Window Boxes Calendar

SPRING

This is a busy season, especially in areas where late spring is mild and there is little risk of frost.

  • In early spring, as soon as bulbous and biennial plants are starting to flower, remove winter displays from window boxes and replace them with spring-flowering types.
  • When planting summer-flowering displays in late spring choose suitable types of plants 
  • There is a wide range of plants for summer-flowering displays in window boxes.
  • In late spring (in warm areas) remove spring-flowering displays from windowboxes and replace them with summer-flowering ones.
  • When planting summer-flowering displays in late spring (in warm areas), select them to suit their backgrounds. This incurs very little extra trouble and time, but creates a much better and eye-catching display. 
  • In late spring, inspect herbs in windowboxes.
  • In warm areas, plant scented summer-flowering window boxes in late spring.
  • Pinch out the growing tips of plants such as Wax Begonias (Begonia semperflorens) to encourage bushiness
  • When planning summer-flowering displays, always raise more plants than you need, so that they can act as replacements should any die and leave gaps.
  • Late spring frosts can damage plants. Cover them with several sheets of newspaper when frosts and predicted. 

SUMMER

This is the busiest season for growing plants in window boxes.

  • In early summer (in cold areas) remove spring-flowering displays from window boxes and replace them with summer-flowering ones.
  • When planting summer-flowering displays in early summer, choose suitable types of plants. 
  • Select plants for summer-flowering window-boxes from the wide range.
  • In cold areas, plant scented summer-flowering window boxes in early summer
  • When planting summer-flowering displays in early summer (in cold areas), select them to suit their backgrounds. 
  • In late summer (in cold areas) remove summer-flowering displays and replace them with winter-flowering ones. 
  • Select plants for winter displays with care to ensure they are sufficiently hardy to survive winter.  
  • In late summer or early autumn, plant bulbs and biennial plants in an inner window box and place in a cool, sheltered position.
  • Carefully select spring-flowering plants for window boxes. These are planted in late summer or autumn.
  • Plan strawberries and vegetables in window boxes in early summer.
  • In early summer, inspect herbs in windowboxes.
  • Remove dead flowers.
  • In early summer, pinch out the growing tips of plants to encourage bushiness.

AUTUMN

If window boxes are not used for winter displays, remove them from the window, put the compost in a shrub border and thoroughly clean the box with disinfectant. Rinse well and leave exposed to air for about a week to enable fumes to disperse. Then, store under cover until late spring or early summer.

Send away for seed catalogues: they become available in early autumn. Many catalogues have parts specially devoted to plants for growing in window boxes and other containers. Select a range of bushy and trailing plants. Order seeds early so that you will not be disappointed during late winter or early spring of the following year. If you order too many, they can be stored in a cool , dry , dark place for use the following year.

Geraniums and fuchsias for window boxes can be bought from specialist nurseries in late spring. 

  • In early autumn or late summer, plant bulbs and biennial plants in an inner window box and place in a cool, sheltered position on a patio. Stand the trough on two or three bricks.  
  • When planting spring displays, select them to suit their back-grounds. This incurs very little extra trouble and time, but creates a much better display.
  • Carefully select spring-flowering plants for windowboxes.
  • In early autmn (in warm areas) remove summer-flowering displays and replace with winter ones.
  • Select plants for winter displays with care, ensuring they are sufficiently hardy to survive winter.

WINTER

This is the season mainly of waiting and preparing. At this time of year, windowboxes are full of hardy, miniature and slow-growing conifers, small shrubs and evergreen trailers. During winter, do not allow the compost to become saturated with water as this eventually causes plants to deteriorate. However, in warm areas in late winter, growth begins and at this stage the compost must be kept moist. 

If there are heavy falls of snow, lightly dust this off plants: if left, it’s weight may cause damage as well as making the compost too wet when it melts. 

In late winter and early spring, many types of half-hardy summer-flowering plants are sown from seeds ordered in autumn or early winter. If you do not have the facilities to sow seeds in gentle warmth it will be necessary to buy them in late spring or ealry summer. Horticultural societies often sell established plants.

Check brackets that support windowboxes, especially those at second-floor level. Remove and paint them if not in use, and check the wall fixings. If loose, pull them out and replace with new ones. Also, use new, galvanized screws. Ordinary ones may rust, the heads break off and make it difficult to remove them. 

During winter, spring displays of bulbs and biennials that were planted in late summer or early autumn need to be checked to ensure the compost is neither saturated with water nor dry. Stand the troughs on bricks to ensure crawling and creeping pests cannot readily get at the plants, especially in the spring and in warm areas when the weather is moist.

  • In winter, construct window boxes and troughs.

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