Planting Boxes: A Space-Saving Solution for Sustainable Gardening
Two trends are shaping the gardening world – container gardening and sustainability. And what better way to accomplish both than by using planting boxes, a space-saving solution for sustainable gardening.
Gardening has seen a substantial increase in popularity since COVID-19. The pandemic helped create 18.3 million new gardeners, with 65% of them millennials. Today, millennials comprise nearly one-third of gardeners.
Millennials aside, 55% of U.S. households garden, according to a study by Scotts Miracle-Gro and Wakefield Research. The study also found that 67% of adults grow or plan to grow vegetables (52%), herbs (33%), and fruits (31%).
And many are turning to container gardening, with $1.3 billion in spending on container gardening (Daily Green).
Container gardening using a planting box is a perfect way for people to grow vegetables with limited space. They also offer low risk with high reward potential for novice gardeners.
What is Sustainable Gardening?
You’ve likely heard of sustainable gardening. But do you understand what it means? It’s all about providing the necessary food sources without harming the environment. And that means doing as little damage as possible to land, water, and air.
You do that by conserving water, reducing chemical use, and maintaining healthy soil. That defines growing your produce in a planting box.
By using planting boxes, you avoid tilling soil. Tilling fractures the soil and disrupts its structure, leading to runoff and erosion. That runoff can release chemicals into nearby streams, potentially contaminating them.
Planting Boxes Conserve Water to Improve Sustainability
Planting boxes conserve water. How often have you seen gardeners using a water sprinkle to water their gardens? Well, are you ready for this?
According to WSSC Water, watering your garden with a sprinkler for one hour using a standard 5/8” garden hose uses roughly 1,020 gallons of water. But, more importantly, 30 to 50% of that water is wasted through evaporation or runoff. Additionally, much of the water doesn’t even reach the soil where it’s needed most.
Water from your sprinkler is more likely to dampen your plant’s leaves, not the soil. And wet leaves, especially damp leaves overnight, make plants susceptible to mold and disease.
With planting boxes, you can put the water precisely where it’s needed – the soil. But that’s only one advantage of planting boxes.
Equally important, you can buy self-watering planting boxes. For example. EarthBox has sub-irrigated boxes for gardening. A fill tube flows water into a chamber below the soil. Once full, moisture wicks through the soil to the plant’s roots. It makes watering easy while also conserving this valuable resource.
Planting Boxes Can Make the Most of a Small Space
One chief advantage of planting boxes is space-saving. You don’t need a plot of land to grow produce, just a gardening container. And that opens up the door for gardening anywhere.
For example, city dwellers have limited, if any, growing space. No need. Using planting boxes, you only need a small space with adequate sunlight, and you can grow your produce.
Planting boxes let you grow your produce on your patio, deck, sunroom, or balcony.
Even if you have some land, you might not want to make an effort to create a garden plot. There’s time and maintenance. Planting boxes simplify the process. Plus, an open garden space is less than attractive once the plants die.
Gardening Boxes are Portable and Easy to Maintain
Here’s another potential issue with an in-soil garden – sunlight. What if you have a space, but it gets limited sunlight? That’s a problem, as most vegetable and fruit plants require six hours of daylight. So, you’ll be limited in what you can grow.
With planting boxes, you place them where your plants will get the appropriate amount of sunlight. If you find they aren’t getting enough sun, you can move them to another location.
Their portability also makes them easier to maintain than a full-blown garden. You can work within a contained area with easy access to your garden plants. You can even put the planting boxes on a stand so that you don’t have to bend over. That makes harvesting and caring for your plants less of a backbreaker.
With a Planting Box, You Control the Soil
If you’ve ever tried gardening with clay soil, you know how challenging it can be. It compacts easily, making it difficult for plant roots to grow. In addition, it gets waterlogged easily.
With planting boxes, you select and amend the soil to your liking. Soil compaction is never a problem because you can add ingredients like compost, perlite, vermiculite, and other amendments that keep the loose soil. As a result, you’ll have no worries about plant roots suffocating in compacted soil.
Typically planting box soil mixtures include equal parts compost, peat moss, and perlite. You can purchase the ingredients and create your mix. Or there are plenty of commercial options available.
Because you control the soil and have a smaller space to contend with, you’ll also have infinitely fewer worries about weeds. So instead of pulling weeds from your garden, you can focus on what matters most – growing your plants.
Planting Box Kits Make Gardening Even Easier
Some companies offer all-in-one vegetable growing kits if you want the best of all worlds. So there’s nothing for you to think about other than what crops you’d like to plant and harvest.
For example, EarthBox sets you up with everything you need for successful gardening:
- Planting Box
- Aeration Screen
- Water Fill Tube
- Mulch Covers
- Fertilizer and Dolomite
- Organic Potting Mix
They even offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee. And their planting boxes double the yield of conventional gardens.
Gardening Box Tips
Ultimately, planting boxes provide a convenient, space-saving, low-maintenance option for gardening. They’re a great way to get your feet wet with gardening. But they’re equally effective for gardening pros.
Whether you’re a novice or an expert, it pays to keep these tips in mind when using planting boxes:
- Choose the right soil mix, and don’t be shy about including amendments.
- Companion planting improves your chances of success. Plant a gardening box with plants having similar needs for water, fertilizer, and sunlight.
- Don’t over-plant your gardening containers. Plants need room to reach their mature size and produce the best yields. Refer to plant placement charts if you aren’t sure how many plants to include in a planting box.
- Don’t overwater. The most straightforward test is putting your finger into the soil. If the top of the ground feels dry, water your plants.
- Make sure your planting boxes have good drainage. Excess moisture is harmful, leading to root rot and destroying your crop. Add some with a drill if your gardening containers don’t have drainage holes.
- Don’t overfertilize. A good water-soluble fertilizer every couple of weeks should be enough to keep your plants happy and healthy.
Stick with the Top Name in Planting Boxes
If you’d like one final tip, go with the most reliable, proven planting boxes – EarthBox. Their patented gardening containers have been tested and proven to work in laboratories and on the farm.
You’ll enjoy a maintenance-free growing system that conserves water to promote sustainability. All you have to do is add your plants, water, and let the sun work magic—no digging, weeding, or guesswork. Just delicious peppers, tomatoes, herbs, or other fruits and vegetables that tickle your fancy.