Gift / Grow

Windowbox wonders

If you’re not lucky enough to have any outdoor space, you can still grow your own fruit and veg as long as you have windows (if you have no windows, consider moving. Seriously). Windowboxes can be placed inside or outside the house and can yield an impressive amount of produce. And there’s no reason that you need to just use windowboxes to grow your produce. Choosing different containers can help them fit in better with your home decor. However, do bear in mind that the larger and deeper your pot, the less it’ll need watering, so balance up practicality with prettiness.

Getting your windowbox set up is easy. You need:

  • A container. This could be a traditional windowbox or you could opt for something a bit quirkier. I like to match the plant to the container, for example growing camomile in a vintage teapot, strawberries in stemmed glass bowls (for lovers of strawberries and cream), salad in a salad bowl or mint in a cocktail shaker (for friends with a mojito habit). You could also use a bucket, a wastepaper bin or a goldfish bowl, to name just a few options.
  • Draining material. Pebbles, broken crockery or gravel will all do the job.
  • Compost (ideally a moisture control one that will help you avoid dried out compost – and dead plants)
  • Fertiliser (if you have a wormery, the worm juice is great – dilute it with water in a 1 worm juice/10 water ratio)

 Then you simply need to put the draining materials at the bottom of the windowbox, put the compost on top (crumble it in with your fingers. Not only does it aerate the soil but it’s also rather relaxing) add your seeds or plants and water thoroughly. You can mix together different plants as long as they like similar treatment. Some good combinations include:

  • Woody herbs: rosemary, thyme and marjoram
  • Soft herbs: basil, chives and parsley
  • Pizza plants: tomato, chilli, oregano and basil
  • Burger plants: gherkin, tomato and little gem lettuce
  • Salad garden: lettuce, sorrel, rocket and spinach
  • Mr McGregor’s Garden: baby carrots and radishes (complete with Peter Rabbit, should you so wish)

Put your windowbox somewhere sunny, water daily and add fertiliser as and when the plants start to look hungry (if their leaves change colour it’s usually a sign they want some food – or have been over/under-watered).

So what are you waiting for? It’s Sunday. The shops are open. You could have your windowbox set up by the time Sunday lunch is done.

Image: happykanppy / 

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