Window Boxes: They’re Not Just for Flowers, Grow Edibles Instead!

Posted by on May 13, 2014 in Gardening | Comments


No matter where you live, what your situation is, or how bad you are at gardening, I believe anyone can grow at least some of the plants that they eat. Growing vegetables in a window box means apartment dwellers and yard-less folks no longer have to feel left out of the gardening game. Just think of how lovely it would be to have a window box full of herbs growing just outside your kitchen window.

Besides the fact that it will save you some cash at the market, you’ll want to grow your own window box vegetables just for the simple fact that fresh-from-the-garden tastes so much better than store-bought. Also, the smug satisfaction feels nice and you can impress your friends with your amazing talent.

spinach growing in a window box

Window boxes can be purchased at any garden center or home improvement store. Growing vegetables in a window box takes practically no time, very little skill and very few resources. There’s really no good excuse not to try!

Types of plants that are perfect for window boxes:

  • Strawberries
  • Radishes
  • Leaf lettuce
  • Spinach
  • Green onions
  • Aloe
  • Herbs (parsley, sage, oregano, thyme, chives and basil)

How to grow window box vegetables:

Most potting soil should be soaked before use. If it isn’t soaked, the airiness of it will cause floating seeds and seedlings in your window boxes every time it’s watered. If the soil you’re using doesn’t say anything about moisture lock or long lasting moisture, you’ll need to do this extra step. Simply pour the potting soil into a bucket and slowly add water to it, mixing all the while until the potting soil is saturated and spongy.

Spread the potting soil into the window box evenly, adding in a couple handfuls of compost if you have it. Tap the box on a table a few times to settle the soil. Fill the box almost to the top, leaving about a ¼ of an inch.

Read the sowing directions for your seeds. Spacing is very important in a window box, as there isn’t much of it. Each seed will need to be about an inch from the edges of the box to accommodate growth. If you plan on planting a few types of plants in one box, you’ll need to plan accordingly and measure out where each seed should go. Window boxes can be artfully designed and look quite beautiful outside your home, so if beauty is an important matter to you, now is the time to plan accordingly.

Once your seeds are planted, give them a good drink of water, then you get to sit around for a while, twiddling your thumbs and waiting for something to happen. During this time make sure the soil is moist but not soggy. Before you know it, little seedlings will be popping out of the soil and reaching for the sky. Thin out the seedlings according to your seed packet by snipping the weaklings with scissors.

Now all you need to do is monitor the growth and keep watering those growing babies. Fertilize them as needed according to packaging, usually after the first true leaves have matured.

parsley growing in a window box

Tips for growing vegetables in a window box:

  • Use high quality potting soil. The roots of these plants won’t be able to reach deeply into the soil to search for nutrients as they would if you grew them in your garden. Because of this, you’ll need to give them all the help they can get by starting them off with quality potting soil, and compost mixed in, if you have it.
  • Fertilize those babies! In addition to giving them the best potting soil you can find, you’ll need to fertilize your window box veggies to boost their health and vigor.
  • Hang your window box from a south-facing window, if you have one. If not, any window will do, the others just may not get as much light.
  • Keep herbs pruned and use vegetables like lettuce and radishes as they mature. You can put new seeds in their place and keep your mini garden going all season long.
  • Carefully examine plant and seed labels to ensure the variety you choose will be able to fit in your window box.

It’s truly that easy.  Now aren’t you wondering why you haven’t done it before?

What are your favorite window box vegetables?