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Questions and Answers / Rectangular Cages
« on: July 19, 2017, 09:41:40 am »
Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Full Member, chrissykr. This user is located in Chicago Burbs Zone 5a. This was originally posted on May 23, 2012.

My garden center had rectangular cages set up in some display Earthboxes. The fit perfectly so I bought two. Is there anything I need to hold them in place other than the prongs that go into the box. I have no idea if these will work well or not but they said they can't keep them in stock. They said all the EB users buy them. I got the two display ones and they seem pretty nice. The have locks on them to keep them open and they are pretty heavy gauge metal. They are not flimsy and they are 30 inches.

Questions and Answers / Graft Tomatoes called Might Mato Question
« on: July 13, 2017, 11:49:12 am »
Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Jr. Member, jenny168. This was originally posted on March 13, 2013.


Grafted tomatoes, peppers an eggplant by this Mighty Mato is getting a lot of press just in the last couple days in Los Angeles.  They are going to be sold at many of the major gardens centers around town.  I wondered if anyone has tried them in the Earthbox and what your experience has been?  I am always open to trying new things, especially when they say production is 4 to 5 times greater.  Also, I wondered if the rootball is much bigger so that two tomatoes in an Earthbox might be too much?

Any thoughts on the matter would be greatly appreciated.  Thanks!

Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Full Member, johnthomasc3. This user is located in Chapin, SC - Zone 7. This was originally posted on April 4, 2013.
Short of having to keep purchasing new ones, has anyone come up with a solution for the little nipples that keep breaking off on these. I wish Earthbox would just sell the back plate with the 3 screws that has the nipple that keeps breaking, rather than to have to buy the entire sensor, at $14.

Any suggestions would be very much appreciated.  I am a long time Earthbox owner, and would love some suggestions if there are any.  I haven't been to the forum in awhile, and if this has previously been addressed, I apologize.

Questions and Answers / An Indestructible Staking System
« on: July 12, 2017, 12:04:27 pm »
Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Full Member, johnthomasc3. This user is located in Chapin, SC - Zone 7. This was originally posted on May 25, 2007.

I have six Earthboxes. Last year I had three with tomatoes, and I bought the EB staking system for each of those three.  All three broke with the weight of the plants.  The connectors actually snapped off on two of them, and the third was bent badly.  I am sure that they will be redesigned as I have already read.  If you are a do-it-yourselfer, and want to build an indestructible cage for either the old style Earthbox, or the newer version with casters, here are the directions:

I have made the best cage for tomatoes in Earthboxes that I have seen so far.  As far as asthetics, well no good cage will be overly attractive. Take fence wire that is about 4 feet tall.  My Earthboxes measure 32 inches long and 14 inches wide.  The cage will fit the older boxes as well as the newer boxes with casters.  The only difference is you will need to cut some of the wire and slip the finished cage over the wheels.  First, make a base out of the wire that is two inches on each side longer than the Earthbox.  Cut your fence wire to about 36inches by 14 inches. This will go under the Earthbox.  Then take a section of fence wire that is 92 inches wide by the 48 inches high (this is the height of the fencing material, if you buy it at a store such as Lowe's). You will fold the fencing so that the first section is 32 inches, then the second fold will be 14 inches, the 3rd will be 32 inches and the fourth side is again 14 inches. It will take some folding and bending, but you will have a rectangular cage that you either get some low gauge wire to attach the two end sides together, or if you plan it out when you cut your section, you can have long wires left on the end of each cut that can be used later for this purpose. One note of caution. The wire is very sharp, and will cut and poke your hands and anything else if you are not careful. Wear gloves and eye protection.  As you work with the wire, be careful as it can spring back and hit you.  Ok, take the first rectangular section and slide it over the Earthbox and attach it to the base. I have found that the tomato plants grow very high, so I have made a second section just like the first rectangular section and placed it inside on the top of the first section. I then wire the two together forming an 8 foot tall cage that will not have any problem containing two tall tomato plants. The final step is to cut the wire grids so you can get your hands inside to pick tomatoes, put a hose inside to fill the spout (I have a completely automated system using an irrigation timer box, automatic valves, with Mister Mister black hose going into each box and I set the timer for one minute for each box).  I would recommend grinding and smoothing the cut ends where your hands will go thru, as the cut ends are sharp and will cut or scratch you. It will take a couple of hours to make a cage like I have described, but once made, it will last for ever.  The only thing to remember, is that next year, you will have to undo the wires that connect the cage to the base, so you can remove the cage to work on your Earthbox and replant it.  Tools used: Wire cutters, Dremel Moto tool, Heavy duty pliers, aluminum wire for joining the sections, measuring tape, gloves, and eye protection.

