on the EarthBOX Stand, on a table, bench, or even up on sawhorses and a couple of boards to make it easier to reach – no stooping to pick tomatoes or snip kale for a smoothie!
It’s also small enough to allow you to grow your own food on your balcony if you’re in an apartment or condo with no ground access – open your balcony door and get your herbs for cooking or make a quick salad. Less trips to the grocery for produce – that sounds convenient to me!
Reason #2 for an EarthBOX Garden: Plants are Protected from Soil-Borne Disease
Soil-borne diseases are some of the trickiest problems to deal with in the garden, because (let’s face it) it’s difficult to treat dirt that’s present in your yard.
From Viruses that cause wilt and blights to the discouraging Root Knot Nematodes, diseases that live in the soil are really hard to overcome. In fact, often you have to either let the ground sit fallow (unplanted) or change your plantings to things that aren’t affected by the disease you battled last season until it dies off.
And if you have the gardening bug, unused land is frustrating when it could have pretty and edible plants on it.
With the EarthBOX, you don’t have to worry about it. You use potting soil that doesn’t have diseases or critters lurking in it, you add your fertilizer, plants, water – and you’re off and running. And you can reuse that soil for up to 3 plantings (so, let’s say, Fall, Winter/Spring, and Summer!). The only thing you have to remember to do is clean your tools very thoroughly if you’re moving from diseased plants to non-diseased plants to make sure you don’t cause the spread into your EarthBOX plants. That’s not so bad, right?
Reason #3 for an EarthBOX Garden: Fertilize Once For The Whole Season
Put simply – the EarthBOX is pretty much a “set it and forget it” system.
Follow the planting instructions that come with it – derived from years of careful research and experimentation by the original EarthBOX creator – put in your soil, your dolomite lime (included), your fertilizer (also included), put on the cover (included), and put in your seeds or seedlings per the planting diagram, water gently into the planting hole in the cover, and then fill up the water reservoir in the bottom of the EarthBOX through the tube provided.
Other than topping off the water reservoir when needed – you can just sit back, relax, and watch your plants grow and thrive! Maybe snip a few leaves off when needed, pinch suckers, or deal with pests you might have to contend with (worms and insects, and in Florida fungus is a definite issue!). But the EarthBOX takes away the guesswork on when you need to add fertilizer, and prevents you from overfertilizing – which is a huge problem, think Red Tide. It actually saves you money, using only 1 pound of fertilizer for the whole season (1.5 pounds for the Root & Veg box) and that fertilizer stays right there in the box – little to no runoff.
Saving fertilizer and stopping overfertilization was one of the main drivers for Mr. Whisenant, the creator of the EarthBOX, to create this box system. He was concerned about the environmental ramifications of overfertilization and wanted to create a way for farmers – professional and home gardeners alike – to make smart choices to minimize the impact on our waterways, save them money, and at the same time INCREASE their production in a smaller footprint. Lofty goals for an agricultural researcher – all of which he achieved!
To read more about Mr. Whisenant, check out this blog from the EarthBOX company.
Reason #4 for an EarthBOX Garden: Increase Your Harvest and use Less Space
If you could grow more food in less space, would you do it? If you could diversify your plantings even more by decreasing the number of plants you need of one crop and using that extra space to plant more variety, would you do it?
Of course you would. And EarthBOX, to put it quite simply, can do that for you.
These planting boxes are unlike anything else you have tried. Often imitated- it’s so flattering! – but never truly duplicated, the EarthBOX is definitely something special.
Your yield per plant will increase – some have reported double the harvest from one plant compared to in-ground plantings – and the work to make that happen decreases. You get the same delicious food with less effort and less space.
It probably sounds too good to be true, but I can tell you from experience that it’s really not. My own yields when I use the EarthBOX are astounding.
The key to the EarthBOX system is this:
YOU HAVE TO FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS.
It’s really that simple. It’s all done for you. You just have to use the advice they give you and follow it. If you forget the cover, it won’t work. If you forget the fertilizer, it won’t work. If you severely overplant it, your results won’t be as good (if it says to put only 2 plants, and you put 8 of them, it won’t work). If you skip the dolomitic lime, it won’t work as well.
We’re here to help you at Shell’s if you have questions. Or you can just contact me, I’ll walk you through it.
Reason #5 for an EarthBOX Garden: EarthBOXes are Reuseable for a LONG time.
You think to yourself, “Yeah, right. That’s what they all say.”
But I’m not kidding.
We have some EarthBOXes that are pushing 30 years old and they’re still as useable as when we first got them. They still grow great crops.
The sun doesn’t rot the plastic. The heat doesn’t crack the plastic. The weight of the wet soil + water + plants doesn’t compromise the integrity of the box in any way, year after year after year. The only things you have to replace are the covers (very cheap and available here at Shell’s!), the soil (after 3 growing seasons), and the plants.
Between soil re-loads, you can clean your EarthBOX with a 10% bleach solution, and let it dry in the sun. It’s then ready to go again.
Every person who has ever said that they purchased one of the other planting box brands, or made their own from plastic storage containers, have told me that they only got a couple of seasons out of them before the plastic cracked from sun rot or the weight of the soil/water/plants broke the containers. I’ve never had anyone tell me that they have had one of those for 30 years like I hear and see with the EarthBOX.
So when people balk at the price of the EarthBOX, I tell them the story of mine. Inherited a few from Mr. Shell’s Mom when they were about 10 years old, he’s used them ever since. Supplemented with a few newer models, we’re currently at 9 boxes. We have other customers who have 20, 30, 40, or more and love them.
The price of one box spread out over 30 years is less than half a cent per day. Is that worth it to you?
We certainly hope so. Start with one, and we’re sure you’ll be back for another. Show us your EarthBOXes!
I hope you found this article informative. As Tampa’s EarthBOX Authority, Shell’s is a great place to get your EarthBOX and all your gardening supplies. We’re always here to help. If you have questions, reach out!
Ready to get your first kit? Here’s some kits and accessories to choose from.
Until next time, Keep Growing!