Frequently Asked Questions


Check out these most frequently asked customer questions around EarthBox and container gardening.

EarthBox Gardening System


What are the dimensions of the EarthBox?

EarthBox Original container dimensions are 29" L x 13.5" W x 11" H. It holds 3 gallons of water and 2 cubic feet (60 dry quarts) of growing media.

EarthBox Junior container dimensions are 23" L x 9.5" W x 7.25" H

EarthBox Root & Veg container dimensions are 17.75" L x 17.75" W x 15.75" H with a base size of 11.75"

Does the EarthBox really work?

Our studies have shown that the EarthBox can double yields, using less water and fertilizer compared to conventional gardening. More importantly, thousands of EarthBox customers prove our claims every time they plant. We’re so sure that the EarthBox will work for you that we offer our EarthBox Guarantee.

What is the EarthBox made of?

All of the EarthBox components are manufactured from #2, #4, and #5 plastics, all of which are food safe and recyclable. The EarthBox is BPA-free and manufactured in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

What is the weight of the EarthBox when it’s filled with water and growing media?

The EarthBox Original weighs approximately 80 lbs. when filled. We recommend adding our caster wheels to make the mobility a lot easier. Note that we do sell caster kits individually should you ever want to add wheels down the road if you decide not to include them with your initial purchase.

What grows best in the EarthBox?

Commercial tomato growers invented the EarthBox, but you can grow virtually anything in it: peppers, eggplants, Brussels sprouts, cucumbers, herbs, flowers, etc. Please refer to our Growing Guides to see what else you can grow.

Can I grow root vegetables (carrots, potatoes, garlic, etc.) in the EarthBox?

You can grow almost any root vegetable in the EarthBox, but keep in mind the depth of the soil is about 8 inches. While it may be fun to experiment with root vegetables, you may not get a substantial yield like you would normally with above-ground vegetables (tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, etc.).

Is the EarthBox reusable? How do I replant my plants?

Absolutely! You can watch the process on our Videos page or following these instructions:

Simply remove your old plants, the old fertilizer strip, and some of the surrounding growing media. Decide what you are going to plant in your EarthBox and refer to the Planting Guide to know where the fertilizer and plants need to be placed. Top the EarthBox off with some fresh growing media, creating a mound. Mix in 1 cup of Dolomite to the growing media. Based on the Planting Guide, pour 2 cups of dry, granular fertilizer (3 cups if using an organic fertilizer) in the form of a 2-inch-wide strip, burying it 2"-4". Put a new mulch cover on your EarthBox and replant. You can use the same growing media up to 6-10 growing seasons, and the EarthBox for decades if taken care of properly! If you need more fertilizer and dolomite, check out our pre-measured replant kit.

How should I store my EarthBox when it is not in use?

As you would do when preparing your EarthBox for winter, we recommend removing the old plants, mulch cover, and fertilizer. Place a new mulch cover on your EarthBox and drain the remaining water from the reservoir by tipping the EarthBox towards the overflow hole. In very rare cases, exposure to heat may result in rapid oxidation, similar to a mulch pile. If possible, store in a cool dry place away from heat sources.

Where can I purchase EarthBoxes near my home?

The EarthBox is available at fine retailers across the U.S., Canada, UK, and South Africa. Our Dealer Locator has information on all EarthBox registered retailers, but if your local garden center does not carry the EarthBox, please let us know.

How many years can I expect my EarthBox to last?

We are proud to say that we still have EarthBoxes in use today that are over 20 years old.

Planting & Growing


Do I have to worry about weeds growing in my EarthBox?

No! As long as you use the provided mulch cover, the growing media in the EarthBox is covered so weeds don’t even have a chance to start. There’s never any need to pull weeds or use herbicides.

How do you water plants in an EarthBox?

