Planting a Window Box
Window Boxes provide your property with colour and can unite your home and garden.
They can be ideal for easily accessible herbs, and great for bringing the view of your garden just that little bit closer.
You can use a window box for loads of different things from growing Strawberries and summer fruit, to tomatoes and peppers, or just simply flowering plants the whole year round.
This blog is aimed to be a helpful guide for anyone planning to plant up a window box with tips and tricks of how to assemble the container, the types of plants you can use, the type of liner you can use and even tips on how to look after your window box.
Why a Window Box?
The people of Britain love our containers. We take pride in our flowering trough planters and care after our blooming hanging baskets, so it’s little wonder why we love filling our Window Boxes! Each one is an excellent little addition to our gardens.
What Type of Window Box?
There are different types of window boxes, each with different qualities in which you can use for different purposes. There are wooden boxes, home-made or purchased from Garden Centres. There are Willow Wicker boxes, boxes made from plastic, or wire and even window boxes made from wrought iron.
Some Window boxes are hung on a wall, where others are intended to sit on the outer window sill.
All can be good, so pick the type of window box that suits the look and purpose you desire.
As a general rule is that wooden boxes and solid sided boxes are usually good for top planting, and wire or wrought iron boxes can be used for side planting and top planting.
When top planting, you can plant all kinds of flowering plants or herbs and many kinds of fruits and vegetable plants.
Side planting containers can do all of the above, but you can also have plants sticking through the bars, giving a fuller surround to your window box.
How to Secure your Window Box
If you are not the best at DIY and your window box is the kind that attaches to the wall, there are a couple of things you need to know. When attaching the container to the wall, use wall plugs and screws that are adequately sized. (Usually use screws that just to fit through the holes and go to the full depth of the wall plug). Also make sure that you apply screws to all the holes. Any concerns about this, you should seek advice as you really don’t want them falling on anyone.
What Type of Liner Should I use to Line my Window Box?
Much like hanging baskets and trough planters, window boxes can also require a liner which contains the compost within it.
Some of the solid side (and bottom) window boxes may not necessarily need a liner, or may come with a liner attached, so there is no need to worry there.
You will probably find that if you have a container which has open bars or wire sides, then you will need to use material of some kind to line the window box.
The ideal lining material (as with hanging baskets) can be different from one person’s view to another.
However, the Amateur’s Answer Universal Liner is a great option for any open sided containers and gives excellent results. This is great for top and side planting. Guide of How to Install the Universal Liner.
What Type of Plants Can I put in a Window Box?
The choice of plants that you put in the window box is entirely up to you. Containers can be very good for a number of things. But, most people choose to have either flowering plants or herbs in them. The main reasons being is that you generally either want it to look good with the flowers, so that your plants are working to decorate your house. Herbs are often also a good choice for the people who like to cook. This is a great way to use only the very freshest of ingredients.
Vegetable may be a little bit more difficult to access, so many people prefer them in raised beds or ground level planters, but they can be grown in window boxes if you choose to do so.
If you are going to use flowering plants, see our other blog on the Best Plants For Hanging Baskets . This could be a helpful guide as you can use any of these plants in window boxes too.
How to look after my Window Box this Season?
To get the most out of anything you choose to grow, you need to prepare properly.
Firstly, whenever using containers year after year, you really need to clean your window box, hanging baskets, trough planters before you start.
Harmful bacteria and salt can be awaiting the healthiest of plants that are ready to be planted. So, it’s really a good idea to disinfect your containers unless they are new.
Secondly, use a good multi-purpose compost with slow release fertiliser to feed the plants for the duration of the season. A good couple of handfuls should be enough for your average size window box.
Thirdly, no matter what types of plants you use, you should read up on the conditions they like to grow well in. Some plants can’t take being in the full glare of the summer sun, so the location of the window that you are choose may have some bearing on your choice of plants.
Fourthly, consider frost. Most plants will be ruined by the frost, so ideally have an indoor location set aside if you are planting out early.
Water well, and take responsibility for these plants. Remember, you only get out what you put in!
Big Window Boxes
If your window box is extra long and you are looking to get a suitable liner, the Amateur’s Answer is an idea solution. We offer a special cut liner for any length of window box or trough planter.