Frequently Asked Questions
Check out these most frequently asked questions around EarthBox and container gardening.
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. It holds just over 1 gallon of water and 1 cubic foot of growing media.
EarthBox Root & Veg container dimensions are 17.75" L x 17.75" W x 15.75" H with a base size of 11.75". It holds nearly 2 gallons of water and 2 cubic feet of growing media.
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?
What is the weight of the EarthBox when it’s filled with water and growing media?
What grows best in the EarthBox?
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.
How should I clean my EarthBox?
Although we recommend using the same growing media for up to 6-10 growing seasons, there are times you may want to dump it out and start fresh. Remove the screen and water fill tube and hose everything off. Then we recommend wiping down the inside of the EarthBox container with a 10:1 water/bleach solution (10 parts water, 1 part bleach). You can wipe down the screen and fill tube as well. After everything dries, then just follow the normal planting instructions.
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.
Do you sell gift cards?
Do I have to worry about weeds growing in my EarthBox?
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.
How many times can I replant / reuse the growing media?
We recommend reusing the same growing media over and over, up to 8-10 growing seasons. The reason for this is: 1) it’s a lot easier to leave it in place, and 2) it’s better for your plants NOT changing it each year. The continual addition of dolomite each growing season allows for better concentration and readily available elements to be taken by the plant, resulting in a decreased rate of BER in tomatoes and peppers. In our company garden, we tested tomatoes using a new setup and a replant setup, and the tomatoes showed less incidence of BER in the replanted system vs. the new setup.
We recommend scraping off the top layer of the old fertilizer mound each time you replant, and also freshen up the system by adding new dolomite, fertilizer, and ideally a little fresh growing media to create the mound on the top.
Note that if your garden previously suffered from any plant diseases, such as blight, be sure to get confirmation of the disease from your local extension service by having a sample tested. Plant diseases generally cannot overwinter through extended periods of freezing temperatures. If you’re unsure what your winter temperatures will be, you can opt to discard the contents of the EarthBox® gardening system, sanitize the container and all parts, and start fresh the following growing season.
If you feel the need to discard the contents of the system due to plant disease, do NOT compost or reuse elsewhere in your yard. Place the contents in a double-bagged trash bin and tie the bags in a knot to seal the contents inside. To sanitize your container garden, mix 1 part of chlorine bleach with 10 parts of water and soak each affected part for 30 minutes. Rinse well and dry completely before replanting.
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?
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?
What can I do if beetles or tiny black bugs are on and near my plants?
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.
My pet swallowed fertilizer, dolomite, or calcium nitrate, what should I do?
Our fertilizers, dolomite, and Tomato & Veggie Boost (calcium nitrate) are not intended for human or animal consumption. Consult a physician if swallowed. Keep out of reach of children and pets. Children should be supervised by an adult when using these products. Below are the labels which you can click on to view larger.
Is it correct to place only 2 tomato plants in the EarthBox?
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.
What is the EarthBox® Rewards Program?
How do I earn reward points?
All the ways that you can earn reward points are listed under the "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?
Why didn't I receive my points for creating an account, writing a review, or other activity?
Most point earning activities are rewarded immediately, but a few take longer to appear in your account. Points for creating an account may take up to an hour to show up in your account, while points for review activities can take 1-2 business days. That is because every review is independently verified, so we have to manually reward those points.
If you're still not seeing your points after those time periods, please contact us. We'll ensure you receive the points you should.
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 "GET REWARD" button under the "Rewards" section on our Rewards Program page. You must be signed in to your EarthBox.com account to redeem a reward.
After successfully redeeming your points, you'll receive a unique discount code. That code can then be applied to any one order as long as your order total is above the stated minimum spend amount. When you're ready to apply the code to an order, simply copy/paste the code into the discount code field at checkout.
Can I combine my reward points with other promo codes?
Do my reward points or redeemed rewards expire?
Points expire 2 years after your last order. This means that if you go 2 years without placing an order on EarthBox.com, 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.
How do I reach the EarthBox® VIP tier?
Your account will automatically reach EarthBox® VIP status whenever you've earned 1,500 or more points in the last 12 months.
What are the benefits of being an EarthBox® VIP?
As of now, the benefits of being an EarthBox® VIP are earning extra points for every dollar spent (5 points per $1 vs. 3) and exclusive discounts. 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 the amount of points you've earned in the last 12 months drops below 1,500 points. Don't worry, you can always re-gain EarthBox® VIP status! You'll automatically be upgraded again whenever you have earned 1,500 or more points during the previous 365 days.
What qualifies as a successful referral?
