How to Plant a Window Box

It's spring and time to think about all things flowering. Even if you only have a window sill you can still enjoy the wonder of watching your flowers grow. Where to start? First examine the way the sun hits the window sill: when is it there—all day, half the day, never? That determines the kind of plants that you can grow. Then check the window sill: make sure there is about an inch between the box and the ledge. If you have to use brackets to hold up the box and you are a tenant: ask first. As for the window box--visit the local hardware store or go to a nursery. What kind to buy? A problem for true treehuggers: there are some available good ones but not many. The fact is that wood is good but will rot, clay pots must be emptied in winter or they will crack. Plastic (gasp!) lasts forever and is lightweight and cheap.

Here is the fun part: choosing the plants. Flowers or edibles? First-timers should really go for ready-grown plants. Although those little packets of seeds look enticing; they require more attention and less watering than one would think. Geraniums are hardy, always look wonderful and bloom all summer. An ivy, trailing over the side of the box, is nice, as are marigolds, and pansies. Lobelia ( the purple plant in the photo) is a guaranteed bloomer. If you are a bit of a foody, you could plant herbs: rosemary, sage, thyme, basil are all wonderful accents to recipes. Put mint in a separate pot. Don’t forget to check the amount of sun needed for the plants. There is a difference between those needing lots of sun and those needing not so much. If in doubt, just look at the little logo on the label: if it is a round circle it means it needs lots of sun.

How to Plant:
l. Make sure the container has drainage holes in the bottom if not, drill 3 or 4
2. Cover the holes with some stones.
3. Fill the pot three quarters full with soil ( get it from the nursery)
4. Decide on how to arrange the plants first. Play with the pots of plants first--big ones go in the back, lower ones in the front. When you’re happy, take the plants out of the pots, dig a hole the depth of pot so that the plant, once removed from it, fits right into the hole. Start from the middle of the box when planting, and work outwards. Pack down the soil all around each one very firmly
5. Water gently but generously the first time. Then water every 2 or 3 days, depending on the weather conditions. Do not over-water.
6. Look out every day and smile.

:: BBC

Tags: London

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