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Edible plants for window boxes
From installing window shutters or a mini pergola to adding window boxes, hanging baskets or an awning, there are so many great ways to enhance the windows on a house.
With summer well and truly here, this is a great time to make the most out of window boxes. Not only does adding plants make any property look fantastic, if you opt for the edible variety, your display can even double up as a tasty snack or dinner accompaniment.
Whether you’re new to gardening or you’re just looking for some inspiration, below we have listed some top ideas for edible window boxes.
Strawberries work well in window boxes because they produce all summer long rather than just one crop in June or July. Aside from having a delicious snack to hand every time you’re feeling peckish, strawberries offer a number of health benefits including:
- They’re full of vitamins, fibre and antioxidants
- They’re sodium, fat and cholesterol-free and low in calories
- They improve heart function
- They’re great for your skin – they reduce hyperpigmentation, prevent acne and help to remove dead skin cells
- They boost collagen production and tone the skin which prevents aging
- They can help prevent certain conditions like dry eyes
- They reduce blood pressure
- They boost immunity
You’ll never have a bland meal again with your very own herb collection. Pretty much anything goes here – from mint, parsley, chives and tarragon to basil, thyme, rosemary and sage, simply choose your favourite herbs and get planting.
Some top tips for growing herbs in window boxes include:
- Group your plants into sections. For example, you can separate your herbs depending on their water requirements. Drought-tolerant herbs such as oregano, rosemary and thyme don’t need watering anywhere near as much as parsley, basil and cilantro.
- Make sure your boxes have drainage holes
- Use a good quality fast-draining soil
- Don’t plant your herbs too close together – they need room to grow
- Make sure they have plenty of access to the sun
The BBC website has lots of helpgul advice about herbs, just follow this link: https://www.bbc.co.uk/gardening/grow_your_own/expertgrowers_herbs.shtml
You may think that you need a big plot of land to grow vegetables but this simply isn’t true. You can grow many different types of vegetables in window boxes including:
- Lettuce – this works particularly well because they have shallow roots, grow quickly and can be reseeded a number of times
- Peppers – if your window box gets a lot of sun, peppers are the perfect vegetable to grow. Try to plant them in a darker box because this will help to absorb any heat and keep the soil at a higher temperature which will help with growth
- Onions – opt for smaller onions or shallots because they have small bulbs and limited root structures which means they can easily accommodate more shallow containers
- No vegetable garden is complete without tomatoes. Varieties which grow well include cherry, early salad, red cushion, pretty patio and tiny Tim
- Spinach – the great thing about this vegetable is that is only needs a few hours of sun so it’s ideal for windows that don’t get much sunlight
- Carrots – growing them in containers is easy and they don’t take up much space either. Don’t forget that carrots need regular watering however otherwise their roots will dry out and crack
For more great window box ideas, head over to the Gardeners World website – https://www.gardenersworld.com.