Recommended Growing Media

*PLEASE NOTE* EarthBox®  does not guarantee the success of crops grown with non-EarthBox® branded products. 

The Big Debate: Potting Mix vs. Potting Soil

Depending on where you reside in the U.S., growing media that is suitable for container gardening may be called Potting Mix or Potting Soil. To make is easier on our customers, we have provided a list of suitable brands that can be used in the EarthBox® gardening system. If your local garden center does not stock these, we have listed some guidelines, below, while shopping for growing media.

We recommend using 2 cubic feet (60 dry quarts) for the standard-size Original EarthBox® Gardening System and Root & Veg Gardening System, and 1 cubic foot for the EarthBox® Junior™ gardening system. The growing media should be Sphagnum peat-based (70%-95%) that contains perlite or vermiculite. It should be light and fluffy when dry, and spongy when wet. It should NOT contain any rock, clay, sand, or soil. We do not recommend using topsoil or compost.

The following brands are suitable for planting in the EarthBox® gardening system:

  • EarthBox® Organic Potting Mix
  • Espoma Organic Potting Mix
  • Lambert Professional Organic All Purpose Mix
  • Premier Horticulture Pro-Mix
  • Fox Farm Happy Frog Potting Soil
  • Scott’s Miracle-Gro Potting Mix
  • Scott’s Miracle-Gro Organic Choice Potting Mix
  • Fafard All Purpose Potting Mix
  • Fafard Container Mix
  • E.B. Stone Organics Edna’s Best Potting Soil
  • E.B. Stone Organics Flower & Vegetable Planting Mix
  • Kellogg Champion’s Blend Premium Potting Soil
  • Kellogg Premium Potting Soil
  • EKO Organic All-Purpose Potting Mix
  • Baccto Professional Planting Mix
  • Baccto Lite Premium Potting Soil
  • Ferti-lome Ultimate Potting Mix
  • Sun Gro Horticulture Metro Mix Potting Medium (350, 360...)
  • Black Gold Seedling Mix
  • Black Gold Natural & Organic Potting Soil
  • Sunshine Container Potting Mix
  • Sunshine Seed Starter Mix
  • Any private label growing media that meets the above specifications


Approved Dolomite

When you first set up your EarthBox Container Gardening System, we recommend using dolomite to add calcium and magnesium to the growing media to help raise the pH and combat Blossom End Rot (BER).

We DO NOT recommend using hydrated lime, pickling lime, or granular lime in place of dolomite.

A note about agricultural lime: Generally, agricultural lime should not be used in the EarthBox® Gardening System because it does not contain enough magnesium.

The following brands are suitable for use in the EarthBox:

  • EarthBox® All Natural Dolomite
  • Espoma Garden Lime
  • Whitney Farms Dolomite Lime


Approved Plant Food

EarthBox Original and Root & Veg: We recommend using two cups (or 1 lb.) of a dry, granular fertilizer. Use three cups if using an organic fertilizer.

EarthBox Junior: We recommend using one cup (or .5 lbs.) of a dry, granular fertilizer. Use two cups if using an organic fertilizer.

For best results, we recommend using a fertilizer with NPK analysis numbers between 5 and 15.

The following brands are suitable for use in the EarthBox® gardening system:

  • EarthBox® Special Plant Food 7-7-7
  • EarthBox® Natural Plant Food 8-3-5 (Suitable for organic food production)
  • Espoma® Garden Food 5-10-5
  • Espoma® Garden Food 10-10-10
  • Perfectly Natural Tomato & Vegetable Fertilizer 5-6-6
  • Fox Farm® Happy Frog® All Purpose Organic Fertilizer 6-4-5


Vegan or Vegetarian Fertilizers

From time-to-time, we receive inquiries from customers who wish to use fertilizers that are "vegan-friendly," or do not contain any animal by-products. While we applaud those efforts, vegan fertilizers are often difficult to find, and usually do not have the recommended NPK analysis numbers for growing in the EarthBox® gardening system. We have compiled a list below of some vegan-friendly fertilizers, but please be advised that these fertilizers have not been tested or approved at EarthBox® and results may vary. 

  • Dr. Earth® Vega Organic Vegetarian All-Purpose Fertilizer 2-2-2
  • Down To Earth Vegan Mix 3-2-2
  • Lady Bug Brand Garden Prep Cottonseed Meal 7-2-1
  • Gardens Alive Garden Plenty Plant-Based Fertilizer 3-1-4
  • Yum Yum Mix Winterizer 2-3-2
  • Sweet Corn Organic Nursery: Vegan Mater, Vegan Pepe, Vegan Sea, Vegan Veggie (No NPK analysis has been done on these fertilizers)
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