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 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 Grow Box came in two pieces, the water reservoir and the planter, where you place the potting soil and plants.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Ok, I couldn't resist and did use the guidelines for planting in the Grow Box a couple of times.
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.
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
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.
Deluxe Grow Box, Self-Watering Container.
Homemade Sub-irrigation Planter Like The Earthbox & Grow Box.