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 container gardening 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® growing system:

  • 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?

You'll need 2.0 cubic feet (60 dry quarts) for each standard-size EarthBox® Original gardening system and EarthBox® Root & Veg™ gardening system; and 1.0 cubic foot for each EarthBox® Junior™ gardening system.

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

Note: Due to rising shipping costs, we no longer offer the EarthBox® Organic Potting Mix for purchase individually on our website. However, if you give us a call or email us, we can let you know the exact cost it would be with shipping to your location. Please realize it will certainly be more economical to buy potting mix at a local garden center.


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).

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

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® gardening system:

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

Plant Food / Fertilizer

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

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

EarthBox® Junior gardening system: Use one cup (or 0.5 lb.) of a dry, granular fertilizer. Use two cups if using organic fertilizer.

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

  • EarthBox® Special Plant Food 7-7-7 (Great for all crops)
  • EarthBox® Natural Plant Food 8-3-5 (Use for organic food production (outside of California); best used for herbs, lettuces, and greens)
  • Espoma® Garden Food 5-10-5
  • Espoma® Garden Food 10-10-10
  • Perfectly Natural Tomato & Vegetable Fertilizer 5-6-6

Vegan Fertilizer

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
  • Down To Earth Cottonseed Meal 6-2-1
  • 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)