EarthBox Tomatoes


#1

‘Early Girl’ EarthBox tomatoes growing nicely on the patio right now. I’ve declared all out war on spidermites this year. Currently on a regimen of neem oil spray every seven days. So far, so good. Not a spidermite in sight.


Spider mite infestation on tomatoes
#2

Consider “Green Light Fruit Tree Spray”. It contains Neem Oil but also technical pyrethrin and sassafras extract.


#3

What watering system have you developed for these guys? I notice some PVC pipe in the corner.


#4

@Richard, I’m using Monterey brand. It was recommended by a nurseryman and is doing a great job on the spidermites. Haven’t seen any leaf problems, leafminers or other sucking insects either.

@ChrisHashtags, EarthBoxes are SIPs (self irrigating planters), you simply top off the water through the black fill tube. Very little water is lost through evaporation because of the cover. It’s a well designed system.


#5

I wish my problems could be solved by a surfactant (e.g. Neem Oil) alone. I’m jealous!


#6

We’ll have to see how it goes. The Monterey brand is OMRI listed and not as harsh as other formulations. It’s used prophylactically to keep the critters off to begin with, and isn’t the best choice for battling an active infestation.


#7

It costs a manufacturer tens of thousands to have a product OMRI listed and it is no guarantee that the product meets USDA certified organic standards.


#8

Spider mites can be a pain, good luck!


#9

I like Earthboxes for growing tomatoes too.

Has anyone tried growing anything with Olla pots? I’ve read about them but have yet to try them.


#10

I’m giving ollas a try this year. So far so good. Do a search on the forum for a thread that I started.


#11

Tomatoes are setting fruit. Still no sign of spidermites:


#12

My tomatoes aren’t setting any fruit and I’m not quite sure what I’m doing wrong. The only plants that are getting fruit are my cherry tomatoes. I was thinking the issue might be underwatering since they get plenty of sun and I fertilize decently.

How often do should I be watering? Mine are in raised beds which I know need more water than in the ground but with the drought I feel guilty every time I water so I try to make sure it’s needed.


#13

What are you feeding your plants?


#14

I use Dr Earth Tomato, Herb, & Vegetable fertilizer. Not sure what it’s called, but I have one of those bottles that hooks up to the garden hose and I apply every two weeks as indicated.

http://drearth.net/products/liquid-fertilizers/home-grown-tomato-vegetable-herb-fertilizer/

It’s made a madhouse out of my zucchini planter but everything else has been lackluster.


#15

My tomatoes are not setting yet, but I’m way north, but man, my peppers are! I never had peppers forming this early. I have about 15 tomato plants, and about15 pepper plants this year. All grown from seed. i save seed too,


#16

My peppers are doing well too. I thought I was being smart by buying the Burpee hot pepper seed mix, but I’m realizing I have no idea what I’m growing or what they should look like when they’re ready for harvest. I’ve got a few good sized green peppers but I don’t know if I should wait until they change color or something.

I also have a giant green bell pepper plant that I started from seed on Thanksgiving and is really taking off suddenly. First time I’ve grown peppers so I’m excited.


#17

The Liquid version of Dr. Earth® Home Grown Tomato, Vegetable & Herb Fertilizer has an NPK of 4-6-2.
For the 24-ounce Liquid Concentrate, I would use either

  • 1/4 teaspoon per gallon of irrigation water every time you water, OR
  • 1 Tbsp per gallon of irrigation water once per month.
    For the 32oz. Hose End Spray Bottle, I would use it every time I watered since it dispenses at a diluted rate.

The product is low in Potash. If I used this product on tomatoes I would supplement with Sul-Po-Mag or Potassium Sulfate once per month.


#18

Toms can be hard to keep watered when planted in ground. That’s the beauty of EarthBoxes, the toms take as much water as they need. I use a cheap moisture meter on in ground plants.

I’m not a fan of water soluble fertilizers, I highly recommend Dr Earth organic dry tom fertilizer which is water insoluble. Works well in ground and in EB. Great soil builder along with mulch.


#19

A few of the components of that fertilizer are water soluble.


#20

Thanks for the tips, Clint & Richard.