Window boxes – A quick guide

Exteriors, General, Windows, Doors & Conservatories

Window boxes can be a fantastic addition to any home. Especially if your property doesn’t have much in the way of outside space. They can create a classic, quaint look to the outside of your home not to mention allowing you some extra room for getting green-fingered. There are plenty of old-fashioned and more modern styles available. windowboxWindow boxes, of course, are just containers attached to the house. Depending on which direction they face and how much sunlight they get – they can be very easy to maintain to a lovely standard.

Choosing and planning:

  • When you’re choosing your window box, be sure to think about the style of your house. You probably want the window box to suit the rest of the building. Treated softwood or hardwood boxes are easy to paint or stain so they can blend in beautifully. Plastic, metal, terra-cotta, or concrete boxes can work too, but are harder to personalise if that’s what you’d like.
  • Know the size of your window. A window box looks best if its length is within a couple of inches of the size of the window, although this isn’t a concrete rule. Feel free to experiment with different lengths. You want the plants to have as much soil space as possible. This will mean they have room to grow and also the soil won’t dry out to quickly.
  • Don’t panic if your window is an unusual size, you can always make your own window box! Using boards a bit of joinery know-how. Be sure to drill several drain holes along the bottom though – this is something too important to forget.
  • Remember that some window boxes are protected from rain by the building they’re up against. This will mean you need to check regularly for dryness and might have to make watering them part of your routine. Don’t fear if your window box is in shade – There are plenty of excellent shade loving plants plants that will still work well.

Installing:

Position the box below the window by a few inches. If your window opens outward this isn’t too much of a problem, it will just mean lowering the box. Use steel brackets every 45 cm or so. Fasten them into the siding or masonry with proper screws. Rest the box on the supports and screw the bottom to the brackets.

Planting:

You have a few options with planting your window box. You can either:

  • Plant directly in the container.
  • Drop in potted plants and fill around them with moss, bark, or another lightweight material.
  • Put plants in a plastic or metal liner that fits inside the box. With this method, you can rotate liners and add fresh plants when current plantings pass their prime.

This is the same options you might have for planting in any garden container. Cover the drain holes, fill with soil mixture, and firm soil around plants, leaving about 3 cm at the top for watering. Use routine good care on the window box, starting with regular watering, feeding with a liquid fertilizer, and grooming to remove faded flowers and leaves.

Be creative and have fun!

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