Getting a 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 large; stemmed glass bowls; 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. It’s a great way to use broken pots: cover sharp edges or seal them with glue. And food packaging can often be repurposed to make miniature gardens too.
- 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, 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.