You simply put water in the included fill tube until water comes out the bottom overflow drain. You can’t over-water, so don’t try to regulate the moisture level in the growing media. Just keep the reservoir filled. When the plants are small, add water every few days. As they grow larger, add water more often, and once a day for heavily fruited or mature plants. You can easily assess the water usage by the time it takes the water to come out the overflow hole. Never let the reservoir go dry.

I think my plants are getting too much/too little water. Can I manually adjust the watering?

No. The EarthBox has been designed so that you can’t over-water and the only way to under-water is to let the water reservoir run dry. Remember, plants are taking the exact amount of water they need from the reservoir…no more and no less. Resist the temptation to second-guess the system, as this will only lessen results.

What time of day should I water my garden?

Water the EarthBox regularly when it is convenient for you. Just remember to never let the reservoir run dry.

What should I do if I have poor soil in my area?

Since the EarthBox uses growing media available at any garden center, soil conditions in your area mean nothing. In fact, many people have tremendous EarthBox gardens on their patios, balconies, and decks.

What is Dolomite? Is it used only for tomato plants?

Dolomite is a source of calcium and magnesium and can be used for any plant, although it is critical for healthy tomatoes and other “seeded” vegetables, in general. Dolomite should be used for all “seeded” vegetables since they need a lot of calcium in order to produce healthy fruit; dolomite satisfies this requirement. It is also used to raise the pH of the growing media, since peat is very acidic.

What kind of growing media should I use?

We have recommended several brands that will work best, but almost any brand of peat-based growing media for containers or hanging plants should work. You’ll need 2 cubic feet (60 dry quarts) per EarthBox Original or EarthBox Root & Veg and 1 cubit feet (30 dry quarts) per EarthBox Junior.

What kind of fertilizer does the EarthBox need?

Each time you plant in the EarthBox, use 2 cups of a dry, granular fertilizer or plant food for vegetables (use 3 cups if the fertilizer is organic). The three numbers of the elements making up the fertilizer content (NPK) should be in the range of 5 to 15 (i.e. 12-8-10, 10-10-10, 6-8-10) for non-organic fertilizers. After you have applied the fertilizer in the form of a strip, no additional fertilizer will be needed.

Can I purchase supplies like fertilizer, dolomite and growing media at a garden center?

Yes. The Dealer Locator has information on all EarthBox registered retailers, but if your local garden center does not carry the EarthBox, please let us know.

How do I know when to fertilize my plants?

With the EarthBox system you fertilize only one time per growing season; when you first set it up. Use just 2 cups dry, granular fertilizer for vegetables (3 cups if using organic fertilizer), and the plants will have just as much as they want, when they want it. You can’t over or under feed. Avoid water-soluble fertilizers, as well as time-release fertilizers.

Can I use organic fertilizer?

Absolutely! Many EarthBox gardeners prefer growing their plants organically. We have recommended several brands of dry, granular organic fertilizers that can be used by placing 3 cups of organic fertilizer, in the form of a strip, in the EarthBox. We also sell an 8-3-5 natural fertilizer.

Can I use liquid fertilizer or fertilizers that are mixed with water?

Years of scientific research have gone into determining the type, quantity and placement of fertilizer to maximize plant health and production. Liquid fertilizers defeat the purpose of the EarthBox system, as nutrients are not provided on a constant stable basis. An occasional shot of liquid fertilizer, in addition to the fertilizer strip, is okay, but not necessary.

Can I use Osmocote® or other time-release fertilizers for the fertilizer strip?

No. Time-release, or "coated" fertilizers should not be used. Growing Media that already contains fertilizer is ok to use, but it does not replace the fertilizer strip. You should still add the fertilizer strip as you set-up your EarthBox.

Which type of grow light is best for my indoor growing needs?

Metal halide lights produce a strong output of the blue spectrum, which will result in strong plant growth. It is the best type of light to be used as a primary light source (if little or no natural sunlight is available).

Can I place different plants in the same box? If so, how many?

