Inside the EarthBox® you’ll find a plastic screen and a small bag of accessories. Make sure the plastic screen is set firmly in the bottom of the box. Remove the fill tube from the accessory bag and press it through the round cutout in the front corner of the screen. Insert casters into the bottom of the box (optional). To determine the proper number of seedlings, please refer to our Plant Selection Chart.
Put your EarthBox® in a spot where it will get 6 to 8 hours of sun per day. Pack the two rear corner cutouts in the screen with moist potting mix (not potting soil). Pour water through the fill tube until it runs out the overflow hole. This is the way you will water your plants after planting. With the overflow hole you can never over water, so always keep the reservoir filled.
Continue adding moist potting mix on top of the screen until the EarthBox® is half full. It’s OK for some of the mix to fall through the screen. Sprinkle the potting mix with water and gently pat it down, especially above the two rear corner cutouts you filled first.
Fill the EarthBox® completely to the top with potting mix. Do not leave a space along the sides. Again sprinkle well with water and smooth the soil to the top edges. For vegetables and tomatoes, mix two cups of dolomite or hydrated lime into the top 7-10 cm of potting mix and re-smooth.
Depending on the number of seedlings, choose a fertilizer and plant placement pattern. Using potting mix, create a slight mound where you will place the fertiliser strip. Create a small trough in the mound and then pour 2 cups of dry fertilizer or 3 cups of organic fertiliser in a 5 cm wide strip in the trough. Gently cover the fertiliser strip with moist potting mix, and pat down. Do not mix the fertiliser into the potting mix or spread it around. Do not use fertiliser that requires mixing with water, such as Miracle-Gro™ or other water-soluble brands.
Included in the accessory bag are 2 fitted plastic covers, one as an extra. Both are equipped with a black and a white site. Keep the black side up, except in desert climates or extreme summers - where the white side should face up. Align one of the round cutout holes over the fill tube and carefully stretch the cover over the top of the EarthBox. When the cover is secure, cut a 7 cm “X” in the cover for each plant, as far away from the fertilizer strip as possible. Never cut holes in the cover above the fertiliser strip.
Through the newly cut “X’s” in the cover dig 6 to 8 cm deep holes into the potting mix, just as you would in the ground. Place one plant per hole and firm the mix around the roots. Just this one time, pull back the “X” flaps in the cover to water the plants from the top to remove any air spaces from around the roots. Then carefully put the flaps back around the stems and fill the reservoir through the fill tube. If your plants will need support, we recommend that you purchase the optional EarthBox® Staking System.
At this time, your EarthBox® has all the fertiliiser it needs for one complete growing season. Be sure the EarthBox is in a location where it will receive 6-8 hours of sunlight a day. Always keep the cover on and keep the reservoir full by adding water through the fill tube until it runs out the overflow hole. To learn how to winterize, replant or for general gardening help, refer to our gardening tips section or visit our online forums. Happy Gardening!