Have you ever noticed how happy gardeners look when they are puttering around planting flowers or tending to their vegetables? Studies have found that gardening can reduce stress levels, give a great sense of accomplishment, and if done correctly, beautify your home. Read on to learn more about what you need to start your container garden, along with five window gardening hacks for those just starting out.
What is a Window Garden?
The easiest way to realize all of these benefits without committing to endless hours to maintenance is to create a “small space” garden using window boxes. A DIY window garden is the perfect way to get a feel for gardening and learn the ways of the green thumbs. While there are no shortcuts when it comes to growing an amazing display in your window boxes there are a few gardening tips and tricks that every beginning gardener should know.
Basic Gardening Tools
First off, you are going to need a few basic tools to start turning your window box ideas into reality. Since you’re going to be starting out on a small scale you will want to look for some hand tools including at the least a trowel, fork, and potting spade. While it’s tempting to cheap out on your tools be sure to look for a quality product that won’t fall apart after the first season. Click Here >> to shop gardening tools.
1. Choose Containers that Guarantee Success
The next step is to figure out what you should plant your new DIY window garden in. There are a few things to keep in mind while searching for the perfect window boxes. There are thousands of options available made from a variety of materials. While wooden boxes may look good when you first install them, be sure to remember that they will fade and rot over time, requiring replacement within a few years. If you’re a person who’s looking for a future weekend project wood is great, but there are many other materials that require little – or no – maintenance. For maximum durability, look for wall planters made of PVC, fiberglass, and/or powder coated aluminum or iron.
The gardening trick with the biggest impact? Self-watering planters that take the guesswork out of irrigation. Here are a few:
2. What to Add to Soil for Healthy Plants
Now for the most important, but often overlooked, part of gardening – the soil. One of the simplest gardening hacks out there is to give your plants great soil. Literally the lifeblood of a great garden, quality soil has a few key characteristics that will keep your plants happy.
Great soil retains water, but not so much that it drowns your precious plants. The best potting soils contain just the right mixture of sand and peat to trap just the perfect amount of moisture. Good soil also includes plenty of food for your plants. One trick for a beginning gardener is to buy bagged soil that includes slow release fertilizer that will keep your garden well feed throughout the season.
Every master container gardener amends their soil with something. Here are a few thing you can pick up to make nourishing soil, and regulate moisture:
3. Watering Window Boxes without Lifting a Finger
Along with food comes water. Once your window boxes are planted the only ongoing maintenance they will require is regular irrigation. Knowing when to water your plants is a skill that is best learned through experience. Too much water and you plants will suffocate, too little and they will dry out and die. Luckily there is one simple thing you can do to make this tricky task much easier. By adding a self-watering reservoir to the bottom of your window boxes you remove all guesswork and make watering simple. This great gardening hack delivers the perfect amount of water right to your plants roots just when it’s needed most.
4. Propagate Plants to Save Money
Let’s face it – plants can be expensive – especially if you’re planning on creating multiple container gardens, working with a large window box planter, or tend to kill off more plants than you save. A smart way to save money on plants is to propagate all of them that you can. Succulents are by far the easiest, plus succulent gardens require little water and maintenance.
Propagating Succulents in 3 Easy Steps:
- Choose the plant you wish to propagate
- Use recently fallen leaves or a small cutting – use sharp shears for a clean cut
- Plant the pieces in small containers with sufficient drainage.
5. Recycle Used Coffee Grounds
Another free gardening idea that nearly everyone has access to is reusing coffee grounds. The acidity from the coffee grounds lends well to acid-loving plants like azaleas, balsam firs, camellia, dogwood, gardenias, and rhododendrons. The grounds can also help with everything from increasing root vegetable yields to deterring backyard pests — plus, you can even add them to soap (melt a bar of glycerin type) to create your own gardener’s soap. Talk about and exciting new way to exfoliate!
We have a ton more information and articles in the Grow Guide section of our website. To read more about How Plants Work, Best Growing Environments, Soil, and Container Recommendations Click Here>>.
With these gardening tips and tricks tucked under your cap you’re ready to get started on your very own window garden! As your gardening habit inevitably grows be sure to visit WindowBox.com for all your gardening essentials including planters, garden decorations, and other helpful accessories.
We’re available to help with advice Monday-Friday; 7am-5pm PST 1-888-427-3362.
Have a gardening tip or trick to share? Comment below to help your fellow gardeners!