Refer to the Planting Guide. If the plants have the same planting configuration, they can be successfully mixed in the EarthBox. Read our blog article on combining crops to learn more.

What can I do if beetles or tiny black bugs are on and near my plants?

Spray with an all-purpose natural insecticide solution, which has been approved for organic gardening, and will also help treat other pests like aphids, cabbageworms, leaf miners, and fruit flies.

What can I do if hornworms or other chewing worms are on and near my plants?

Spray with BT (Bacillus Thuringiensis), a very good bacterial solution for caterpillars and other types of chewing worms. Once ingested by the pest, the bacteria will kill the caterpillar. This is not a chemical and will do no harm if sprayed on the skin.

Can I remove the mulch cover once the plants have started growing?

No, you should never remove the cover until your growing season is finished and you’re ready to replant. The EarthBox mulch cover is an integral part of the EarthBox gardening system. The cover helps to keep your growing media moist; it keeps rain from washing away your fertilizer, and it helps prevent weeds and other unwanted plants from getting into your EarthBox.

Is it necessary to remove the growing media to prevent cracking the container during the winter?

No. In order to prepare your EarthBox for winter, we recommend you remove the old plants, mulch cover, and fertilizer. Place a new mulch cover on your EarthBox and drain the remaining water from the reservoir by tipping the EarthBox towards the overflow hole.

Tomatoes


Is it correct to place only 2 tomato plants in the EarthBox?

Yes. Through years of experimentation, we have developed the optimal number and arrangement of each type of plant. Please refer to the Planting Guide for a complete list.

Should I do anything special for tomato plants?

Most varieties require a higher pH level of growing media. Simply mix 1 pound of dolomite in the top 2-3 inches of growing media (before adding the fertilizer strip) to raise the pH. The EarthBox will do the rest.

What if I need support stakes for my tomato plants?

Tomatoes, cucumbers, beans and other vining plants need support. EarthBox offers an optional Staking System that integrates with the EarthBox Original container. This eliminates the need for awkward wire plant cages or trellises.

How can I prevent splitting tomatoes?

Tomatoes will split when (1) there is a lot of heat and alternating rain or (2) if very dry weather is followed by days of rainfall. It is really caused by the drastic change in the amount of water in the fruit along with the heat. You can cover your plants with shade cloth to cut the amount of heat and always remember to keep the water reservoir full so the plants always have a consistent supply of water.

What can I do to prevent black spots on the bottom of my tomatoes?

The black on the bottom of your tomatoes is called Blossom End Rot (BER). It is caused by a lack of calcium and other ingredients in the growing media. Adding 1 pound of Dolomite to the growing media before planting (as in the instructions) can help prevent BER from forming. In the event BER still presents itself, mix ¼ cup of hydrated lime or pickling lime with one gallon of water and add it to the reservoir the next time you fill your EarthBox with water. Do this only once and pick off the affected tomatoes. This may also occur with other “seeded” vegetables, such as peppers.

Rewards Program


What is the EarthBox® Rewards Program?

The EarthBox® Rewards Program is a free to join loyalty program where you earn points for various activities that you can redeem for discount codes on your purchases at EarthBox.com. Note you must create an account and be signed in to earn points for any point rewarding activity.

How do I earn reward points?

All the ways that you can earn reward points are listed under the "Ways To Earn Points" section on our Rewards Program page. We'll be adding more ways to earn points as time goes on, plus be on the lookout for special double or triple point days! Please note you must be signed in to earn points.

Where can I see how many points I have accumulated?

Your point balance is shown at the top of the Rewards Program page after you sign in to your EarthBox.com account OR by clicking the green icon in the bottom left corner of any page.

When can I redeem my points?

You can redeem your points when you reach the first reward level, which is currently 500 points for a $5 off $35+ discount code.

How do I redeem my points?

After you've reached 500+ points, you can redeem your points by clicking the green icon in the bottom left corner of any page OR by clicking the redeem button under the "Redeem for Discount Codes" section on our Rewards Program page. You must be signed in to your account to redeem a reward.

