the north face hoodie How to Put Together a Window Box That Faces North

Home Guides Garden Gardening How to Put Together a Window Box That Faces North The shade loving impatiens is the standard in gardens that get little or no direct sunlight.

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Filling a window box with plants is a rewarding experience that is made even more so once they have filled out and cascade over the sides. A box that gets sunlight from the east, south or west can handle most sun loving annuals, but putting together a box to go on the north side of a house is a bit more challenging. There are many types of plants, however, that do well in full to partial shade and that add interest to your property during the growing season.

1Measure the inside dimensions of your window box to assist in planning how many plants you can use in your north facing window box design.

2Consult the tags that accompany purchased plants for information on the size they will be at maturity. This helps you compute how many plants will fit into the box without crowding each other yet still achieving the effect of fullness that you are looking for. Plants are generally spaced closer in containers than recommended by tags.

3Fill the window box with potting soil to about 2 inches from the top edge. Fluff the soil lightly with the trowel and apply fertilizer according to package directions.

4Select plants that are well suited to a north facing window box, and try to include a variety of plants depending on their heights and textures to provide interest. These include astilbe, wax begonia (Begonia x semperflorens cultorum), snapdragon (Anthirrinum), cardinal flower (Lobelia cardinalis), and English daisy (Bellis perennis), which are all upright flowering plants that grow over 12 inches tall and can be used along the back edge of the box.

5Create a second middle row using the next shortest plants in your collection. These can include coleus (Solenostemon), as well as trailing plants such as fuschia (Onagraceae) and creeping myrtle (Vinca minor).

6Complete the first and lowest row along the front of the window box with short plants such as impatiens and pansy (Viola tricolor ortensis). Most varieties of impatiens must be replanted each year in temperate climates that see winter temperatures routinely drop below freezing, but pansy, also called Johnny jump up, often reseeds itself annually.

7Place the window box in its permanent location and give it a good initial watering. Water regularly to keep the soil from drying out and more often during dry spells.

Things You Will Need Window box Ruler or measuring tape Shade tolerant plants Potting soil Small trowel Fertilizer

Tips Just about any type of shade tolerant plant can go into creating a window box garden. When your box hangs from a kitchen window, try experimenting with herbs such as parsley, lemon balm and mint that can be used in cooking. You can also create a window box composed entirely of non flowering plants such as ferns, ivies or hosta. Again, select varieties according to size, selecting low growing plants if you don’t want to block your window view. Watering your window box shouldn’t be a problem if it is easily reached from inside the house. Outdoor watering of hard to reach boxes can be simplified using an extension wand that attaches to a garden hose. Clemson University Extension suggests fertilizing your window box often, as frequent watering can leach nutrients quickly from the soil. Mix a time release pellet or a liquid fertilizer into the soil at planting time and repeat applications every two weeks throughout the summer with a liquid fertilizer diluted with water to half strength. Deadheading, or removing faded blossoms, keeps flowering plants blooming. Trimming non flowering plants extends their lives and keeps the window box looking neat.

References (3) Gardening Know How: Learn Which Flowers Grow Well in ShadeOld Farmer’s Almanac: Window Boxes: Best BetsClemson Cooperative Extension: Hanging Baskets Window Boxes

Related Articles The Best Flower Annuals for a Window BoxIdeas for Flower Beds Along the HouseGood Flowers for East ExposureHow to Plant Geraniums in Window BoxesThe Best Perennials to Plant in Window BoxesPlants for Wet North Sides

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the north face all terrain jacket How to Put Together a Window Box That Faces North