DIY Home + Garden

Published on August 5th, 2009 | by Becky Striepe

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DIY Gardening: Make Your Own Earth Box

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Container gardening is a great way to grow your own veggies, even in a limited space. We’ve looked at making an upside down tomato planter. Now let’s make use of that patio or back porch’s floor space with a home made Earth Box! Not only does this contraption let you grow a bunch of veggies and herbs in a small space, it’s self-watering! Once you start to get sprouts, you just have to add a bit of water from time to time to replenish the reservoir if you don’t get any rain!

Over at Craftster, user AeonGoddess has a great tutorial with photos on how to build your very own Earth Box! She’s got hers out on the balcony of her New York apartment, and now she’s rich with home-grown beans, cucumbers, tomatoes, and even okra!

Notice that she’s also got potted marigolds to keep pests like bean beetles and tomato horn worms at bay. If you want to learn more about companion planting, check out this post over at Ecolocalizer.

The Craftster tutorial doesn’t mention making a cover for your box, a cover is a great way to keep pests at bay once your plants are past the sprout stage. To make a cover, you can cut holes in the plastic tub’s lid for your plants to come through or use bungee cord to secure a plastic tarp (or spent shower curtain liner?) with holes cut in it.

Do you guys do any container gardening? We’d love to hear your experiences in the comments!

Image Credits:
Earth Box Tomatoes. Creative Commons photo by Sugar Pond
Marigold. Creative Commons photo by kmohman



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About the Author

My name is Becky Striepe (rhymes with “sleepy”), and I am a crafts and food writer from Atlanta, Georgia with a passion for making our planet a healthier, happier, and more compassionate place to live. My mission is to make vegan food and crafts accessible to everyone!. If you like my work, you can also find me on Twitter, Facebook, and .



  • http://www.looklovely.net Pat Foster

    I have tried container gardening, but find I get better results in the ground.
    The problem is getting enough water on the plants when I am away for more than a few days.
    However, the earth box looks pretty good and I am tempted to give it a try next summer.

  • Rebecca

    Doing this next summer (also bought and read the recommended book from the tutorial), thanks for the tip! I’m building wooden containers for mine to hide them a bit, and to be able to use cheap PP plastic containers that don’t do well in the sun over time. I’d love to do these covers reusing something. Any ideas?

  • http://tomatotaster@yahoo.com tomatotaster

    I was reading your post and just wanted to see if you’ve heard of the Grow Box? I’ve tried it and it’s actually a bit better and a whole lot less expensive! They hold about a gallon and a half more water. Check it out at http://www.agardenpatch.com
    Happy Gardening!

  • Frank

    If this works even close to the real earthbox than you saved me LOTS of money. I will let you know how it worked.

  • http://www.monroeworks.com/worm_farm_tips/worm_farm_tips.htm Worm Castings

    We tried self-watering container vegetable gardening for our fall planting here in Florida. It has worked out fantastic for us. Solved a lot of our watering problems (sandy soil). We even grew corn, it got 8 feet tall with 2 ears per stalk, 8 stalks per container. We plan to do all our spring garden with this method. Our blog shows pics and details.

  • http://www.monroeworks.com/ Worm Castings

    We tried self-watering container vegetable gardening for our fall planting here in Florida. It has worked out fantastic for us. Solved a lot of our watering problems (sandy soil). The water reservoir holds enough water for a few days. We even grew corn, it got 8 feet tall with 2 ears per stalk, 8 stalks per container. We plan to do all our spring garden with this method. Our blog shows pics and details.

  • http://gardenwife.com Gardenwife

    After making my own DIY Earthboxes last year, this is the only way I’ll grow veggies from now on. I planted four tomato plants per tote…And twelve pepper plants per tote. Oh, and tons of basil in another. They all thrived!

  • Anonymous

    The Craftster Guide does not mention is that your box cover, the cover is a great way for pest plants in the Gulf once you have passed the embryonic stage.
    Pond Liners

  • http://www.largepot.net/large-pot/railing-planter-boxes-new-trend-in-outdoor-decorating/ Planter Boxes

    This is the great blog, I’m reading them for a while,
    thanks for the new posts!

  • http://www.largepot.net/large-pot/railing-planter-boxes-new-trend-in-outdoor-decorating/ Planter Boxes

    This is the great blog, I’m reading them for a while,
    thanks for the new posts!

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