After successfully redeeming your points, you'll receive a unique discount code that can be applied to any one order as long as your order total is above the stated amount. When you're ready to apply the code to an order, simply click the "Apply" button OR copy/paste the code into the discount code field at checkout.

Can I combine my reward points with other promo codes?

No. Reward codes cannot be combined with any other discount or promo codes and are one-time use only. Please refer to our Promotions page for more information.

Do my reward points or redeemed rewards expire?

Points expire after 2 years of inactivity. This means that if you go 2 years without earning or redeeming points, you'll lose your accumulated points. Don't worry, you'll receive an email notification before your points are about to expire.

Redeemed reward codes expire after 2 years. Don't worry, you'll receive an email notification prior to your unique discount code expiring if you forgot to use it.

How do I Reach the EarthBox® VIP Tier?

Your account will automatically reach EarthBox® VIP status whenever you've spent $500+ over the past 365 days.

What are the Benefits of Being an EarthBox® VIP?

As of now, the benefits of being an EarthBox® VIP are earning double points for every dollar spent and a one-time bonus of 100 reward points assigned to your account. We're constantly looking at ways to reward our VIPs, so expect additional perks as we evolve our Rewards Program.

Will I Ever Lose EarthBox® VIP Status?

Potentially. The VIP tier is automatically calculated on a trailing 365 day basis. Therefore you may lose VIP status if your spending drops below $500 over the past 365 days. Don't worry though, you can always re-gain EarthBox® VIP status whenever you have spent $500 or more during the previous 365 days.

What qualifies as a successful referral?

Your friend/referral must use your unique referral link to complete their first purchase. You may share your link with them directly, or utilize our share features to have it sent via email or via popular social media / messaging channels including Facebook, Twitter, and WhatsApp. Please note they have to be a new customer to qualify.

Can I transfer my points to another account?

Unfortunately not; however, after you have redeemed your points and get the discount code, you may give that code to another family member or friend for them to use. Just remember the code is one-time use and cannot be combined with any other discount codes.

How do I earn points for my product reviews?

You should receive an email from us asking for you to rate and review the product(s) that you purchased. That is the easiest way to be sure you're credited points for your review(s). Otherwise you must make sure that you are signed in to your EarthBox.com account AND must utilize the green Rewards icon in the bottom left corner of any page to select the products to review from your order history.

If you choose to upload a relevant photo and/or video with your review, you will receive an additional 50 or 100 points respectively. Note that you only receive reward points for reviews on products that you actually purchased.

Shipping


Do you offer free shipping?

We offer free shipping on all our Value Bundles.

All other products will be charged a shipping fee based on their total combined value in your shopping cart. Refer to our shipping policy page for more information.

When will I receive my order?

All items are shipped directly from our Lancaster, PA headquarters. Orders are typically processed and shipped within 1-2 business days via FedEx Home Delivery or USPS. An estimated delivery date is provided during checkout. You can also view this map from FedEx to estimate how long a shipment will take to arrive to your location after it leaves our warehouse. We do not currently offer expedited shipping options.

Do you ship outside the United States?

We ship internationally to Canada only. We recommend using a freight forwarding service, such as DHL, if you wish to order and ship outside of the U.S. or Canada. All shipments from our facility must be sent to a U.S.- or Canadian-based address.

Customers wishing to ship outside of the contiguous U.S. (AK, HI, U.S. territories, and Canada) will need to contact us during business hours to speak with a Consumer Care Representative who can provide a shipping quote to your destination.

Can I ship to a P.O. Box?

No. We do not allow shipping to a P.O. Box.

Misc.


Which payment options do you accept?

You can either pay with your credit or debit card, or use a PayPal account if you prefer. With PayPal, you also have the option to use Pay Later where if approved by PayPal, you pay over 4 installments with no interest. You can learn more about PayPal Pay Later on their website.