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How to Grow Amazing Window Boxes
Should I put rocks in the bottom of my planter?
In my honest opinion? NO. And yes. Confusing right? Let me explain: I think they bake the roots of your plants in window boxes. I do have some 3/4 inch gravel in the bottom of my free standing planters so they don’t blow over or get tipped over by my kids or their friends, and they have been ok there. But in window boxes they add a lot of weight and, in my opinion, heat – so I’d leave them out and use perlite instead.
Should I use Styrofoam in the bottom of my Window Boxes or Planter?
Good question. Let me tell you my experiences. Some types of styrofoam-like packing products are made from cornstarch or other materials and made to be more eco friendly (yay!) and break down easily with water. Which is great, but it means your plants will start sinking lower and lower in your box over time. I’ve seen it a lot, and it’s frustrating as a gardener to dig up your box halfway through the season and replant it.
True non-soluble styrofoam would work ok, but let me tell you the other problem I’ve had. When I used styrofoam and once used an empty pot turned upside down and filled with other scrunched up planter pots, ANTS decided I made them an amazingly glorious hotel and I had a HUGE ant hill right by my from door. Not what I had in mind. I also had toddlers at the time and getting rid of the ant was such a pain that I’ve never made that mistake again. They don’t seem interested in the perlite because it doesn’t have structure or stick like the styrofoam or the plastic filled with dirt – it caves in on them.
Use Good Dirt
And lastly, use good quality dirt. I’ve used this for years, and it’s by far my favorite. Remember the Miracle Grow mentioned above? The packaging says it protects from over and under watering and I’m here to tell you it’s the truth. Remember all those claims that it grows plants twice as big? They’re TRUE. One year I ran out when planting my porch planters and used a random bag of some other potting mix and the pot with this dirt literally grew twice as big. It was amazing. Except that I wanted them to match.
How do I keep my window box from drying out?
If you use the same boxes I use, the vinyl will help keep the wind and sun from drying out the roots of your plants. That combined with the reservoir makes for a winning combination.
Do window boxes damage your house?
If you get the ones I’ve mentioned with the drainage holes on the bottom and mount them according to the manufacturer’s directions you should have good success. I don’t want the liability of promising anything, but mine have held up amazingly well with proper care and attention and mounting.