Tomatoes can split, get mold, or even start to rot right on the vine! Read along to see what you can do to help your tomatoes be the best they can be. A determinate tomato will remain compact and bushy, and typically sets fruit in a short period of time. An indeterminate tomato will grow as a vine and set fruit as it continues to grow. Different types of tomatoes include slicing tomatoes, sauce tomatoes, or cherry tomatoes.
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Home Growing Guides Grow with us! Here at EarthBox, we want to make sure you are getting the most out of your container gardening experience. Click any below to learn how to grow them yourself! Artichokes Though Artichokes are usually grown in California, home gardeners nearly anywhere can have great success growing them with the right care. Artichoke plants are perennial flowers, but can be grown as annuals with plenty of delicious buds. You can either grow them from a seed or a crown--the latter taking much less time than starting them from seed.
Artichoke plants favor mild winters and cool, moist summers. If you see gray mold on the Artichoke leaves, simply remove the infected leaves.
Pole beans and peas are tall, vining crops that will need trellising support, such as the Staking System. Pole beans and peas continue producing throughout the growing season, allowing for ongoing harvests and fresh vegetables to eat with lunch or dinner every few days. Frequent harvesting of pole beans helps ensure that the plants keep producing. Since bush bean crops reach maturity all at the same time, they are perfect to grow if you wish to preserve several batches by freezing or canning to use at a later date.
Harvest any beans or peas when they are just full and average-size. Letting them get too large can result in tough, "woody" beans with decreased flavor. This nutritous crop prefers cooler weather, even a light frost, and do not tolerate heat very well.
Beets should be harvested once they are approximately two inches in diameter. Allowing them to grow larger will result in reduced sweetness and a more fibrous root. Your harvest from this crop will be versatile--beetroots can be boiled or roasted to be eaten hot or cold, thinly sliced and turned into chips with a dehydrator, or pickled to enjoy as a tasty treat at a later time. Young, tender beet leaves can also be harvested throughout the growing season for use in salads.
Any stems or skins can be used to naturally dye eggs a bright pink color. This cool-season crop grows best in spring or fall--avoid planting in mid-summer as hot weather can cause premature bolting in broccoli, but keep in mind it requires full sun to avoid slow maturity. Beware of pests and diseases popular with other vegetables in the cabbage family. Placing insect netting over your crops until they are ready for harvest should help keep pests at bay.
This classic, nutrient-rich veggie can be enjoyed raw, steamed, roasted, fried, or in soups. Like other cole crops, Brussels sprouts are a nitrogen hog, and require consitent watering and cool temperatures.
Brussels sprouts are best planted mid-summer for a fall harvest. These tasty morsels grow on a stalk and can be easily picked once the knobby sprouts are one inch wide, harvesting from the bottom first. Why Brussels sprouts are vilfied is unknown, as they have a similar taste to that of cabbage and are delicious when roasted or carmelized. Keep pests away with insect netting, and watch temperatures so your crop does not bolt.
Cabbage is a water and nutrient hog, requiring a high nitrogen and potassium fertilizer. Cabbage is ready for harvest when heads are firm.
It is common for a second smaller head to form if enough of the stem was left intact from the initial harvest. This versatile crop can be made into cole slaw or sauerkraut, stuffed, braised, added to soup, or sauteed. These Vitamin A-rich veggies require a fertilizer that is low in nitrogen, and high in phosphorus.
They do best when planted from seed rather than transplants, and thinning is imperative to prevent twisted or crooked roots. Carrots grow very well in peat-based growing media; do not require a heavy amount of water, but perform well in consistently moist soils--which make them ideal for growing in the EarthBox gardening system.
Once harvested, carrots can be stored for more than a month in the refridgerator. Freezing and canning are also great ways to preserve this sweet harvest for a later consumption.
When planting your cauliflower, choose a spot in full sun. If it is an unusually warm day, you can move your container into shade. Water is critical in the beginning of the season while it may still be a bit warm outside. Cauliflower is affected by pests like other members of the cabbage family. Repel flea beetles and root maggots on young seedlings by covering your containers with insect nets immediately after planting.
This versatile veggie can be used as a carb substitute for rice or cous cous, and can even be made into gluten-free pizza crust. Celery needs ample sun, plenty of water, and balanced nutrients for fast growth.
Celery can be started indoors before the season, or sown directly as a summer crop. It may require some additional support to keep the bunches together while growing.
While celery is hardy to light freezes, daytime temperaturess should ideally stay moderate. To prevent pests, use insect netting early in the season. Celery diseases are rarely an issue in home gardens. Once harvested, celery should be used rather quickly. Enjoy as a crunchy snack with veggie dip or sunbutter.
To use your harvest at a later time, it is best to incorporate your celery in some broth-based soups which can be frozen or canned. Greens are frost tolerant, so growing them as a late season crop is ideal. Planting greens can also be done in early spring for a summer harvest, but more watering is likely necessary for them to grow successfully during the summer heat.
