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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.|
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.
The following tips have been received from Jan Robinson -
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