Looking to dabble in gardening while updating your curb appeal at the same time? Make a window box garden with the steps laid out in this how-to guide! Window box gardening is a great way to add some greenery and color to your home’s exterior and at the same time grow yourself and your family fresh produce. They can be easily mounted on the outside of your windows and can provide a stunning view for both the residents of the house and anyone passing by.
There are many different types of window boxes available, each with its unique features and benefits. Whether you have a balcony, a tiny patio, or just a windowsill, a window box can transform it into a beautiful garden. But how do you make a window box garden? In this article, we will guide you through the process to make a window box garden.
Location of Your Window Box
When considering how to make a window box garden, always start with a plan. There are several considerations to keep in mind when picking the locations for your window box. Here are several of the considerations that I would recommend before placing your window box:
Choose the Right Window
The first step when you make a window box garden is selecting the right windows. Ideally, you want windows that are at eye level or slightly above so that your flowers and plants are visible from the street. Also, consider the size of the window box in proportion to the size of the window. The window box should be slightly narrower than the width of the window so that it does not overpower the window’s appearance.
Consider Sun Exposure
The plants in your window box will need sunlight to thrive, so it’s important to consider the amount of sun exposure the window receives. South-facing windows will get the most sunlight, while north-facing windows will get the least. East-facing windows will get morning sun while west-facing windows will get afternoon sun. Choose plants that are suited to the amount of sunlight the window receives.
Coordinate with the Home’s Style
Window boxes should complement the style of your home’s architecture. For example, if your home has a traditional style, choose a window box made of wood or wrought iron. If your home has a modern style, consider a sleek and minimalist window box made of material such as metal or concrete.
Balance the Look
When placing window boxes, consider placement to achieve balance. This is not a must, but if you have multiple windows, consider placing window boxes on the windows that are closest to the center of the house.
Be Mindful of Maintenance
Window boxes require maintenance, so it’s important to choose a location that is easily accessible for watering and pruning. Those with double-hung windows will have much more access to boxes than other types of windows. They allow for easy access even on second-floor windows. Be mindful of landscaping as placing above flower gardens or large bushes can restrict accessibility.
Choosing the Material Of Your Window Box
There are several different materials to consider when you make a window box garden. Each option should be considered and make your decision based on what would work best for your situation and the style/look that you are trying to achieve.
Wooden Window Boxes: Wooden window boxes are one of the most popular types of window boxes. They are available in a variety of styles and finishes and are easy to customize to match the look and feel of your home. They can be stained, painted, or left natural, depending on your preference. Wooden window boxes are also quite durable and can last for many years with proper care.
Metal Window Boxes: Metal window boxes are another popular option for homeowners. They are typically made from materials such as wrought iron, aluminum, or steel, and are available in a variety of finishes. Metal window boxes are quite durable and can withstand harsh weather conditions. They are also relatively lightweight, making them easy to install and maintain.
PVC Window Boxes: PVC window boxes are becoming increasingly popular due to their lightweight construction and durability. They are typically made from high-quality PVC materials that are resistant to weather, rot, and insects. PVC window boxes are also quite easy to clean and maintain and can be painted to match the color of your home.
Fiberglass Window Boxes: Fiberglass window boxes are another option for homeowners who want a durable and long-lasting window box. They are typically made from fiberglass materials that are lightweight and weather resistant. Fiberglass window boxes are also quite easy to clean and maintain and can be painted to match the color of your home.
Self-Watering Window Boxes: Self-watering window boxes are a great option for homeowners who want to keep their plants hydrated without having to water them manually. These window boxes typically have a built-in watering system that automatically waters the plants as needed. This can save time and effort for busy homeowners and can help ensure that your plants stay healthy and hydrated.
Attaching The Window Box to Your House
When considering how to make a window box garden, one of the most challenging aspects of using window boxes is finding a way to attach them securely to your windows. In this article, we’ll explore some of the best ways to attach window boxes so that you can enjoy your beautiful plants without worrying about them falling off your windowsill.
One of the most popular ways to attach window boxes is with brackets. Brackets come in a variety of styles and materials, including metal, wood, and plastic. They are typically attached to the wall or window frame with screws or bolts and provide a sturdy base for the window box to sit on. Brackets are a great option for those who want a permanent solution and are willing to drill into their walls or window frames.
For those who prefer not to drill into their walls or window frames, suction cups are a great alternative. Suction cups can be used to attach window boxes to the outside of windows, and they provide a secure hold. However, they are not suitable for larger or heavier window boxes, as they may not be able to support the weight.
Adhesive strips are another option for those who do not want to drill into their walls or window frames. Adhesive strips are easy to use and can provide a secure hold, but they are not suitable for larger or heavier window boxes. Additionally, adhesive strips may not be suitable for all types of walls or window frames, so be sure to read the packaging carefully before use.
L-brackets are another type of bracket that can be used to attach window boxes to walls or window frames. They are typically made of metal and are designed to hold the window box at a right angle to the wall or window frame. L-brackets are a good option for those who want a sturdy and permanent solution, but they may not be suitable for all types of windows.
