Just because you live in an apartment, condo, or small house with little green space doesn’t mean you can’t experience the joys (and yes, frustrations) of edible gardening. Growing vegetables in your window boxes are a great way to enjoy a “harvest-to-table” lifestyle when you don’t have a lot of outdoor space. Here’s how to get started. Happy planting!
Choosing the Right Window Box
Does it matter what kind of window box you will be using? Turns out it does. Not only do you want to choose one durable enough to withstand inclement weather without warping or cracking. Choose the largest window box you can, as your vegetables will need room to grow. We also recommend that you use window boxes with drainage holes to keep soil well-drained and prevent root rot.
Our Fiberglass Window Boxes are lightweight and durable, and their naturally moisture-resistant construction means they can withstand extreme weather (including freeze/thaw conditions) without warping or cracking. All of our window boxes come standard with drainage holes. Explore hundreds of window box styles, from farmhouse chic to modern and streamlined.
While it may be true that you can’t grow just any vegetable in a window box (they have to be shallow-rooted in order to fit and grow healthily), you still have a lot of options, including these goodies:
What to Plant Together (and What Not To)
Some vegetables are natural roommates, and some not so much. It’s important to choose vegetables with similar needs in order to make them window box “bunk mates.” The following are some great (and not-so-great) vegetable combinations.
Carrots and squash
Basil and onions
Lettuce and herbs
Spinach and onions
Combinations to Avoid
Onions and garlic
Carrots and dill or fennel
Onions and beans
Vegetable Planting Tips
Use organic potting soil. And mix some mulch in there while you’re at it. Since your veggies will be growing in a smaller container rather than in the ground (where they can spread and find vital nutrients), it’s important that they have access to the right nutrients to grow. Plus, picking a soil without pesticides and fillers in it is important with an edible crop.
Plan for proper spacing. Especially if you’re growing from seed, be sure to check how much room the plant will need and space accordingly. For example, carrot seeds should be grown a ½ inch apart while radish seeds should be spaced about ¼ inch away from each other.
Consider sunlight needs. Your vegetable garden’s needs will vary depending on what you’re growing, so you have to consider the position of your window box. For instance, for east-facing windows (which get about a half day’s sun), consider growing root vegetables like carrots, radishes, and beets. Leafy lettuces need less light, so they can be placed in south-facing window boxes.
Add soil amendments regularly. Liquid seaweed, fish emulsion, coffee grounds, and bone meal are all great for vegetable gardens.
Water regularly. Plants that live in containers like window boxes and planters tend to dry out easier, so it’s important to establish a healthy watering schedule so that your plants are properly hydrated. How do you know when your plants need a drink? Simply stick your finger in the soil, about half an inch down. If your finger is dry to the touch, your window boxes need watering. And be sure to vary your watering schedule according to the season (for example, summer window boxes will need more frequent waterings than winter window boxes).
Enjoying Your Harvest
Now that you’re officially a vegetable gardener, it’s time to start thinking about all those delicious veggie meals you’re gonna cook, right? Here are a few favorites to get you started:
This Spinach Shakshuka recipe from Epicurious features spinach, fried onions, and garlic seasoned with green pepper and coriander seeds.