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31.7.10

The Garden Patch Grow Box

The Garden Patch Grow Box is similar to the Deluxe Grow Box I reviewed in a previous post. While smaller and with a few more pieces to assemble, the Garden Patch's Grow Box is still an attractive option for small-space gardeners, urban farmers and container gardeners. After testing both of these Grow Boxes for review on this blog I don't think I can go back to standard garden containers. The "self-watering" containers make vegetable gardening in small spaces rather foolproof. The dimensions of this Grow Box are smaller than the Deluxe Grow Box, but don't let that stop you from choosing this version.


The Garden Patch Grow Box, urban farm in small space



The advantage of growing your own food in these "self-watering" (sub-irrigation, really) containers is evident when I compare the size and health of the plants to similar plants growing in regular containers and re-purposed containers in my edible garden on the deck.

Assembling The Grow Box
Putting together The Garden Patch Grow Box is really easy, assembling the container only took a couple of minutes.

The Garden Patch Grow Box

The Grow Box came in two pieces, the water reservoir and the planter, where you place the potting soil and plants.


Grow Box Spikes

The next step is to remove the four plastic spikes, these will come in handy later when you are adding plants in your Grow Box. If you've ever put together a model plane removing the spikes may bring back memories. You can push down the section that looks like a latter in the picture and connect it to the bottom.

Assembling the Grow Box

The most important part of assembling this Grow Box is making sure that these four pegs are in place to connect and secure the water reservoir to the planting section.

water wicking system in the Grow Box

When you pushed down that section of plastic that looked like a latter you created a chamber inside of the water reservoir. Fill this chamber up with your potting soil first, making sure to tamp it down. The soil in this chamber will act as the wick and water will be pulled up into the planting area's soil.  Next fill the planting area with soil halfway and water it in.

Filling the Grow Box with potting mix and watering Grow Box

After the potting soil in your container has settled fill it with more potting soil until you reach the rim of the pot and water give it another drink of water.

Grow Box Fertilizer

The Grow Box from The Garden patch comes with a burlap cover that you lay across the surface of the soil. Give it a good does of water and the casing will dissolve releasing fertilizer into your potting soil. The burlap cover serves several purposes.  1) To the burlap cover is attached a specially formulated granular fertilizer. 2)It acts as a weed barrier.

Grow Box Planting Guide

3) The burlap cover acts as a planting guide. Across the top of the burlap cover they've marked off where you can plant seeds or seedlings, or even whole plants. Just follow the guidelines and place your plants in each of the sections.

Planting in the Grow Box

To use the guides just cut a slit in the burlap cover. I'm a gardening rebel and spaced the plants differently because I've been gardening for a while and know what works. If this is your first time gardening in a container, stick to the lines.

Seedling Planted in the Grow Box

Ok, I couldn't resist and did use the guidelines for planting in the Grow Box a couple of times.


pinning down the Grow Box weed barrier

Remember those plastic spikes from above? Well, you use those to secure your burlap cover to soil to block the weeds and feed your growing plants.

Adding water to the Grow Box water reservoir

After you have finished planting all of the plants that can fit in your Grow Box fill the water reservoir. There's no way this Grow Box can flood because excess water in the reservoir will spill out. The opening also serves as an easy indicator so you can see when it need to be filled with water. The water you place in here is wicked up into the growing medium.


What's Growing In My Grow Box

Urban farming in the Grow Box

Here's an overhead view of the same Grow Box pictured above. In this mini urban farm (more like a jungle, eh?) is a one cherry tomato plant, two tomatillo plants, two ground cherries, two stevia plants, one mint and one pineapple sage.

There's an optional frame for The Garden Patch's Grow Box that wasn't included for this Grow Box review. As my cherry tomato plant threatens to take over my deck garden I see that one may be useful. I'll probably make a homemade tomato support cage out of bamboo stakes this weekend for this Grow Box. The dimension of this Grow Box are 28”L x 14”W x 12”H.  The water reservoir holds 4 gallons of water, it comes in terracotta (pictured here) and green. While I received my Grow Box from The Garden Patch for free, it is available (online only) for $29.95 (plus S+H) on their website. Now that I've tried this Grow Box and the Deluxe Grow Box, I don't think I can go back to container gardening in regular pots again. This particular Grow Box is great if you have a really limited amount of space to garden in and want to grow some of your own vegetables and have a place where you can place it in all season. If you're looking to purchase this Grow Box I recommend purchasing it through The Garden Patch who gave me this one for free to test and review. Aside from the free product I wasn't compensated by them in any way to test and review it.

Related Posts:
Deluxe Grow Box, Self-Watering Container.

Homemade Sub-irrigation Planter Like The Earthbox & Grow Box.

