Window Box Plants Frizington
Broughton In Furness
Window Box Plants
Many beginning gardeners who feel intimidated trying to plant full beds of flowers in their garden start by creating smaller self-contained window boxes.
"It’s a great place to start with something as small as a window box,'' said George Stanchfield, landscape designer for Manhasset Gardens in Kingston, Mass. "Window boxes are popular right now. They are a great way to make your home more welcoming.''
Stanchfield, along with Beth Crothers-Davis, who manages the garden centre, provided some tips as they demonstrated how to properly plant a window box.
Cedar window boxes wear well
When buying a window box, choose a wood that will stand up well to the elements. Don’t go with pine; the wood tends to rot quickly, so your box may not last longer than a couple years. White cedar is likely to hold up well for at least 15 years, Stanchfield said. If you plan to paint or stain the window box, do so on the inside of the box as well to help protect it.
Cover drain holes with screen
Cover the drain holes in the bottom of the window box with small pieces of old screen. The screens will prevent soil from seeping out of the holes.
Stanchfield said it is not necessary – and actually not recommended – to use a plastic liner in the box before the soil is added. The liner tends to heat up the box and hold in moisture.
Pour your soil close to the top
Choose an organic, rich potting soil that won’t dry out as quickly as other soil. The soil is likely to come out of the bag in clumps, so break it up, then push it down firmly with your hands to get rid of air pockets.
It is important to fill the window box with plenty of soil, as high as 1 or 2 inches from the top, so the plants ride high enough be seen above the container.
Use Soil Moist and Osmocote
Sprinkle a tablespoon or less of a product called Soil Moist across the top of the soil. The small crystals cut down on the need to water plants, acting like little sponges and holding water, and slowly releasing moisture into the soil. Just be sure to turn the soil to mix in the crystals, Crothers-Davis said.
Then it’s time to mix in a tablespoon of a slow-release high-nitrogen fertilizer like Osmocote. The fertilizer will feed the plant for up to four months.
Loosen the roots
Before placing a plant in the box, work up the bottom of the plant by pulling the roots loose so they will make good contact with the soil.
If the roots are left in a ball, the plant could choke itself. Place the plant flush to the soil level and push down and around to get rid of air pockets.
You may find it easier to start with the tallest plants and place those in the back, as Stanchfield did with red star grass plants. He then added mid-height big red Judy plants; and in front of that diascia, licorice plants and super belle tequila sunrise plants.
All work well in all-day-long full sun, Stanchfield said. Plants that work well in the shade include fuschia, torenia, lobelias, ivy and ferns.
After adding plants to the window box, soak the plants with water, then wait until the soil gets dry before giving the box another heavy soaking. Make sure to clean up the plants by pinching off dead or rotted leaves and flowers, and give your blooms a quick boost of food every 10 days with a liquid fertilizer.
Contact Dina Gerdeman at email@example.com.