Homemade Earth Box Instructions


An earth box basically is a self-watering and self-fertilizing container that is divided by a horizontal screen with soil above and water below, providing the advantage of a reservoir of water that eliminates the need to water on a daily basis. Plants thrive in an earth box, increasing harvest and reducing the chance of competing weeds. You can make an earth box at home at less than half the price of a store-bought one.

Step 1

Take one of the tote boxes and stand the pond basket against it. Mark the height of the basket on the exterior of the tote box with a pencil, extending it all the way round. Cut along the line with a jigsaw, and discard the top portion of the tote box.

Step 2

Place the base piece (the bottom half of the cut tote box) upside down, and place the pond basket upside down in the center. Trace a circle around the rim of the pond basket. Once done, make another circle inside the traced one, 1/2 inch smaller all around, and cut it out with a jigsaw, a utility knife or scissors. Drill a 1 1/2 inch hole in any one corner of the base piece, and drill 1/4 holes all over it , spaced 2 inches apart.

Step 3

Place the pond basket right side up in the center of the second tote box. Insert the base piece into this tote box as well, aligning it so the hole is just above the pond basket. Because the hole in the base piece is smaller than the rim of the pond basket, the weight of the soil above it will be supported by the pond basket.

Step 4

Drill a 1/4 inch drainage hole through the outer tote box and the base piece, just below the top of the base piece.

Step 5

Cut one end of the 2 foot length of pipe at an angle, and insert it through the 1 1/2 inch wide hole in the base piece. This pipe will be used to fill the box with water.

Step 6

Fill the pond basket and the area above the base piece with soil, and add time-release fertilizer suitable for your plants. Transplant the plants into the box.

Step 7

Prepare a black tarp to put over the container. Make sure it is several inches larger than the lid on all sides. Cut a hole in a corner through which the 2-foot pipe will fit, and cut X-shaped marks in it for the plants to grow through. Secure the tarp with a bungee cord.

Step 8

Pour water through the pipe until it begins to come out of the drainage hole.

Things You'll Need

  • Two 18-gallon tote boxes with lids
  • One 5-inch pond basket (5" in height)
  • Pencil
  • Jigsaw
  • Drill with 1/4" and 1 1/2" bits
  • 2-foot long plastic pipe or tube, 1 1/2 inch diameter
  • Soil
  • Fertilizer
  • Plants
  • Black plastic tarp
  • Scissors
  • Bungee cord


  • Earth Box
  • craftingagreenworld.com: DIY Make Your Own Earth Box
Keywords: earth box, homemade earth box, earth box instructions

About this Author

Tanya Khan is a freelance author and consultant, having written hundreds of thousands of words for various online and print sources. She has an MBA in Marketing but her passion lies in giving her words wings.