Spending time in the garden on a quiet, sunny morning is a blessing of Springtime. I relish the solitude, as well as the work. It’s honest work after all. Let yourself be present as the sleeping garden awakens. There’s a promise of hope on the cool breeze as it gently tosses the fragile top leafs of newly germinated seedlings. Possibilities run untethered in our mind’s eye as we envision a thriving summer garden. Gardening is a cherished refuge of mine, a place where I escape to experience a moment of serenity. No words are necessary and manicures are not recommended.
Truth be told, I have also experienced frustration and total defeat in the garden. My last attempt at growing tomatoes in a container ended badly. However, I have risen to the occasion once more, armed with research and innovation. The solution? Self-watering containers. Tomatoes can get very stressed when the environment within the confines of a pot is constantly fluctuating between flood or drought conditions. Providing an available source of water for the roots to tap solves this stressful dilemma. I spent time checking out several possible routes and ended up purchasing an EarthBox. The EarthBox was created by a farmer who brought a lifetime of experience to the design table. Even the most urban of environments and tiniest of spaces can support the time-honored tradition of home grown tomatoes. http://www.earthbox.com
As for what kind of tomatoes, I suggest heirloom tomatoes. As a history buff, I love the story of the seeds behind many of these old world plants. Stories of little Russian Grandmothers who brought tomato seeds to the new world, wrapped in a tattered fabric remnant. It’s downright romantic. You also get to completely side step that whole lab-manufactured GMO type of plant - robo-plants as I call ‘em. Choose Heirloom vegetables. Natural, historical and just plain good eatin’!
I ordered my Cherokee Purple and Pineapple Tomato, heirloom tomato plants from http://www.tastefulgarden.com
Shipping was prompt and the plants arrived in excellent condition. The plants were good-sized and already had tiny tomato buds. I followed the tasteful garden’s acclimation guidelines down to the wire. The plants spent a week outside on a back table that receives just a few hours of sun each day. They survived the transplant beautifully. As a side note, I also ordered two provence lavender plants from tasteful garden and these plants were equally hardy, good-sized and are now thriving in my garden.
As the growing season advances, check back for updates on my EarthBox tomatoes.
For today, I’ll share with you the step-by-step planting of my very first EarthBox. The product is excellent in quality and design. I ordered the full package that includes soil and amendments. I also ordered the staking system that was very easy to assemble.
I’m not messing around this year!
To begin, I assembled and attached the staking system to the EarthBox.
The first step requires that you fill the EarthBox reservoir with water. Note that the front of the EarthBox is the side that has the water drainage opening.
Add soil. At each of the back corners of the EarthBox, press down with your first until you meet the water; wiggle your fingers; now your EarthBox is “alive”.
Next, empty the bag of dolomite over the top and lightly smooth it over the soil. On the top right corner of the photo below, notice a black tube sticking out over the soil. This is where you’ll add water to the reservoir in the future. I covered it with old, reliable, all purpose duct tape to avoid soil falling down the tube during the planting process.
Add the fertilizer in a trench at the front of the EarthBox.
Spray the finished soil with a light misting of water.
You'll receive a plastic covering with your EarthBox. It helps manage the heat and prevents excess water from entering your EarthBox. Since I live in the southwest and heat is never a problem in the summer out here, I have the white ( not the black ) on the outside.
For more information on a variety of heirloom tomato plants, including the plants I chose please visit: http://www.tastefulgarden.com
Cherokee Purple, Heirloom Tomato Plant
Pineapple Heirloom Tomato Plant
Freshly planted EarthBox.
For more in depth information regarding the EarthBox including the science behind the design, explanation on soil amendments and DIY videos visit: http://www.EarthBox.com
Happy Spring Gardening!
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