Questions and Answers / Damage Control
« on: July 12, 2017, 11:46:56 am »
Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Hero Member, writeone. This user is located in Orlando, FL; Zone 9B. This was originally posted on March 19, 2012.

Shotgun holes in my eggplant and beet leaves appear to be the work of flea beetles. I've not see the bug itself, just the results.

Is there something that will control them without harming beneficial insects? So far, I've not found it in my research.

I got the green peach aphids managed with neem oil spray and manual smashing.

Now a black mildew looking stuff is forming on my pepper leaves. I can't find any online picture of pepper diseases that match what I'm seeing.

I sprayed the neem oil then about 4 days later sprayed spinosad on them. That was Saturday. Sunday morning, I noticed the black.

I was planning to use a liquid copper fungicide on them, but I wanted to confirm the issue. And determine whether it's too soon to use copperafter the spinosad? Now I'm wondering whether the black is a bad reaction to the sprays.

Any comments or suggestions on this would be great.

Questions and Answers / AWS Water Level
« on: July 10, 2017, 09:39:21 am »
Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Full Member, Jester. This user is located in Virginia Beach, Virginia - Zone 7b. This was originally posted on June 18, 2009.

This may be a stupid question, but here I go...

I have the AWS on all 3 of my EBs and everything seems to working properly now.  I have tested all the boxes to see if they are level and I also have tested each individual AWS sensor.  I've been having issues with my cucumber and squash plants, so I wanted to fill the EBs traditionally to see how full they were.  Well to my surprise the EBs took a lot of water to fill...  I would think the AWS would keep the EBs full to the top with water... Am I wrong or is there something wrong with my AWS..??  Thank you again everyone.


Questions and Answers / A Question for Experienced User's of EB's AWS
« on: July 10, 2017, 09:27:32 am »
Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Guest, kittyhawk63. This was originally posted on April 24, 2009.

With your experience, is it necessary to have the AWS supplied tubes stand in an upright position, or can they lean over to the side (corner) of the EB box the way the original tubes would "naturally" lay unless propped up by packing potting mix around them? I've noticed that if they are upright, they do not go down as far into the bottom of the EB as they do when leaning to the side. Will this have an effect on the "pressure" inside the clear tube? My 10 EB's are filled with potting mix and the 10 AWS tubes are leaning to the side (corner). Do I need to set them straight up and down? I have not planted anything as of yet.

Questions and Answers / Junior and AWS
« on: July 10, 2017, 08:25:00 am »
Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Full Member, agrif. This user is located in Alameda, CA Sunset Zone 17 USDA Hardiness 9a-10b. This was originally posted on March 8, 2012.

Does the AWS work with the Junior Earthbox? Does not seem like it will but thought I would ask.


Questions and Answers / Spider Mites Attacking Tomatoes and Eggplants
« on: July 07, 2017, 11:43:17 am »
Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Full Member, zenful6219. This user is located in Denton, TX Zone 8. This was originally posted on June 8, 2011.

I've posted this issue on another thread, but I thought I'd open it up again for discussion. I have tomatoes and eggplants in 3 earthboxes. I first started seeing signs of Spider Mites about 3 weeks ago when the bottom leafs of my tomato plants began to show stippled yellow marks. They eventually just dried up. The problem moved up the plants. Now, all of leafs on my tomato plants show signs of Spider Mites. I've done the white paper test and have confirmed them.

Now my eggplants are infested with them. Yikes!

I've been using the shower setting on my hose and spraying the undersides of leaves, a couple of times a day, but I don't know yet whether it's helping. I've also tried Dave's Dead Bug Brew, but the jury's out on that one as well. Now, I'm going to give liquid seaweed a go.

I was reading an article on by Howard Garrett. I guess he's a well-known horticulturist in Dallas. He states the following concerning Spider Mites:

Spider-mite infestation is a clear sign that water is not effectively being pulled up by the roots or moving into the plant. The problem can be caused by too much or too little water, chemically imbalanced soil, compacted soil or other environmental issues.

Liquid-seaweed spray is highly effective to rid plants of spider mites. In fact it works as well as or better than chemicals. Most mixtures that contain seaweed also will work.

However, the mites will reinfest unless you correct the problem that invited them in the first place.

I keyed in on the "too much or too little water, chemically imbalanced soil..." part. I've checked my boxes and they seem to be wicking OK and I use the AWS. The soil is moist like a well-wrung wash rag, so I think that's within EB standards.

I'm using potting mix from the "approved" list and mixed dolomite in the upper two inches or so of the box. The EB fertilizer is in a nylon stocking placed on one side of the box, away from plant roots. So, I believe I've got the basics of EB down.

