by A.J. Coltrane
The herb garden that came with the back yard has proven to be in a far from ideal location. We’ve had good success with Earthboxes in the past, so yesterday I ordered 10 more direct from the company, to go with the two that we already have. With shipping these came out to $31 each. (Retail on the Earthboxes with casters is about $54 — foregoing the casters and buying direct saves around $20 per unit.)
The nice thing about the Earthboxes is that they’re basically self-watering. There’s a reservior at the bottom of the box, and the water is drawn up to the plants by capillary action. Basil seems to love it, though I’ve killed it every time I’ve tried it any other way.
The plan is to “terraform” a very sunny slope near the house and group the Earthboxes on the former slope. (It’s steep enough that it’s kind of a hassle to mow anyway, so… two birds with one stone!) I’m leaning towards leaving the slope terraced, rather than leveling the whole thing out, which leads to the next point…
I also plan to construct or purchase some sort of a low-slung greenhouse/ tall cold frame to (hopefully) extend the growing season and increase yield, though a terraced slope is going to mean either constructing a custom greenhouse or figuring out some other funky solution. Once I have the greenhouse I can start throwing more money at cool techie stuff like this.
So…. what to plant? Recommended:
2 per box: Artichokes, Eggplants, Tomatoes, Zucchini
4 per box: Cucumbers, Melons, Squash (vining)
6 per box: Bell Peppers, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Celery, Chard, Greens, Herbs, Hot Peppers, Strawberries
8 per box: Beans (bush), Flowers, Kohlrabi, Leeks, Lettuce, Okra, Salad Greens
10 per box: Beets, Onions, Spinach, Turnips
12 per box: Beans (pole), Carrots, Corn, Garlic, Peas, Radishes
I’m figuring at least four tomato plants (two boxes) and at least 6-12 basil (1-2 more boxes).
Other than that…. suggestions?