Wednesday, September 3, 2014

I Cleaned Up the Earth Boxes

Have you heard of Earth Boxes?  These "Sub-Irrigated Planters" or SIP's are ideal for the urban gardener due to their compact size.  You can grow healthy, fresh food anywhere.  Even on a high-rise apartment balcony.  All you need is dirt, water and sunshine and you are ready to start you own little garden.  The EarthBox gardening system is self watering, sustainable and portable.  You can even use it to grow indoors!  Of course, if you look long enough, I'm sure you will find someone complaining about them on the internet.  But we are not going to get bogged down in all that negativity.  This is a great little gardening system and I would like to share it with you today.

We have several of them.  Steven bought them a few years ago and for the first year he had great success growing a multitude of vegetables. Due to his illness last year, our first concern was getting him better, so the earth boxes were neglected.  I thought it was time to revive them, so over the Labor Day weekend I did just that.  Here is my progress.

We began with some rather unpleasant looking, weed filled boxes.



And another.  It was time to get serious and get these cleaned out.  So I got started.  Our Earth Boxes sit atop a brick dividing wall between our property and the one next door.  This wall is very wide; at least fifteen to eigthteen inches wide, so they accommodate the Earth Boxes easily.

After a bit of tangling with the weeds, I ended up with clean, weed-free Earth Boxes.

These two boxes on the very last section of the dividing wall were left barren.  I am uncertain just yet what I will plant here.  I will let my mind wander until I come up with just the perfect plant(s).

You will remember the seeds we planted earlier this year in clay pots.  The seeds were a Christmas gift from BFF Bev.  We had good luck with everything taking and, although it is late in the season, I believe we can still expect to harvest.  I removed the seedlings from the pots and carefully placed them in each Earth Box.

Here you see the Cherokee Purple Tomato plants ready to be transplanted.  A very healthy root system.

Burgundy Okra.

And Burgundy Okra to be transplanted.

Finally, I got everything transplanted, mulched and fertilized.  Above is the okra.  In each box, I placed the clay pot in the right rear corner with the name of the vegetable.


Here is Ashworth Sweet Corn.

Rainbow Chard.

Cherokee Purple Tomato.

Purple Peacock Broccoli.

This year, I used Osmocote Flower & Vegetable plant food.  I have also used Miracle Gro in past years.  I have had good luck with both products.  I had this readily available, so this is what I am using this year.


In addition to my gardening in the Earth Boxes, our neighbor, Ann, planted a garden along her side of the brick dividing wall.  Ann got an early start and, as you can see below, she is having remarkable results.

Her cucumbers are as healthy as any I have seen.

A couple of her plants made their way over the wall.  So we agreed that it would be best to allow the process which had already started to continue.  So in two of the earth boxes, we are letting the cucumbers continue their climb up and around the support structures on the boxes.  Maybe we will enjoy a nice, cool cucumber salad one day soon.
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