Posted on 08 May 2008 by urbangardencasual.com

Product Spotlight: The Earthbox

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By Michael Nolan

Here’s a scenario I’m sure you can sympathize with: A reader from Texas has been gung-ho every year for almost a decade about getting her home garden up-and-running.

She reads site after site and book upon book about overcoming the challenges of urban gardening and yet she still can’t manage to get more than a small yield from her efforts.

When she emailed me a few weeks ago asking for help and advice I really wasn’t sure what to tell her since I had never tried growing anything in the Lone Star State. My tenure in the state was almost entirely confined to the barracks of Air Force bases in San Antonio and Wichita Falls. I talked to a few trusted friends who grow all sorts of things in the unforgiving Texas heat and came up with a possible solution.

The Earthbox is unlike other container gardens in that it is entirely self-contained. Years of research have gone into producing a product that will allow even the gardening challenged brown thumb to grow a variety of vegetable plants in portable containers that are easily moved from place to place thanks to attached rollers on the bottom of each box.

When I recommended the product to my reader she was naturally skeptical just as I would have been had I been in her shoes. Based on my recommendation though, she purchased one late this past winter in the hopes of surprising herself with healthy and happy vegetable plants. When I received a voicemail message from Becky last week, I wasn’t sure what to expect when I returned the call.

She described the Earthbox as being a little intimidating when she received it, because there are several parts that she was entirely unfamiliar with. With the aid of her handyman husband, she got everything put together, read the instructions and got to work.

My reader’s favorite part of her Earthbox is that it is self-watering and self-fertilizing. Its design protects the plants from water loss, which is especially crucial in the intense summers of Texas. Ever close to my heart, Becky chose to grow tomatoes in her new contraption this season and she describes her two heirloom plants as being “healthy, happy and GREEN!”.

At about $50 per Earthbox, it isn’t the cheapest solution out there, but I am anxious to hear how Becky’s tomatoes turn out and I just may have to indulge in one or two myself next year.

For more information about the Earthbox, visit their website.

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