Planting a Winning Windowbox

by Josh on May 23, 2009 · 6 comments

in garden,Projects

I have made no secret of my disappointing past results with my windowbox flowers. This year, that is all going to change.

My new winning ways began with major soil rehabilitation. I removed half of the windowbox soil and replaced it with a mixture of 2 parts new garden soil, 1 part composted manure, and a healthy dash of Soil Moist water retention additive. This improved soil should have the nutrients the plants need to thrive and do a better job of keeping the plants’ feet wet instead of baking to crisp inside the brick planter in the direct morning sun.

Bungalow Windowbox

The plants I picked for the windowbox are also proven winners. Sweet potato vine, nasturtiums, and lantana were all recommended by a master gardener friend as plants that not only look great in a windowbox but are also drought- and heat-tolerant. Both the potato vine and nasturtium are trailing forms that should look really great when they get big enough to spill over the side of the planter.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Peter May 24, 2009 at 7:54 am

Looks great, and I’m sure that they will grow beautifully.

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1916home.net May 24, 2009 at 9:15 am

Im sure this soil mixture will help out a bunch. One thing I was told about my tomatoes, and maybe it can be helpful for your flower box, is to monitor the soil moisture content with an electronic device. The worst thing you can do to a plant is over water. My problem is both extremes… I either over water or fry my plants by not watering enough. In a small box like these they can dry out pretty quick. Looks nice!

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Sandy May 25, 2009 at 7:52 am

The plants look so nice. Have you tried those self-watering things (like the watering globes) that will give the plants water when they need it?

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Josh June 18, 2009 at 1:24 am

Thanks, everyone, for the compliments and the ideas for keeping the windowbox properly watered. So far I’m doing well just using the watering can every day or two– the well-fertilized soil and the SoilMoist additive seem to be doing their jobs.

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Laurie May 10, 2010 at 9:55 am

was there a follow up on this last year? I’m wondering how it went.

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Josh May 20, 2010 at 8:08 am

I think I missed writing a follow-up, Laurie, so here’s what I found last year. The improvements to the soil– particularly adding the Soil Moist — seemed to make a big difference in how stressed the plants appeared between waterings. The sweet potato vine and nasturtiums did really well for me but less so the lantana. I think it also helped the windowbox that we had an unusually mild summer in 2009.

When the house painters are done here, I’ll be able to plant the windowbox for 2010. When I do, nasturtium and sweet potato vine will be in there for sure, along with one or two other things I’ll test this year.

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