How to Make an Earth Box!





Introduction: How to Make an Earth Box!

materials: rubbermaid tub; 1/2" pvc pipe approx 18" - 24" long; six plastic flower pots (the kind your plants come in when you buy them) of the same size, dremel or small saw or big scissors, dirt, water, nail or drill, plastic garbage bag, granular fertilizer.

Step 1: Step 1

an earth box is basically a big tub with a water reservoir in the bottom. i used a BIG rubbermaid tub i bought on clearance in january for next to nuthin' at walmart. you'll need six pots or so, the plastic kind plants come in when you buy them, to be the support under the floor of the box. take the lid and trace around the mouth of the pots on opposite diagonal corners. also make a small circle the circumference of the pvc pipe.

Step 2: Step 2

cut out these holes. ALSO, around the inner rim of the lid, cut the lid out so the rail that clips onto the edge of the box remains intact. the center of the lid will act as the floor of the box, resting on top of the pots, holding the dirt. place the center of the lid inside the box on top of the pots. arrange the pots so two of them are situated underneath the large holes. this is also a good time to punch or drill holes in the side, level with the "floor," for drainage. i did approx four holes per side.

Step 3: Step 3

insert pvc pipe! best if it's angled. now time to fill the tub with dirt. first top off the pots that are visible with dirt. these will wic water from the reservoir up into the rest of the tub. continue to fill with dirt, watering it down as you go along so it settles, and fill it TO THE TOP. this is the only time you will water the dirt directly. the rest of the time you will use the pvc pipe to fill the reservoir with water. scoop a shallow trough lengthwise out of the dirt and fill with dry, granular, fertilizer. take your plastic (garbage bag, or landscaping plastic) and cut a rectangle about three inches longer and wider than the top of the tub. lay it over the top of the tub and use the rim of the lid to clip down and hold it in place. you will not remove the plastic again. you cut holes in the plastic to plant your seeds/plants and voila! you done it!

Step 4: Conclusion

these boxes reduce watering needs and can cost you upwards of $60 at a nursery. i'd check them out, tho, the professional ones just to see where they're headed. they use less dirt and water than i did with this tub, but i wanted to plant tomatoes and i wanted them to be happy.



    • Paper Contest 2018

      Paper Contest 2018
    • Science of Cooking

      Science of Cooking
    • Pro Tips Challenge

      Pro Tips Challenge

    We have a be nice policy.
    Please be positive and constructive.




    Just buy the real thing. People seem to forget that time IS money. Plus I doubt these Rubbermaid type containers will last in the sun like an Earthbox does. Make these two or three times or buy the real ones? No brainer

    I've had mine for well over five years. It pays to get the Rubbermaid containers vs the no name totes as the cheaper totes become brittle in less than 3 years

    I totally agree. When I bought my Earthbox 8 years ago, I think I paid $39.95 plus shipping. These plastic tubs last about 3 years before cracking and then falling apart. I was still working back then so my time was more valuable than the extra I paid for the finished product! My Earthbox looks 95% as good now as it did when I first got it.

    I agree with you. Rubbermaid containers will get brittle rather quickly out of doors.

    My father had many earth grow boxes. When he died in 2006, I got three of his. They still look unweathered. I plan to get more this year, as his are at least 15 years old and doing great! Most plastics don't last long in the sun and we live in the south. The smaller junior size will be easier for me to move.

    And they're not 60 bucks they're less than 30

    Is there no concern about toxins leaching into vegetable plants by using non-food grade plastics? For flowers and things we wouldn't normally eat, fine, but I don't know about growing food in containers that are not food grade plastic. Seems like a bad idea. Thoughts anyone?

    I checked into this before I bought mine and the percentage was so minimal that it wasn't an issue. This whole deal is for people who don't have land available to have a traditional garden. This box provides a contained space so at least you can have a tomato plant or two.

    Great job, It is to build. I built one similar to this about 10 years ago and still going strong. I use it only for tomatoes because they are so good in the wintertime. I added an automatic watering system to mine because I go south every winter and they need water while I am gone. I use indeterminate tomato plants and I change them every 2 or 3 years because the vines get to be close to 15 feet long.

    i'm using sterlite containers, similar to rubbermaid. the growbox which i have 3 of works very good for me. it is 28" X 14" and 12" high, it allows for 8" of dirt which leaves 5" for water. i don't know why everybody else uses less water. seeing as 8" of dirt works in it, i'm only allowing for 8" of dirt in my sterlites which are 24" X 17" and 15" high, which means 7" of water, which means i will be filling them less often. i saw on another persons comment that he used a 1" threaded PVC elbow, drilled a hole and screwed in it, it fit nice, i'll be using a 2" elbow, and a 2" threaded female if needed on the inside, just for the ease in filling. i have one other tote which is a large one and will be doing the same with it. thanks for all the hints people.