I have been planting window boxes for years. Over time, I have developed a certain style and favorite flower for each season. Every box is different, and can easily be planted in no time. I love mixing trailing vines with colorful blooms that put on a show. I am constantly scrolling through Pinterest collecting new ideas. I can't wait to share with you some of my favorite tips and tricks to create a spring window box.
These tips don't just apply to spring, you can start your window box any season. I prep my boxes in spring that way everything is in place, and I can easily transfer and switch out flowers. When you add just a touch of nature, wildlife will follow. One spring, a family of sparrows made a nest in my window box! I'd see mom and dad frequently flying in and out, bringing the little ones worms. Filling your window box with life is simple. All you need is some soil, sun and some spectacular blooms!
Add Your Potting Soil: Make sure you pick a good potting mix for your box. I can't stress enough how important this is! In the past, I've thrown in whatever soil I could get my hands on at the time. Never do this! Pick a premium soil that holds moisture and has some slow release plant food. This will save you from sad and leggy, dried out plants. You put in all the effort to make it pretty. Don't skip out on this step, and you will be enjoying your box from spring to fall. If you already have soil from last season, just mix in some new soil and you are good to go!
What I Recommend: Proven Winners Premium All Purpose Potting Soil
Water Less: As the season progresses, life always tends to get busy. The weather heats up, and your box will rely on steady watering. Whenever I'm putting together a planter of any kind, I throw in some rain gel. It helps your soil hold in moisture and cuts down on the frequency you have to get out your watering can. I use two packets in my box, and it lasts all season long.
What I Recommend: Burpee Rain Gel
Choose The Right Blooms: There are many different factors that play into what will work in your window box. It depends on the size and height of your box. If it is in full sun or shade and, of course, the season. Here in zone 6a New England, the nighttime temperatures still drop into the 30s. Pansies are the perfect springtime flower. They can tolerate frost until it begins to warm up a little more. In a couple of weeks, I will be adding some trailing vinca vine. It is very hardy and adds a bit of whimsy. If you are lost when shopping, try looking for a thriller, a filler and a spiller. The thriller will add some height. The filler will fill in your box, and the spiller will trail down. In my front box, I can only do filler and spiller since there isn't much room for flowers to grow tall.
More About The Thriller, Filler & Spiller Method: This Old House
Keep Your Flowers Fertilized: Once you get in a routine, it becomes habit to feed your plants. I like to do it once every few weeks, and my flowers really appreciate it! If you want blooms rather than heavy foliage, make sure to look for a fertilizer higher in potassium and phosphorus.
What I Recommend: Espoma Organic Flower-tone 3-4-5
Experiment & Try New Things: If something doesn't work, thats okay! I've planted flowers that just don't really pop. It's perfectly normal to not have it look like it's straight out of a magazine. Your house is real, and they aren't being prepped for a professional photoshoot! We all have budgets, so gather your plants a little at a time. You don't have to spend a fortune and fill it all at once. I'd love to walk into my local flower store and buy 20 pristine flats full of flowers, but it ain't happening any time soon. Don't get discouraged. As seasons change, you may have to swap out your plants as the flowers fade. Be ready for this to happen. This didn't mean you failed! Some flowers like pansies for example DO NOT like the heat. Once those 80 degree days become consistent, they will wither. As long as you know this ahead of time, you will be ready to try something new.
Do you have any window box tips and tricks? What varieties do you like to add to your spring window box? Share them with me below in the comment section! The next edition of Tuesdays In The Garden will be April 25, and it will be a Mother's Day themed post. See you then!