Only have a small space available but would still like to grow
some plants? Then read on!
Choice of container is very important:-
Plastic pots - These are cheap, light and durable and they keep
the soil moist, however, they can turn brittle and crack and they
are not the most attractive.
Terracotta pots - These are made from
baked clay and are very attractive however, they are heavy, break
easily and are subject to frost damage.
Glass fibre containers - These can
be moulded and coloured in many ways. They can look like
stone but, of course, are much lighter and they are strong, durable
and repairable. They are, however,
more expensive than some other material.
Reconstituted Stone - These are crushed
stone moulded into shape. Imitation classical urns and vases are
very attractive but extremely heavy. In view of this weight
they should be used with caution in roof gardens or balconies.
Window boxes - These are available
in a variety of materials including wood, plastic, metal, terracotta.
Wooden flower boxes provide better insulation than plastic or metal,
with Cedar being the best (if you can find it) as this is the most
resistant to rot. Pine
is much less expensive but this should be treated. It is best
to avoid commercial wood preservatives, especially creosote.
The box should be at least 200mm (8ins) deep to allow for root
growth and to prevent the soil drying out too quickly.
If you prefer you can put pots inside the window box instead of
filling the box with soil. This allows you to lift them out
and change them around without disturbing the roots. It also
reduces the weight of the window box.
Make sure the pots you put into the box and the box itself have
drainage holes, otherwise the plants will become waterlogged.
In Summer the box will need watering every day, aim to keep the
soil moist but never waterlogged.
Choose low growing plants if you want maximum light from your
window. Climbers are another option as they can be trained
against the wall around the window.
If the box is sited in an exposed position, i.e. on a wall or
balcony, ensure it is fixed with brackets or strong wire. Strong
winds can not only damage unsecured boxes but they can also
become very dangerous.