In This Issue
Retailer of the Month
Fresh from the Forum
>From Our Customers
Share Your EarthBox Experience
Join Our Online Community
At Dunmore Elementary School in Dunmore, PA, students take science very seriously. In fact, the fifth graders recently won a science award, and the funds have been used to purchase EarthBoxes! The boxes will be used in conjunction with their four World Food Day Kits awarded by the United Nations.
Assistant Principal Margaret Hart will be overseeing this important EarthBox growing project. "The Dunmore Elementary Center is honored and privileged to be a part of The World Food Day initiative to grow locally and think globally," notes Mrs. Hart.
The EarthBoxes will be placed on the side of the school building, so they get optimum sunlight. Enough Valmaine lettuce will be grown and harvested to feed their entire school community -- 822 mouths in all!
For information on starting your own EarthBox project, click here or contact our Education Department at 1-800-821-8838, ext. 8348 or 8369.
If you would like to support the World Food Day campaign with a project in your local school or community, we invite you to click here for more information.
This month's feature is Captain Jack's Deadbug Brew, a super-effective and all-natural insecticide. You can use it on fruits, vegetables, berries, citrus, grapes, nut trees, and ornamentals to kill bagworms, borers, beetles, caterpillars, codling moths, gypsy moths, loopers, leaf miners, spider mites, tent caterpillars, thrips, and more.
Deadbug Brew contains Spinosad, an insecticide first isolated from a naturally occurring soil dwelling bacterium that was collected on a Caribbean island -- from, of all places, an abandoned rum distillery!
2012 Educational Packages
Our 2012 Educational Packages are still available for purchase, and this is a great time to start planning for the fall semester.
These STEM-based plans (for early learners up to elementary, middle, and high school students) are ideal for teaching the art and science of horticulture. They make it a snap to illustrate where food comes from and what it takes to produce it -- a process that's rather mysterious to many students these days. Click here to learn more!
We Have a Winner!
We've chosen the latest winner in our ongoing photo contest! In these two photos, Rita Millet of San Carlos, California shows off the Before and After images of her EarthBox garden.
"This is my first year of using EarthBox," says Rita. "Here are some pictures from "Then" (when I first got my boxes the end of April) and "Now," after adding an EarthBox Junior and another large one, along with the Automatic Watering System, on May 21, 2012.
"Wow! I can't believe how fast everything has grown. I'm already thinking about how I'll do it next year! This has been so gratifying -- it makes it so worthwhile to do your own, and do it organically just the way you like it!"
Photo of the Month Contest
Want to win a $25 EarthBox gift certificate? Just send us your EarthBox success photos with the word "contest" in the subject line of your email, and you could be our next winner!
Please make sure your image is in .JPG format and at least 640×480 pixels or 5 x 7 inches at 72 dpi. We'll pick a new winner every month, and post the entry in an upcoming issue.
We hope this newsletter finds you well!
It's the height of the season for many EarthBox growers, but the insects are also out in force. As your plants mature, you'll need to keep a close eye out for insects, and act quickly if you spot them. In this issue, we'll cover some helpful tips for dealing with bad bugs -- not just with natural insecticides, but also with good bugs who'll fight on your side.
||Harmful Insects: Identification and Control
Even given ideal growing conditions and care from the most diligent of gardeners (as EarthBox growers tend to be), it's possible for the balance of nature to go slightly out of whack in a garden. For example, there are always hungry insects lurking in the shadows, licking their (figurative) lips and ready to dine on your plants at a moment's notice. So in this newsletter, we'll focus on insect-related problems and natural treatments to help you regain your garden's balance -- including beneficial bugs that will fight the ones intent on damaging your plants.
Detection and Identification
Early detection is your first line of defense against harmful insects, so inspect your plants often for signs of distress. Keep a magnifying glass handy, to help you see the insects that are too small to easily detect otherwise.
Once they appear, proper identification of troublesome bugs is the key to fast and effective treatment/eradication. We can help you identify over 25 insects; most on our list are harmful, but some are beneficial (remember, not all bugs are bad guys). Take a look at What's The Bug to help you pinpoint your find.
Another good way to identify a bug is to bag one of the insects and take it to a local nursery or your County Extension Agent for identification and treatment options, if necessary.
Beneficial Insects to the Rescue
One of the most effective, natural, and cost-efficient ways to fight the bad bugs is to enlist the help of beneficial insects. Our entire army of plant sentries is perfectly safe around people and pets -- but those harmful insects had better watch out!
If your EarthBoxes are in enclosed areas, such as greenhouses and netted/screened structures, you can release the good bug troops right away. If your EarthBoxes are outside, you may want to consider deploying an EarthBox insect net, to help keep the good bugs in and the bad ones out.
Beneficial insects available directly from EarthBox include:
Praying Mantids, which eat aphids, beetles, caterpillars, grubs, grasshoppers, and just about anything else that moves. Because they can't fly, they'll stay in the area where you release them.
Ladybugs feast on many types of troublesome bad bugs, and are most effective when released at sundown (since they don't fly at night). They keep eating until the bad guys are gone, laying their own eggs in the process to ensure fresh ladybugs if the harmful insects return.
Green lacewings, also known as "Aphid Lions," can eat up to 1,000 aphids in just a day. They'll also consume other soft-bodied problem insects.
Beneficial nematodes feed on more than 200 different kinds of soil dwelling and wood-boring insects, including grubs, fleas, Japanese beetles, gnat larvae, cutworms, and weevils.
Other Insect Treatment Options
In addition to the beneficial bugs discussed above, we offer a number of effective topical treatments against insect damage.