Use insect netting to help protect from early insect infestations. Collards are best consumed in gumbo, braised, or sauteed. Remember to plant your seeds with at least 3 months of warm, sunny weather ahead. Choose a location with full sun and remember to keep the water reservoir filled for these heavy drinkers. Corn smut, a disfiguring parasitic fungus that forms large "boils" on stalks, leaves, tassels, or ears can be a major issue for corn. While delicious, corn has little nutrients to offer, but can be used in any number of ways to eat.
Always wait to plant your cucumber plants until the weather is consistently warm, since they are highly sensitive to cold. You can use frost covers to speed warming and protect plants from pests at the same time. Remove the covers before temperatures get too hot in midsummer, and to allow for pollination. Cucumber beetles are the largest problem with this crop. Cucumbers are best when they are picked at a small to moderate size, otherwise larger ones become woody and tasteless.
Consume your harvest within a few days, or pickle them to enjoy at a later time. Like other members of the Nightshade family, eggplants should not be planted until all danger of frost has passed, and daytime temperatures are consistently warm.
Be certain to use the black side of the mulch covers to speed soil warming and early growth. These globe-like fruits tend to produce very well in containers, especially if overnight temperatures are warm. If a cold spell is expected, use a frost cover to protect plants, or bring them indoors.
Check water levels daily, since eggplants are heavy drinkers, and fruit may become bitter of they do not receive adequate water. When harvesting, be sure to use pruners, since the stems will not release the fruit without destroying the plant. Even watering is important, especially during bulbing mid-May through June.
Garlic has very few pest issues in the garden and it can actually serve as a natural pest repellent. Like onions, garlic can be added to nearly any dish to add robust flavor, or it can be roasted and used as a savory spread. Be sure to let garlic bulbs dry after harvesting, and they will keep for several months. Head lettuces are lettuce varieties that form together like a cabbage such as Romaine and Iceberg. Home grown lettuce tends to be higher in flavor and nutrients than the store-bought variety, and can be very easy to grow yourself.
Lettuce likes a lot of water and prefers cool growing conditions, as it can bolt in higher temperatures. Growing nasturtiums near your lettuce can naturally help keep damaging aphids away.
Some are more hearty and shrub-like such as rosemary, thyme, sage, and oregano; others are more delicate and prone to wilting or bolting when subjected to extreme heat such as dill, parsley, cilantro, and chives.
Herbs keep producing as long as you continue pruning and harvesting. They can be used fresh or dried to add flavor to any number of dishes. Like a lot of root vegetables, it takes a full season to grow, over five months.
Best grown from seed, Jicama prefers very warm climates with full sun. Support climbing vines with a Staking System. Make sure to cut, or deadhead, the flowers to encourage root growth. Jicama tends to be a pest-free plant, due to the poisonous properties of everything that grows above the soil--only the root is edible, so it is very important that you keep this plant away from children and pets.
The root can be eaten raw and tastes like a water chestnut. A little bit of frost may even serve to make the crop sweeter. In addition to preferring cold weather, make sure your crop is planted in a sunny spot and you keep the reservoir filled. Kale is a nutrient-rich vegetable that can be steamed, baked as chips, used in soup, mixed into di, or frozen for use at a later time. Kohlrabi that goes without water will become woody. Do not overcrowd your EarthBox gardening system, as kohlrabi has large roots that need a lot of room as they grow.
Kohlrabi is prone to the typical cabbage family pests, but insect netting may be used early on to help prevent an infestation. This often-overlooked crop has a mild cabbage flavor, and the texture or consistency to that of a broccoli stem. It can be eaten raw, steamed, or roasted; or it can be used in stir fry or soup. Kohlrabi greens can also be eaten in salads.
Inside the Box
From left: Sphagnum Peat, Vermiculite, Perlite, Coir, Bark Fines A wide variety of other ingredients may be added to potting media in small percentages in order to provide nutrients. Topsoil, sand, and clay are all very dense, which prevents proper aeration and drainage that allow roots to move and grow. After years of testing, we determined that growing media that boasts "moisture control" or "water grabbing crystals" is okay to use. Sphagnum peat is porous and acts as a sponge to properly absorb the water and help disperse nutrients. While many plant diseases can be spread through the air or transmitted by chewing insects, some start in the soil.
EarthBox Instructions for Planting Tomatoes
Home Growing Guides Grow with us! Here at EarthBox, we want to make sure you are getting the most out of your container gardening experience. Click any below to learn how to grow them yourself! Artichokes Though Artichokes are usually grown in California, home gardeners nearly anywhere can have great success growing them with the right care. Artichoke plants are perennial flowers, but can be grown as annuals with plenty of delicious buds.