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July 10, 2012

Window-box basics

-by Debra Anchors

The eyes are windows to the soul, it is said.  Similarly, windows themselves may provide clues to the character of a house.  Surely a home adorned with colorful window boxes is one ready to welcome us with open arms!

The primary advantage of window-ledge gardening is that just about everyone can participate.  Fresh potting soil, plentiful water, and a few dollars’ worth of annuals are all a gardener needs.  Apartment dwellers that complain of a lack of full sun can join in, too. Plants such as caladiums and fuchsias, as well as today’s astounding range of single and double impatients, stand ready to fill a shady container.

Tips for creating a beautiful and healthy window box –

v     Choose plants best suited to the container’s location; small dahlias, scaevolas, nasturtiums, snapdragons, and bedding geraniums in window boxes on the south side of the house, for instance, and trailing fuchsias, violas, and tuberous begonias on the east side.
v     Select plants with similar cultural needs (moisture and nutrients) for the same container.
v     Promote bushy growth by pinching back young plants and pruning leggy stems.  Deadheading spent blossoms will encourage plants to produce more flowers.
v     Plant closely to create a full look from the beginning.
v     Fertilize with a balanced fertilizer (such as a 16-16-16 or 15-30-15 formulation). Avoid using high-nitrogen fertilizer, which promotes leaf growth at the expense of flowers.
v     Never allow containers to dry out completely, as the soil will be difficult to remoisten.  If regular watering will be a problem, you may want to purchase a window box with a water reservoir.

Thank you to Gofflebrook Farm for the images.

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  1. I like window boxes but don't have any way to keep them watered. I'd have to take the screen off every time I watered them. The two examples above are beautiful! :o)

    1. Hi Tammy! It's so nice to speak with you again. I have read about self-watering window boxes but haven't actually tried those. That may be an option for you, but your garden is so full and beautiful I can't imagine a window box would be missed. -Debra

  2. Wow! wonderful design. Everyone mind must be fresh when they look this. Thank you.

  3. So COOL! This So impassive. Everything like a dream.

  4. These always make me think of true charm. I think I have always had a soft spot for them because in Germany (my birth country), they seem to be everywhere and are so beautiful. Great tips!

    1. Hello Michelle; I agree with you. I haven't had the honor of visiting Germany (yet) but I am certain I will enjoy its charm when I finally get there! -Debra


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