Window Box Hangers
Window box hangers are a type of bracket that is designed specifically for use with window boxes. They are typically made of metal and attach to the bottom of the window box, allowing it to hang from the window frame. Window box hangers are a great option for those who want a simple and easy-to-install solution.
Hooks and Lattice website provide great visual examples of window boxes, that may help you picture how you should make a window box garden.
Soil For Your Window Box
As with all gardening, the soil is much to consider when you make a window box garden. Window gardening is a variation of container gardening so many of the soils that work well for one’s containers would be very appropriate for your window boxes.
Potting mix is a popular soil option for window boxes as it is specifically designed for potted plants. It is a blend of organic materials such as peat moss, perlite, and vermiculite. Potting mix is lightweight and porous, which allows for good drainage and aeration. This soil type is great for plants that prefer well-draining soil and do not like to be oversaturated.
When using potting mix in your window boxes, make sure to choose a high-quality brand that is suitable for your specific plants.
Garden soil is another option for your window boxes, though I do not recommend the soil from an established outdoor garden. Garden soil can be heavy and dense, and can become quite compact, which will affect drain ability. In addition, it can introduce pests and diseases to your window box.
Many garden centers sell bags of garden soil that could be considered, but again, the concerns listed above would also apply to this soil. If you must use garden soil, you can mix garden soil with sand or perlite to improve drainage and aeration.
Compost is a natural and organic soil option that is rich in nutrients and beneficial microorganisms. Compost can be made from kitchen scraps, yard waste, and other organic materials. It is a great option for plants that need a lot of nutrients, and it also improves soil structure and water retention. However, compost alone may not be suitable for all plants, so you may need to mix it with other soil types to create a balanced mix typically in a 1:3 ratio.
Peat moss is a popular soil option for window boxes as it is lightweight and has good water retention. It is made from partially decomposed sphagnum moss and is often mixed with other soil types to improve drainage and aeration. However, peat moss can be expensive, therefore it may not be a good long-term choice.
Watering your Window Box
Check the Soil Moisture Level
Before watering your window box, check the soil moisture level by sticking your finger about an inch into the soil. If it feels dry to the touch, it’s time to water. If the soil is still moist, hold off on watering for a day or two.
Water Early in the Day
Watering in the morning is the best time for your plants as it allows them to absorb the water they need before the sun gets too strong. This also helps to prevent water evaporation from the soil. Avoid watering at night as this can lead to fungal growth and disease.
Use the Right Amount of Water
Over-watering can be just as harmful to your plants as under-watering. When watering your window boxes, ensure you’re using the right amount of water. Typically, a good rule of thumb is to water until the soil is moist but not waterlogged. If the water is pooling on the soil’s surface, you’ve over-watered.
Water Slowly and Carefully
Water your window boxes slowly and carefully to ensure the water reaches the plant’s roots. A gentle, steady flow of water is much better than a quick, heavy stream that may run off the soil’s surface. Take your time and make sure the water is being absorbed by the soil.
Consider Using a Self-Watering System
If you’re worried about forgetting to water your window boxes, consider using a self-watering system when you make a window box garden. There are many options available, from basic plastic reservoirs to more advanced systems that use solar power to monitor and water your plants automatically.
Vegetable Selection For Window Boxes
If you’re wondering what plants to plant in your window boxes, there are several factors to consider, such as the amount of sunlight your window receives, the size of the box, and the type of soil you’re using.
We’ll go over some of the popular vegetables to plant when you make a window box garden and give you some tips on how to care for them.
Lettuce is an easy-to-grow vegetable that is perfect for window boxes. It grows quickly, and you can start harvesting the leaves as soon as they are big enough. Choose a variety of lettuce that is suited for small spaces, such as butterhead or leaf lettuce.
Tomatoes are a bit trickier to grow in window boxes, but with the right care, they can thrive. Choose a compact variety, such as cherry or patio tomatoes. You’ll need to provide support for the plants as they grow, so make sure you have a sturdy trellis or stake.
Radishes are a great choice for window boxes because they mature quickly, and you can harvest them in as little as three weeks. They also don’t require a lot of space, so you can plant several in a single window box.
Spinach is a leafy green that does well in cooler temperatures, making it perfect for growing in window boxes. You can harvest the leaves as soon as they are big enough, and the plant will continue to produce new leaves throughout the growing season.
Peppers can be a bit more challenging to grow in window boxes, but it’s possible with the right care. Choose a compact variety, such as mini bell peppers or hot peppers. You’ll need to provide plenty of sunlight, water, and support as the plants grow.
Herbs are an excellent choice for window boxes because they don’t require a lot of space, and they add plenty of flavor to your cooking. Choose herbs that you use frequently in your recipes, such as basil, parsley, or thyme.
If you prefer vegetables that you have in mind when you make a window box garden, you can reference this post to help guide the size and depth your window box needs to be to accommodate your vegetables.
Finally, remember when you make a window box garden, that even though they are small, they still require regular care. Water your plants regularly, and make sure they are getting enough sunlight. With a little bit of effort, you can enjoy fresh vegetables right from your window ledge.