Rated 4.4 out of 5 by 180
Rated 5.0 out of 5.0 by DandelionMama Gardening for Dummies (like me!)
I've never left a Home Depot review before, but as I was contemplating adding a new box to my existing two City Pickers, I thought I should share my enthusiastic recommendation. My first box last year wildly exceeded my hopes and expectations. I've been trying to grow veggies in containers and a 4X4 raised bed with pretty awful results for years. I probably over planted the box: one grape tomato, one beefsteak, a bell pepper, a jalepeno and a (supposedly) dwarf cucumber. The yield of the grape tomatoes and cuke was unbelievable. They just kept pumping out fruit all summer. The jalepeno and beefsteaks did great, too. I had to fight the grasshoppers to get a few bell peppers, but the ones we got were fine.
I planted a second box with a summer squash, but vine borers got the best of it, as has happened in my raised bed previously. I don't want to use conventional pesticides, so I've just decided my squash will come from the market this year, but I will be planting both boxes with other crops, and maybe even a third. The boxes stayed outside all winter (I drained them), and seem to have held up just fine.
The only complaint I can come up with is the same as what's been said by others: the caster wheel housing is ridiculously weak. Expect at least one to break. But I didn't really move my boxes around that much, so it wasn't a big deal. I used an old set of casters I had laying around as replacements, and while they were apt to fall out if I lifted the box up, they were fine for rolling the box back or forth a short distance.
If I had a big deck, there's no telling how many of these boxes I'd have. One of my best gardening purchases ever.
March 20, 2015
Rated 5.0 out of 5.0 by AZMike Great container garden and great customer support
I have bought three of these 'City Pickers' gardening system. They work great and we're getting pretty good yields of vegetables out of them.
The second one we bought had two damaged wheels. (Actually, one wheel had a chip in it; and the second wheel broke while I was trying to force it into it's socket). I called the company and spoke to the receptionist. She said to send her an email with a mailing address and if possible a picture of the damaged wheels. She would take over to their customer support folks and get new wheels sent to me. Three days later I had my wheels.
Attached is a picture of two of the gardens. One garden was planted in November (left); the other garden was planted in late December. (I live in Glendale AZ). As you can see, they work great!
February 3, 2015
Rated 5.0 out of 5.0 by Mindlesslabor Works year round
I bought this item last Spring to raise vegetables on the back deck. Anything planted in the ground around my house was subject to being dinner for the deer and rabbits. I was pleased with the way it produced grape tomatoes and basil for my caprese salads. After the growing season I planted pansies so I would have flowers through the winter and they turned out beautifully.
March 26, 2015
Rated 5.0 out of 5.0 by maxdrew Great Patio Garden
I have 8 City Pickers around my pool. Last year harvested tomatoes, jalapeno peppers, sweet banana peppers, zuchini, green beans, peas, cucumbers, green peppers, carrots, strawberries and assorted lettuce. Produced more produce from those containers on a small footprint than tilling up a garden ever did for me. Make sure your tomatoes have lime and dolomite otherwise your fruit will get blossom end rot.
April 29, 2014
Rated 5.0 out of 5.0 by WorkingDrive Be prepared for an abundance of vegetables or fruits!
I bought City Pickers because I wanted to grow tomatoes on our patio at our home that had awful soil (rocky, clay, uneven, sloped, etc.) I followed the City Picker instructions to a 't' for prepping for tomato plants. I planted three plants, and their growth rate was incredibly fast!
Our harvest that year was 127 tomatoes from three plants that grew to 7-1/2 feet tall.
Keep in mind that the planter gets quite heavy once it is filled, watered, and growth starts to take off, but in the beginning stages with rapid Georgia weather changes (including hail storms!) it was easy enough to move in and out of the house to the back patio to prevent damage from hail and high winds.
I plan on purchasing at least three more for this growing season and trying other vegetables and fruits.
Photos: the initial planting and exactly TWO months later! (April 11th....June 11th)
February 7, 2014
Rated 5.0 out of 5.0 by Horsetail Loved it!
I live in an apartment, so all of my garden has to be in containers. I purchased this raised bed, as I wanted to get some larger planters so that my plants had more room to grow.
