Recommended Growing Media

***We cannot guarantee the success of crops when using any product that is not recommended below; or when using a product that does not meet the criteria for success.***

Potting Mix vs. Potting Soil

Depending on where you reside, growing media suitable for garden box planters may be labeled as Potting Mix or Potting Soil. Use the following specifications while shopping for growing media you intend to use in your EarthBox® container garden:

  • Growing media should be Sphagnum peat-based (70%-95%) with perlite or vermiculite for aeration and drainage. The first ingredient to be listed should always be Sphagnum peat.
    • Coir and Composted Bark Fines/Composted Forest By-products are not the same as Sphagnum peat moss, and should be avoided as the main ingredient when selecting growing media.
  • Growing media should be light and fluffy when dry, and spongy when wet.
  • DO NOT use growing media with these ingredients: Rock, clay, sand, topsoil, compost

How much growing media do I need for my EarthBox gardening container?

You'll need 2.0 cubic feet (60 dry quarts) for each standard-size EarthBox Original gardening container system and EarthBox Root & Veg gardening container system; and 1.0 cubic foot for each EarthBox Junior herb planter box. ALWAYS pre-moisten your growing media before adding it to the EarthBox planting box. It is recommended to reuse your growing media for 8-10 growing seasons before replacing it.

The following brands have been tested and are recommended for growing in the EarthBox gardening system:

  • EarthBox® Organic Potting Mix
  • Lambert® Professional Organic All Purpose Mix
  • Premier® Horticulture Pro-Mix
  • Espoma® Organic Potting Mix
  • Baccto® Lite™ Premium Potting Soil
  • Miracle-Gro® Seed Starting Potting Mix


When you first set up your EarthBox® 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).

Use 1 pound (roughly 2 cups) of dolomite in the EarthBox Original or EarthBox Root & Veg container gardening systems. For the EarthBox Junior, use half a pound (about 1 cup).

DO NOT use hydrated lime or pickling lime in place of dolomite.

Agricultural lime should NOT be used in EarthBox planting boxes because it does not contain enough magnesium.

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

Plant Food / Fertilizer

For best results, use fertilizer with NPK analysis numbers between 5 and 15.

EarthBox Original planting boxes and EarthBox Root & Veg planter box gardens: Use 1 lb. of a dry, granular fertilizer. Use 1.5-2 lbs. if using organic fertilizer and any N-P-K numbers are lower than 5.

EarthBox Junior herb planter box: Use 0.5 lb. of a dry, granular fertilizer. Use 1 lb. if using organic fertilizer and any of the N-P-K numbers are lower than 5.

The following brands are suitable for use in EarthBox gardening containers:

  • EarthBox® Special Plant Food 7-7-7 (Great for ALL crops)
  • EarthBox® Natural Plant Food 8-3-5 (Best for herbs, lettuces, greens, and cole crops)
  • Espoma® Garden Food 5-10-5 (Use 1 lb.)
  • Espoma® Garden Food 10-10-10 (Use 1 lb.)
  • Espoma® Plant Tone 5-3-3 (Use 1.5 lbs.)
  • Espoma® Garden Tone 3-4-4 (Use 2 lbs.)
  • Espoma® Berry Tone 4-3-4 (Use 2 lbs.)
  • Espoma® Tomato Tone 3-4-6 (Use 1.5 lbs.)
  • Down To Earth Acid Mix 4-3-6 (Use 1.5 lbs.)
  • Down To Earth All Purpose 4-6-2 (Use 1.5 lbs.)
  • Down To Earth Bio-Fish 7-7-2 (Use 1 lb.)
  • Down To Earth Bio-Live 5-4-2 (Use 1.5 lbs.)
  • Down To Earth Vegetable Garden 4-4-4 (Use 1.5 lbs.)
  • Dr. Earth® Home Grown® Tomato, Vegetable, and Herb 4-6-3 (Use 1.5 lbs.)
  • Dr. Earth® Premium Gold® All Purpose 4-4-4 (Use 1.5 lbs.)
  • Dr. Earth® Life® All Purpose 4-6-5 (Use 1.5 lbs.)

Vegan Fertilizer

Vegan fertilizers are often difficult to find, and usually do not have the recommended N-P-K for growing in EarthBox garden box planters and container gardening systems.

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
  • Down To Earth Cottonseed Meal 6-2-1
  • Gardens Alive® Garden Plenty™ Plant-Based Fertilizer 3-1-4
  • Sweet Corn Organic Nursery: Vegan Mater, Vegan Pepe, Vegan Sea, Vegan Veggie (No NPK available for these fertilizers)