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Hanging Baskets

and

Window Boxes

Only have a small space available but would still like to grow some plants, then watch this space!

Choice of container is very important:-

 

Plastic pots These are cheap, light and durable and they keep the soil moist, however, they can turn brittle and crack and they are not the most attractive.
 
Terracotta pots These are made from baked clay and are very attractive however, they are heavy, break easily and are subject to frost damage.
 
Glass fibre containers These can be moulded and coloured in many ways.  They can look like stone but, of course, are much lighter and they are strong, durable and repairable.  They are, however, more expensive than some other material.
 
Reconstituted Stone These are crushed stone moulded into shape. Imitation classical urns and vases are very attractive but extremely heavy.   In view of this weight they should be used with caution in roof gardens or balconies.
 
Window boxes These are available in a variety of materials including wood, plastic, metal, terracotta. Wooden flower boxes provide better insulation than plastic or metal, with Cedar being the best (if you can find it) as this is the most resistant to rot.  Pine is much less expensive but this should be treated.  It is  best to avoid commercial wood preservatives, especially creosote.

TIPS

The box should be at least 200mm (8ins) deep to allow for root growth and to prevent the soil drying out too quickly. 

If you prefer you can put pots inside the window box instead of filling the box with soil.  This allows you to lift them out and change them around without disturbing the roots.  It also reduces the weight of the window box.

Make sure the pots you put into the box and the box itself  have drainage holes, otherwise the plants will become  waterlogged.

In Summer the box will need watering every day, aim to keep the soil moist but never waterlogged.

Choose low growing plants if you want maximum light from your window.  Climbers are another option as they can be trained against the wall around the window.

If the box is sited in an exposed position, i.e. on a wall or balcony, ensure it is fixed with brackets or strong wire.  Strong winds can not only damage unsecured boxes but they  can also become very dangerous.

Check out these other pages for tips on how to plant window boxes, planting vegetables in containers, as well as some ideas for suitable plants for growing in containers of this kind.

The following tips have been received from Jan Robinson -

Use ladies pantie liners to line the bottom of hanging baskets - the gel absorbs water and works like the expensive gel crystals at a fraction of the cost.  Babies disposable nappies also work (clean ones mind you!!!)

When repotting plants put a teabag over the drainage hole and this allows water out but also keep the insects out.

Ask your greengrocer for the compressed paper separators used in apple boxes to stop them bruising.  Soak for an hour in warm water, they can then be moulded to fit hanging baskets as a liner.  These last a season and are easy to plant through.  Free and environmentally friendly.


 

 


   

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