I planted two tomato plants (one roma, one better boy), three celery plants, and a few flowers. The plants went *crazy*! I had to buy a bunch of 5' tall bamboo supports so that my plants could hold the weight of all the tomatoes I grew.
The celery did really well. I still had them until we had a major ice storm and got down to below 0 with the wind chill. I had my plants covered, but two of the three died. One made it through it all and is still with me now (mid March). I've had the plant almost a year now.
The flowers were great for attracting pollinators to my tomato plants.
I don't know if they have changed it, but my cover was similar to a plastic bag. I used it at first, but my plants just were not doing well. I took it off and the plants took off like crazy. The cover would just get moved around by the winds we have, which would then damage my small plants.
March 13, 2014
Rated 5.0 out of 5.0 by Tanager Great for a sidewalk garden or urban farm!
I’ve had my City Pickers planted for seven weeks now and absolutely love them. I bought four, then added a fifth for more salad veggies. You can see the progress from week to week in my video. I live in a condo where the only direct sun is in the afternoon on the front sidewalk and along the side of the building. City Pickers work wonderfully there because they are attractive and easy to keep neat, very quick to water, give just the right amount of water to the plants, and hardly drain at all onto the sidewalk (you stop watering as soon as a few drops squirt out the overflow holes), so they really save on water. The wheels are extremely helpful for moving them into place once the potting mix has been added.
Because the plants are up off the ground away from bugs and slugs, I’ve had very little insect damage. The leafy greens are beautiful and grow very fast. I love stepping out my front door and snapping off a few leaves for salads or green smoothies. Pretty soon I’ll be planting tomatoes and squash. I set a pair of black metal garden obelisks on top of one planter to use as an attractive snap pea trellis – they may work as a tomato cage, too.
A few suggestions: Check the overflow holes before planting to make sure they are not blocked by casting extrusions. If they are, use a skewer or chopstick to open them. The wheels can be difficult to install – some are tight, some are loose. If you have problems, try swapping the wheels and see if that helps. I broke a wheel and got a quick replacement from the very helpful Emsco customer service. They know about the wheel problem and are working on it. For now, if a wheel is hard to insert, they recommend holding a block of wood over the wheel and using a hammer to tap it in.
I’ve tried both transplants and direct seeding. The transplants generally worked better, and for the number of plants you’ll probably be using, the cost is not that different. The top layer of soil is a little dry for the seeds, so you’ll need to top water the soil to get them started. Once their roots grow down a few inches into the soil, they take off. I made my own organic potting mix with peat moss, perlite, compost, worm castings and minerals, plus dolomite lime and organic fertilizer. Later I found an organic potting mix that has practically the same composition (without a lot of bark dust, which doesn’t wick moisture well), so I’ll be using that from now on.
Initially I used the mulch covers, but on a hot sunny day, some of the plants wilted badly, so I removed them. I’ll probably use them again for the tomatoes. Last year’s mulch covers with the sewn on elastic work much better than the plastic sheets with big rubber bands that they are including this year, so I used their plastic sheets and sewed elastic onto them myself, just like fitted bed sheets.
The one thing I don't like about the City Pickers (and all self-watering planters) is that they are not intended for winter use – the water in the reservoir could freeze and crack them. So as an experiment, I made a drain hole in the bottom of one that I can close during the warm growing season and open to drain the reservoir in the winter. With the drain open, it becomes a regular planter that should survive overwintering. I’ll try growing winter hardy plants such as kale and see how it does.
I've been very pleased with the City Pickers so far!
May 18, 2014
Rated 5.0 out of 5.0 by Grumpy This is a great Way to Garden!!!
I advise you to pull up on the tie wrapped black tray and pull out the instruction sheet while you're still in the Home Depot. You can then figure out the correct potting mix, lime additive and vegtable fertilizer needed during the set up. If a wheel stem doesn't snap in as supposed to, just wrap a bit of the packing cellophane around stem and it will be tight when inserted. I put eight starter tomatoes in and will leave in front of patio door for now while we finish out this lingering winter of April 2013'. Second unit set up and waiting for cucumber starters to arrive at my Home Depot in Seabrook New Hampshire.
April 14, 2013