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Alternative Gardening: window box planter

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Forum: Alternative GardeningReplies: 2, Views: 60
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Wausau, WI

May 5, 2009
2:51 PM

Post #6507034

new to window box gardening. Planter is 5' x 9" and 9" deep. Anyone ever put those packing peanuts in bottom layer rather than fill the entire box with soil. Also need some suggestions on what types of plants to put in box.
Johnson City, TN
(Zone 6b)

May 6, 2009
12:34 PM

Post #6511633

luvto, we have been eating salads from two window boxes that combined are about the size of yours. Lovely spinach and cut and come again lettuce. The spinach is starting to bolt now so I am going to pull it out and plant radishes. You could think strawberries, onions, flowers of course. Have fun! D
Galien, MI

May 7, 2009
2:28 PM

Post #6516891

I tried the peanuts thing once. It was a bit of a mess cleaning it out afterward, and I can't say it was successful. If you were putting the foam on the bottom to fill up the water reservoir part, just be careful that you have enough soil above so the roots have some dry space above where the water would be wicked up. From what I've seen of the earthboxes and Ebuckets, there seems to be a 1/5 ratio. 1 inch of water part for each 5 inches of soil above it, with a drainage hole right at that 1 inch (or similar proportion). Then, it also depends on the soil you use - some will wick the water better than others, so you may need to shove a nylon shoelace in the drainage hole if you find that the soil is staying too moist. Also, if you do the peanuts, you may want to put some landscape fabric down so the soil doesn't just fall in between the peanuts, loosing your reservoir.

Since your box is 9 inches, 1 1/2 inch of water part may be good. If it doesn't have drainage holes in the bottom, that is. If it does have bottom holes, you can line the bottom and 2 inches up the sides with some good plastic. That will make it somewhat self watering. I used some thin drainage tubing with nylon on the ends, for water storage. I can't say how successful this is yet, but I won't be picking peanuts up when something digs in it again.

I don't know which plants have shallow roots, but that may make a difference in what you plant in them, also. I remember reading about lettuce grown in gutters, which are shallower than your box, so that should work. Others can advise you there - I don't do veggies too much. You have loads of choices.

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