Your friend/referral must either use your unique referral link (which you'll only see if you're signed into your account) OR they must click the link in the email they'll receive if you share it that way. If your referral successfully claims and uses the referral discount code when completing their first purchase and spends over the required minimum amount, you'll be credited for a successful referral.
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, Messenger, Twitter, and WhatsApp.
Note: You must be signed into your EarthBox.com account to refer friends, and your referral must be a new customer to be able to claim the discount. Self-referrals are not allowed and will be blocked.
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 when leaving a review directly on any product on our website.
You may also optionally upload relevant photo(s) and/or video(s) with your review to receive additional points. Uploading 1 or more photos with your review will earn you an additional 200 points, while uploading 1 or more videos will also earn you an additional 200 points. If you review multiple products, you may earn these extra reward points for every product review where you upload a photo and/or video. Note that you only receive reward points for reviews on products that you actually purchased, and we'll publish the photos/videos at our discretion.
Note: Points for reviews and photos/videos can take 1-2 business to appear in your account.
Do you offer free shipping?
When will I receive my order?
Use the calculator at the top of our product pages or during checkout to find your estimated delivery date. Orders are shipped directly from our Lancaster, PA headquarters. They're typically processed and shipped within 1-2 business days via FedEx Home Delivery or USPS. 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.
You will receive an email with tracking information after your order leaves our warehouse.
Do you offer expedited shipping options?
We do not currently offer any expedited shipping options.
Why am I being charged a $0.97 handling + shipping insurance fee?
This fee helps offset the growing costs we’re incurring around fulfillment and packaging. It also allows us to continue offering free replacements for lost, stolen, or damaged packages. Although shipping carriers are usually the one at fault, they almost always put the burden back on businesses to cover those expenses. While we always take care of our customers, even if it isn’t directly our fault, these costs have risen significantly over the past few years. This fee also helps offset those costs and allows us to quickly replace impacted shipments.
How can I change or cancel my order?
To change or cancel an order, please contact our Consumer Care team as soon as possible (Open Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Eastern) after placing the order. We'll do everything we can to accommodate the request, but please keep in mind that our order-fulfillment and shipping systems are designed to get orders on their way quickly and efficiently. Cancelation requests must be made, and confirmed, within 24 hours of placing an order.
Requests to change an order will require speaking with a Consumer Care representative. For your protection, we are unable to modify an order in any way once the order enters our system. Modifications will result in canceling and refunding the original order, and a new order with the correct information will need to be placed. A credit card will need to be provided to process the new, corrected order.
How do I track my order?
Can I return or exchange an item?
Yes, if you aren't satisfied with your purchase, we offer FREE, easy returns and exchanges as long as the 60-day return window hasn't passed.
To begin a return or exchange:
- Go to our Returns & Exchanges page and go through the guided process to generate your pre-paid shipping label. You'll choose whether you want to exchange for a different color, get refunded to original payment method, or receive store credit. For exchanges other than color, please contact us for assistance.
- After we receive your return, we'll process it as you requested. You'll receive a confirmation email when that has happened.
Note: Any shipping & handling fees from the original order are non-refundable. The EarthBox Planting Kit is a final sale item and is non-returnable due to its weight.
How do I return an order that was a gift?
You may follow the same process as noted above. However, please note that will refund the original purchaser, and they will be notified about the return. If that doesn't work for you, please contact us and we will try to find another solution, such as offering you store credit.
My order arrived, but it was damaged, missing parts, or the wrong item. What do I do?
Do you ship outside the United States?
We ship internationally to Canada only, which requires contacting us to get a custom shipping quote.
If you wish to order and ship outside the United States or Canada, we recommend using a freight forwarding service such as DHL. All shipments from our facility must be sent to a U.S.- or Canadian-based address.
Can I ship to a P.O. Box?
We do not allow shipping to a PO Box UNLESS it is your only way of being able to receive deliveries. If that's the case, then you must email us via our contact us form or call us at 1-800-442-7336 so that we can manually place the order in our systems. That will ensure your order is shipped USPS vs. FedEx to avoid returning to us undeliverable. Sorry for any inconvenience.
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.
We also support some digital wallets, including Apple Pay and Google Pay on supported devices
Have Some Other Question?
Don't worry, just fill out our Contact Us form or call us Monday-Friday between the hours of 8:00am-4:30pm Eastern Time and we'd be happy to answer any other questions that you have!
If it's a question related to a specific product, be sure to check out the FAQ section on that product's detail page as we've compiled the top questions we get asked around each product. You may also utilize our "Ask a Question" feature on product pages to ask a specific question about that product which we'll answer as soon as we can.