AME Foundation has been busy conducting horticultural trials on the EarthBox to identify local inexpensive substrata and fertilizers that can be used in the box. The trials are complete and the results are in.
Dr. Viswanath recommends the following blend of inputs readily available in and around Bangalore for use with the EarthBox.
- 1 part soil
- 1 part sand
- 8 part Special Compost
- 1 part coir powder
- 1 part worm compost
- 1 part Regular Compost
(Rooftop terrace garden boxes use a 1-1-8 formula. Ground garden boxes use a 1-1-4 formula because they can use more sand and soil as there are no weight issues.)
EarthBox® Preparation Process
- 1 to 2 inches of coir (outside fiber from coconut) placed on the bottom plastic grate and put into the open corners of the grate
- 6 inches of Growing Medium
- Remaining 1.5 inches is left vacant on top
Dr. Viswanath explained that, in his opinion, no chemical pesticides or insecticides are needed. He did suggest that organic pesticides can be used.
Organic Pesticide Recipe:
- 1 part garlic (50 grams)
- 1 part chili pepper
- 1 part ginger
Grind all of above and mix together
Blend water and mixture into a liquid paste.
Stir liquid paste and additional water together and pour into spray container.
In addition to identifying the appropriate blend of inputs that will adequately wick water from the basin of the EarthBox throughout, the AME team evaluated the technology for local use. They noted several advantages. "The chief of them are listed as follows:
- In the very first place the supplied boxes immensely help in saving water apart from saving labour. Because, watering can be done once in 3 days as against daily watering in case of other boxes.
- Its ability to support any local growing media effectively is another equally important benefit.
- Another aspect worth mentioning is that the boxes are comparatively light weighted. Thus, they provide easy portability which is prime requirement for terrace gardening
- Lastly – though not least – the EarthBoxes are compact and easy to handle."
We are pleased with the results and will now be moving into a second phase of testing. This time to use the box with different groups of beneficiaries to determine if the EarthBox and The Growing Connection program can be an effective tool in achieving food security.
Thanks for your continued support!