In this post I will be sharing my window box update along with some tips I have learned to make your container gardens thrive! Window boxes can give a great boost to curb appeal and I just love the way they look!
Last year I put several different kinds of flowers in the window boxes and I ended up taking out most of them. Not knowing much about gardening I put some plants like begonias in them because I felt they were too empty looking. As it turns out my house gets full sun and begonias like shade. Within weeks I needed to take out abut 80 dollars worth of flowers because the petunias I used started growing like crazy, and the sun was killing the begonias.
I took out 4/5ths of the plants in this box over the next 2 months. Talk about a waste! This is why its important to actually pay attention to the planting directions on those little plastic stakes in the pot you buy flowers in! If it says 6 inches apart...plant them 6 inches apart...regardless of how empty you feel the planter is when its first planted.
I also bought tons of english ivy as a "trailing plant" down the front of my window boxes, but the Wave petunias quickly overtook them. Another waste of money. Lesson learned. (Another note, English Ivy is highly invasive and left to it's own devices can spread infinitely if planted into the ground and not a pot, and if it touches the ground (mine never did) it will root and grab on to anything in its path. The roots are nearly impossible to get out of the ground fully and they will keep coming back. So make sure that you keep control of this beast!
Anyways, this year I decided to keep it simple and plant the easiest thing to plant are Wave Petunias and some Dichondria (as a trailing plant)
Wave petunias are great because they will keep blooming all the way til fall. As long as you keep them watered and feed them once a week they go crazy. They come in all sorts of colors. If you go get some right now they are on sale! A couple of plants will go a long way.
So what are my tips for window boxes? Especially for beginners?
If this is your first time doing container gardening go with Wave petunias! They do not require deadheading. Dead heading is when you pinch out spent blooms to enourage the plant to keep blooming. However, if you do decide to deadhead wave petunias they will grow even more than usual....so while it's not necessary... I take the time once a week or so to pinch out spent flowers.
Every time you pinch out a flower on a Wave Petunia it grows again. The more you cut back the stronger it grows, so don't be afraid to even cut it back by a 1/3 at a time.
Watering can be a pain. If you are careless when it comes to watering like me, make your life a million times easier by buying some Miracle Grow Water Storing Crystals. These are tiny crystals (like grains of sand) that when exposed to water expand to huge blobs. Be careful about amount that you use! This stuff expands so much that if you could easily use too much. Some people said that they had spots where it expanded to the point where it looked like a volcano had erupted.
- Drainage in containers is important so make sure that there are holes or that you make holes at the bottom. Plants hate having their roots sit in water. If you are worried about dirt washing out of the bottom tape some coffee filters over the holes!
Well that's all for now! I hope you learned something in this post. In my next post I'll show you how I planted some new stuff where my dead bushes were in front of my house! I hope everyone on Steemit is doing well... chat below in the comments :) Steem on! Emily