How to Plant Seeds in an Earthbox


An Earthbox allows you to plant a low-maintenance container garden in little space. The box is self watering, so only requires occasional refills of the water reservoir. Fertilizer is only applied at the time of planting as well, eliminating the guesswork. While transplants grow well in the Earthbox, some plants do not do well if not direct seeded. Planting seeds in the Earthbox is as simple as planting them in a garden bed, but they are much more likely to grow into healthy plants in the controlled conditions of the Earthbox.

Step 1

Fill the Earthbox with a moist soil-less potting mixture. Smooth the soil so it is even with the top rim of the box.

Step 2

Pour water into the reservoir tube. Add water until it runs out of the overflow hole in the side of the box.

Step 3

Make a shallow furrow in the soil for the fertilizer stripe, placing it where required for the type of seeds you are planting (see Resources). Pour two cups of dry, general purpose fertilizer in the furrow then cover with a thin layer of potting mix.

Step 4

Place the plastic mulch cover on the Earthbox, black side facing up. Cut an X in the cover where each seed will be planted, following the same placement guide used for the fertilizer strip.

Step 5

Sow two seeds per X to the depth detailed on the seed envelope. Generally, sow seeds to a depth twice their width except for extremely small seeds. Sow these directly on the soil surface then cover with a 1/8-inch layer of potting mix.

Step 6

Sprinkle each planting hole with water and wait for germination. Germination takes seven to 14 days on average, depending on the type of seed.

Step 7

Remove the weaker seedling if both seeds in each hole germinate. Remove once the plants have formed their second set of leaves.

Step 8

Keep the reservoir full of water at all times by adding water to the tube until it begins to come out of the overflow hole. Install the Earthbox trellis system if you are growing plants that need support, such as tomatoes or beans.

Tips and Warnings

  • Do not use water soluble fertilizer, as it will break down in the soil too quickly. Never use a potting soil, only soil-less mixes. Potting soil does not absorb water properly from the reservoir.

Things You'll Need

  • Earthbox kit
  • Potting mix
  • Fertilizer
  • Scissors
  • Trellis system


  • : How To Plant An Earthbox

Who Can Help

  • Earthbox planting and fertilizer guide.
Keywords: Earthbox, seeds in Earthbox, container gardening

About this Author

Jenny Harrington is a freelance writer of more than five years' experience. Her work has appeared in "Dollar Stretcher" and various blogs. Previously, she owned her own business for four years, selling handmade items online, wholesale and via the crafts fair circuit. Her specialties are small business, crafting, decorating and gardening.