For Tomatoes and Vegetables. Bonide Tomato & Vegetable RX 3-in-1 prevents and controls both insect and disease outbreaks. It works against all stages of insect life cycles, from egg to adult, so timing isn't critical for control. In fact, it can be used right up to day of harvest. This product contains natural, botanical extract of Neem oil, and is not only approved for organic gardening, but also endorsed by organic growers.
For Fruits, Vegetables, Berries, Citrus, Grapes, Nuts and Ornamentals. Captain Jack's Deadbug Brew kills bagworms, borers, beetles, caterpillars, codling moths, gypsy moths, loopers, leaf miners, spider mites, tent caterpillars, thrips, and more.
For Houseplants, Vegetables, Flowers, and Fruits. Bonide Insecticidal Soap uses potassium fatty acids derived from plants to kill insects on contact. This patented formula does not persist in the environment, and can be used right up to the day of harvest. It's preferred by organic gardeners, because it contains no flammable solvents or animal fatty acids like other brands.
Disease Control. If you see plant damage but no bugs are evident, and you need help identifying the problems and finding treatment suggestions, click here. In addition to insect treatments, we also carry products to control common plant diseases you're likely to face.
If harmful insects have gotten out of hand in your garden, step in and restore the natural balance with the proper treatment. You've made a good start by adopting the EarthBox System. Now protect your investment with our insect control products, so you can ensure the health of your ornamental plants, and maximize your herb, fruit, and vegetable harvests.
||Retailer of the Month
This month we salute Wannemaker's Home and Garden, which has been serving the west suburban Chicago area for over 40 years. Dedicated staff members at this family-owned and operated nursery help customers design and grow gardens, establish lawns, enhance outdoor living spaces, and add seasonal spice to their homes.
EarthBoxes are a customer favorite at Wannemaker's; many customers own several boxes and plan to add more. EarthBoxes are displayed in the seasonal department, and an EarthBox brimming with seasonal vegetables accents Wannemaker's greenhouse. Notes Manager Barb Weber, "We consider EarthBoxes to be a staple of our inventory. They have been a consistently good seller since the first year. Customers recognize the EarthBox name and quality. We have looked at EarthBox knockoffs at a lesser price, and the decision has always been easy. We stick with EarthBox."
For more information, hours, and directions, call 630-852-0700 or visit Wannemaker's at www.wannemakers.com.
||Fresh from the Forum
We all know that home-grown vegetables taste better than the store-bought kind, even the ones grown organically -- but have you ever wondered how the overall cost of growing them in your EarthBox compares to their purchase price at the store? Well, your fellow EarthBoxers certainly have. Take a look at this Forum discussion to see what they have to say!
||From Our Customers
D. Kaufmann tells us, "My greenhouse garden is now nearly planted. The purpose of the greenhouse is three-fold: 1) a jumpstart on spring, 2) a fall garden, and 3) wind protection. This is its first year.
"I'm hoping it doesn't get too hot inside. It has four side windows, and both ends have a 4 x 7-foot door that can be tied open. I put a screen door in on one end today that I hope will add to wind protection when the door needs to be lifted for temperature reasons.
"We just had three days of 20-25 mph winds from the south/southeast. I'm quite pleased with how the
plants look so far. Zucchini, tomatoes, cucumbers, snap peas, lettuce, sweet basil, and peppers. Nine of the boxes have Automatic Watering Systems; the two terra-cotta boxes, not yet. I'm trying to figure out what to do with them, actually, since I think they would get whipped to shreds if I put them outside. I'm hopeful this will be a good (learning) season!"
||Share Your EarthBox Experience
We appreciate your opinions about EarthBox products, and so do your peers. Because we recognize how helpful and valuable our customers' viewpoints can be, we would love to receive your comments -- whether positive or negative.
Here's the process: go to our website, click the category on the left column, and then click on the product name. Next, click on "Review this item," and start writing.
Thanks in advance for your help! We look forward to reading the reviews, and improving your EarthBox experience. So please, don't hesitate to post reviews on our product pages.
||Join Our Online Community
Join fellow EarthBox growers on Facebook for interesting gardening discussions, to find special EarthBox offers and resources, and to view photos from both us and our customers. While you're there, take a look at our new Education Department Facebook page.
And don't forget to check out our videos! This is a members only feature, so if you're not already a Facebook member, you'll need to sign up. Speaking of videos: we recently posted on Facebook about a call from a customer whose tomatoes have grown taller than the Staking System Extension Kit. He wanted information on cutting them back. Watch this EarthBox Inventor's Tip for the answer from Blake himself.
We also invite you to participate in our forum. We'd love for you to weigh in on any EarthBox matters that interest you, and show us how your EarthBox crops are faring this year. Don't hesitate to ask questions, because your fellow EarthBoxers are a wonderful source of information who will gladly help with any of your EarthBox issues!
To place an order, call us at 866-727-5532 (24/7) or visit our online store. We accept PayPal!
The patented EarthBox was developed by commercial farmers, and proven in the lab and on the farm. Our maintenance-free, award-winning, high-tech growing system controls soil conditions, eliminates guesswork, and more than doubles the yield of a conventional garden -- with less fertilizer, less water and virtually no effort. It's used successfully on a daily basis by commercial farmers, educators, and consumers. Distributors are also finding it to be a popular growing system.
EarthBox is a remarkably easy-to-set-up system that can be used to grow produce virtually anywhere. EarthBox systems have been incorporated into community gardens all over the world, enabling families and neighbors to share fresh produce, while minimizing work and expenses.
EarthBoxes can even be found in classrooms. Our EarthBox Pre-K through 12th grade standards-based curriculum can bring science to life, with hands-on cross-curricula lessons that teach principles of growing and nutrition utilizing the scientific method in student-driven experiments.
To find out more, visit www.earthbox.com. To request a catalog, call 888-917-3908.