Get started on the EarthBox adventure in your elementary classroom or add more earth boxes to curricular packages. Each kit includes: Container, Aeration Screen, 2 cubic feet of Potting Mix, 1 lb. Dolomite, 1 lb. Fertilizer, Fill Tube, 4 Casters, and 2 Mulch Covers.
Plant… Instruct… Harvest
Choose what you want to grow, plant the seeds or seedlings in this revolutionary box and observe science at work. Children will experience the responsibility of caring for their crop, the thrill of observing the different parts of their plants, and learn about the growing cycle as you study the transformation process together. The wonder of life and hope of the harvest are timeless experiences for children.
The Science of the Earth Box
The unique design of the Earth Box is just the beginning of science at work for this self-contained growing system! The black screen at the bottom serves a very important function. Not only does it keep the potting mix from falling into the water reservoir, but it also holds the potting mix far enough above the water to allow space for air. The roots of a plant need air, and this is where they get it. Water only comes into contact with the potting mix in two places — the two square holes in the corners of the screen. The potting mix falls into these holes and fills them up. Earth Boxes aren't watered the same way plants in a garden are watered. Instead of watering from above, they are watered from below by pouring water into the watering tube. This tube leads directly to the water reservoir. The overflow hole in the side of the Earth Box prevents the addition of too much water, this hole makes it impossible to over water the plants in an Earth Box. The potting mix in the two corners acts as a wick and become saturated with water. Water then moves up through the dry potting mix by the principle of capillary action. When a plant absorbs water from the potting mix, more water is pulled up from the reservoir. As long as the reservoir is kept full, the plant will always have the proper amount of water.
During the set up of the Earth Box, fertilizer is placed on top of the potting mix. Just like water is pulled from the reservoir as the plants need it, fertilizer is pulled from the top of the potting mix. The plastic cover that comes with your kit is another important feature. It keeps rain out, helps prevent evaporation, helps keep insects and other pests out of the potting mix and prevents weeds from growing in the Earth Box.
The success of growing plants in an Earth Box is based on numerous scientific principles that can be investigated in further detail in the Earth Box Curriculum Support Packages.