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» Window Boxes for Every Season

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Window boxes are as old as flowers and still look beautiful placed beneath a window or sitting on a porch or deck, as well as inside the home, perhaps in a kitchen. They can be used with various plants, changing them as the seasons change.

Wood is the last word in window boxes, for the most part because it is far more durable, far more insulating and far more attractive than plastic. Cedar or weather resistant lumber is about as good as it gets for a window box, but they don’t have to stay simple wood if you prefer them to be closer to your homes decor.

Paint them a light color on the outside to reflect the heat, and treat the inside to prevent them from rotting and warping using a plant friendly treatment.

Before filling a box insert a sheet of styrofoam on the side that is exposed to the afternoon sun so that it will be well insulated from the higher heat. Or set a smaller window box inside the larger one. Keeping the soil evenly moist inside will promote a more vigorous growth of the plants inside the window box.

Window boxes that are too large are going to be too soil heavy, while those that are too small won’t let your plants thrive as they might in a bigger box. An ideal window box will be about 3 feet long and ten inches wide and about ten inches deep, with 8 inches of soil in it. Your boards should be about one inch thick to prevent warping.

Planting a window box

Plain garden soil is far too heavy for the window box and doesnt’ drain rapidly enough for a window box. You can easily prepare your own mixture by mxing peat moss, potting soil and perlite, or use one of the soiless mized sold at your garden center.

Almost any window in your home or out can be a window box candidate, if the box can somehow be affixed to the sill, and you can tend it easily. Choose plants that will grow well in the particular exposure that your window has.

One of the uses of window boxed in recent years has been affixed to the inside of a home, growing things such as flowering amaryllis, or other miniature species of narcissus or daffodil, or in many cases an inside herb garden for the home owners use during the winter.


To encourage the plants in a window box to root well, water them until the water runs out the bottom of the box. On hot days it may need watering both day and night or may need this if it is inside the home. In a window box, because of the tight quarters, the plants will compete for the nutrients and thus will need fed biweekly.

Because the soil becomes quickly depleted, change the soil each year prior to plainting anything in your window box.

Merely adding a fertilizer will not be enough.


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