20 comments:

  1. Anonymous9:03 AM

    We've used both and like the GrowBox better. It holds almost 4 times the water as the Earth Box and the burlap cover makes planting a lot easier. Best yet, the GrowBox costs about $15 less.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I really want to get one of these. I love that it comes with burlap! Cool.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I've had a client with earth boxes. I'm glad to know that the grow box hold more water. The problem with earth boxes is the sub-irrigation dries up quickly in the summer.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I really like this, esp. the biodegradable burlap. It doesn't hurt that it has a cool print! When I teach beginners I always tell them what they should do, even if, in reality, it's not what I do. Which reminds me something a keynote speaker said once at some conference: "Gardeners have an insatiable thirst for knowledge and finding out new techniques. We read every magazine we can get our hands on, can't wait for the latest book to come out, or find a new gardening show to learn something new. And then we ignore all that advice and do it our own way, anyway!" P.S. I have the exact same watering can and Ikea scissors. :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thanks for sharing the information on Assembling The Grow Box. Would love to assemble my own grow box.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hello MBT, thanks for showing the steps in good pictures like this. The deep and big reservoir is a good feature. If my plants are in these grow box, I can go on holiday with no worry & more regularly! That burlap cover is quite interesting and defintely useful. I have not seen anything like this he he... ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  7. The burlap planting directions are so cute! Looks like a good planter. I'd love to try one!

    ReplyDelete
  8. @Anonymous,
    My next sub-irrigation planter to try is an EarthBox. It seems to have a higher brand recognition that the Grow Box and I want to see how it compares.

    @meemsnyc,
    You should this one is a little less than the other one I blogged about and pretty affordable.

    @liz,
    Thanks for the tip. I'll have to look into that as I've never grown anything in the EarthBox.

    @Monica,
    Oh, we're twinsies!

    @Ann Flowers,
    Hope you get a chance to do assemble one of your own someday.

    @Stephanie,
    LOL. Yeah, I remember those days of being able to travel, but being afraid to do so because the houseplants would dry out.

    @Laura,
    Hope you too get a chance to try one, it is pretty neat. I can't go back to growing veggies in regular pots after trying these.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Anonymous1:07 PM

    I never heard of sips before and decided to try the grow box. I ordered ten of them, saving shipping costs...I had to add additional support for my tomatoes , and I am not kidding, I needed a step ladder to reach the top of the plants! I have been a regular "dirt" gardener for years and have always had success with my garden, but this is phenomenal! I would have to triple the size of my garden and double the plants to get the same amount of fruit as I have with the Grow Box!
    Hey, Garden Patch, ADD WHEELS!!!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Anonymous8:46 AM

    We tried them both and the Earthbox constantly dripped water all over our new deck. No problem with the Growbox - it holds more water and is neat as a pin. The Growboxes were a lot less expensive too.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Anonymous2:10 PM

    I have been an avid fan of the grow box since it came out. The first couple years the covers were made of plastic and I have to admit I liked them better. The burlap covers curl in the box and they don't give you enough plastic pins to secure them. The also do not give you the pins in the replacement kits which means you cannot lose any of them. This year I'm not going to order the replacement kits. I'm going to buy my own fertilizer and make a cover out of some type of weed control fabirc that will lay flat.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous1:25 PM

      do you golf or have friends who do? get some long plastic golf tees problem solved.

      Delete
  12. Anonymous11:37 AM

    I have two grow boxes and have never used the burlap cover nor their fertilizer. Seems just like a way for them to get you to buy from them regularly, nothing wrong with that but I use my own fertilizer and everything turns out fine.

    How do people prep them for winter where there are freezing temperatures? The Grow Box people seem to just suggest you can leave it as is, but worry about the water freezing and cracking the box.
    Thanks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous5:53 PM

      You absolutely need to worry about cracking of the box! I have had 3 grow boxes for three years & have left them out in our upstate NY winters. One box we tried to repair with caulking/glue and it hasn't been able to hold water all season. We will be throwing that one out. As far as the new cages they sell...well lets just say I bought 2 and wished I had saved my money. My whole box of tomatoes fell over & if you saw how the cages are hooked together (not very sturdy) you could imagine what happened to our poor plants.

      Delete
  13. Anonymous10:03 AM

    Hi, I am a new in this field rather technology.Can any one tell me how many tomatoe plants I can grow in 1 container.Is it 1 or 2 or 3.I will be thankful for this.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, I've grown 2-3 determinate heirloom tomatoes in this particular self-watering planter and have had no problems.

      Delete
  14. Anonymous10:01 AM

    Do you still use the Grow Boxes? Did you ever try the Earth Boxes? If so, which one do you prefer? Do you have problems with mosquitos in the reservoir?

    ReplyDelete
  15. why couldn't you use a round tomato cage in these boxes? there are a lot of small holes in the bottom that it could fit into?

    ReplyDelete
  16. We bought 3 grow boxes. We planted Heirloom Tomato plants and are having spectacular success. I wonder what is in the Burlap? does anyone know? Has anyone used the grow box with success using their own fertilizer.
    Since I ordered the organic fertilizer from them I wonder if the Burlap has a chemical in it that I should not be using. Thanks...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous4:16 PM

      I'm also wondering the same thing. I am looking into getting some grow boxes. I cannot find much information on the fertilizer that comes with first purchase.

      Delete

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