I wonder what the more experienced EB'ers think of Mr. Garrett's contention and my question about whether the basic EB system is possibly causing the Spider Mite issue. Or, is it just the searing hot Texas heat that's sparking the surge in Spider Mite infestation?

Questions and Answers / How did Grafted Tomatoes do in EB?
« on: July 07, 2017, 11:35:22 am »
Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Full Member, OzzMan. This user is located in SE Penn, Zone 6B. This was originally posted on September 1, 2013.

Hi All,

Did anyone plant grafted tomatoes in their EB this year?

How well are the plants doing?


Questions and Answers / Giving Up on Earth Boxes
« on: July 07, 2017, 10:30:47 am »
Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Newbie, Reg Jim. This was originally posted on August 17, 2013.

I think we are gonna give up on EB's.  Last year our entire EB crop failed, total of 8 boxes.  NOW, that failure was our fault as we did not use the proper dirt. So EB get's a pass on last year.  This year is another story.  We used a premium "potting soil" mix (Dr. Earth Potting Soil) that was highly recommended for container gardening by our local garden center and in speaking with the Dr.Earth sales rep.  We dumped last years soil into our roses and started fresh.  We prepared our boxes exactly per the instructions.  WE planted 3 boxes of "String Beans".  The seeds are heirloom seeds that my wives family has been using/saving for over 100 years. The plants started out beautiful and climbed about 5 feet.  Just after the flowers dropped and the fruit started forming the plants started turning yellow with the leaves falling off.  In other words, it's dying.  We water "religiously" and they have never run dry.

For some reason, I can't post PICS.  Sorry

Questions and Answers / AWS Sensor Gone Bad - Can it be Fixed?
« on: July 07, 2017, 10:22:05 am »
Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Hero Member, potatohead. This user is located in 9A Desert Southwest. This was originally posted on September 3, 2013.

I have had a sensor go bad for the first time on my AWS. I do have a filter hooked up to the spigot. This particular sensor was on its 3rd season. I must confess that I don't soak the sensors in vinegar when I remove them for the winter. I just hang it all up to dry and then store it all in a plastic tote indoors. I discovered one of my boxes dripping a few days ago. The box with the sensor out is fine and is not leaking anymore so I know the box is not at fault.  The sensor flunks the iced tea glass test (won't stop even with the glass full). My plan is to just cut it off the tubing and replace it with a new sensor. My question is, can the bad sensor be salvaged for future use? I've read on here about taking them apart, etc. but does that really work? What I am I looking for?   Is it worthwhile to take it apart or should I just throw it away?

Questions and Answers / AWS Box Issue
« on: July 07, 2017, 09:48:57 am »
Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Full Member, chrissykr. This user is located in Chicago Burbs Zone 5a. This was originally posted on July 6, 2013.

I have a box and it leaks with the AWS. There is not a problem with the box itself as I have switched out the boxes. They all leak in this spot. I have checked with a level, tried shims, moved the box around in the same spot. I just don't know what to do. I tried a level on all four edges of the box and it says level.

I am leaving for two weeks and don't have much more time to mess with this. Any suggestions? I have tried boxes with castors, boxes with no castors. I am beyond frustrated. I have to have a box in this spot as I have no way of stopping the water flow and this box is in the middle of a row. We are talking about a lot of water dripping out of the box and it is not a problem with the head

Thnx, Chris

Questions and Answers / Broken AWS Pressure Regulator
« on: July 07, 2017, 08:45:03 am »
Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Newbie, jeffsui. This was originally posted on April 26, 2013.

I just inherited a 2 year old AWS system from my father.  I tried to set it up today and it seems like the regulator is broken.

There is a constant stream of water that shoots out the little hole in the top (as seen on the picture on earthbox site).  For some reason the forum is telling me I can't post links - but if you look at the picture under the website you'll see the hole i'm talking about.
Any ideas?

Also - what is this little hole for?  My dad suggested we apoxy it but I'm assuming there is some reason there is this tiny hole. 

Tips and Tricks / Plants Safe to Eat and Drink
« on: July 07, 2017, 08:43:08 am »
Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Hero Member, writeone. This user is located in Orlando, FL; Zone 9B. This was originally posted on October 6, 2012.

Gardens, supermarkets, and health-food stores are filled with edible flowers, herbs, bushes, trees, even some weeds that when steeped make delicious and healthful hot brews. Herbal remedies can be administered-and enjoyed-in many ways, but when boiling water is poured over herbs, the plants' soluble organic compounds are easily broken down. The resulting fragrances are an indication of the herbs' inherent therapeutic qualities. Teas made from your garden are a surprising departure from those brewed with ready-made tea bags. Be prepared for a fresh, vibrant, unfamiliar mix of tastes. Read more at

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