When I lived in New York City, some of my more gardening-minded friends told me to make use of my limited space with a window box garden. The pitch made a lot of sense: it's a great way to grow something useful and add some color or foliage as easy decoration. Of course, in big city fashion, I decided I was too busy to take care of a window box. Although let's be honest, it would have been easier than the daily maintenance of my needy cat. But hey, we all make choices.
Anyway, even though I no longer live in the city, I still have a small living space, and I've been inundated with home DIY craftiness urges. Now I'm looking into getting my own little window box garden started in a simple and easy fashion. If you're in the market for setting up a window box yourself, here's what you need to know (and learn with me!):
1. Choose a window box that suits you and your living space: Keep in mind that once you fill the box with soil and water it consistently, it'll become much heavier. Depending on your personal aesthetic, you might want to consider a plastic box (cheaper!) as it will also be lighter once filled with soaked soil. However, in the Pinterest age, it's easy to discover a whole world of window boxes (or converted items that could become window boxes). Considering the fact that I've moved a lot, I kind of like the idea of making a window box from my old license plates.
2. Choose the location: You'll need a sunny spot to give your window box the best opportunity to reach its full potential, so choose the window with the best sunlight reception. (Or choose to plant flower seeds that love shade!) Also make sure you either already have a sturdy set up or the ability to rig something up to keep your window box in place securely. Worst case scenario: pick the window that gets the best light and keep it on a tray or table level with the window inside, but with the window open. Although that's really only a palatable choice in more temperate weather climates. I have a cat who's way too curious and will never understand boundaries, so I need an outside window box.
3. Choose your garden residents: What herbs do you usually like to season your cooking with? Consider planting some parsley or oregano, or anything simple and easy to maintain. Or consider a mini vegetable garden with carrots or radishes. This is actually what makes me so excited to start a garden. Consider me a typical lazy twenty-something, but I am always forgetting to buy vegetables at the store. I go for staples and the quick in-and-out shopping trip. Plus, if I buy some fresh produce, I swear most of it always goes bad because I haven't figured out how to use it quickly enough. So you see, having a garden where I grow and use herbs and vegetables as they come is a total game changer.
Once you get your window box set up and filled up with soil and seeds planted (allowing 1" of space for watering at the top of the container), it's time to hurry up and wait. Soil can often dry out more quickly in a pot, so make sure to key an eye on it. You may need to water daily to keep your mini garden going. The good news, though, is that you'll be able to watch your garden grow and reap the benefits of a home grown addition to your meals. Once I survive what may very well be a frigid winter coming to the Northeast, I'm really looking forward to setting up my window box.