How to plant a mixed color window box for summer color.

 Christine  (my wonderful daughter-in-law to be) asked if I would do some articles on planters for summer color. I view a request from that source as very important, so here goes. I will start a series with this article on mixed color window boxes.

window box two weeks after planting
window box two weeks after planting

When choosing plants for a mixed planter I like to follow the principles of Ikebana. One of the rules involves the three levels of creation, Heaven (tall), Man,(medium height) and Earth (low). The other consideration is compatibility. The plants need to be chosen with similar light and moisture needs (usually plants that like shade or those that tolerate full sun). For the planters in this article, I have chosen plants that will tolerate full sun—Angelonia (purple and white for “Heaven”), fibrous begonias (pink and white, for “Man”) and a mixture of bacopa and annual verbena for “Earth.” The verbena will fill in below the begonias and the bacopa is a beautiful white blooming trailer.

These planters are for the lovely Dot Fletcher who just really loves having nice window boxes year ‘round. She uses wire frames with cocoa liners. The cocoa liner allows the plants to drain well and allows a good transfer of air. Plants love this combination. We begin the project by securing the cocoa liner to the frame with small zip ties. This keeps it from sagging as the season progresses.

 

 securing cocoa mat with zip ties
securing cocoa mat with zip ties

Use a high quality potting soil such as Miracle Grow or Pro Mix. Be sure to moisten the soil before starting the project. I usually fill the container to about 3 inches from the top. Be sure to add a time release fertilizer such as Osmocote.

 add high quality potting soil to the planter
add high quality potting soil to the planter

I like to start the planting by placing the background plants and trailers. I have placed the bacopa and verbena just where I want them. I like to use plants from four inch pots because I can set them in the partly filled container and arrange them easily. When I finish, I will add soil to the spaces between the root balls.

 start planting the mixed container with low trailing plants
start planting the mixed container with low trailing plants

I add the bacopa and verbena for trailers and fillers

5add bacopa and verbena for trailers and fillers
5add bacopa and verbena for trailers and fillers

I like to trim the tips of trailing plants to encourage branching from the outset. This keeps them from becoming leggy and stringy.

trim tips of verbena and bacopa to encourage branching
trim tips of verbena and bacopa to encourage branching

I add the angelonia for a tall background and fill with begonias. It doesn’t hurt to squeeze the root balls to make the plants fit just where you want them.

 

add angelonia for tall background and fill with begonias
add angelonia for tall background and fill with begonias

Here is the finished planter on the day of planting. I like to water them in with a water soluble plant food to get them off to a good start.

 

finished window box day of planting
finished window box day of planting

And, here again is the planter after two weeks growth. Can you see the black tubes that get them watered automatically? I’ll have to tell you about that, some time.

 

window box two weeks after planting
window box two weeks after planting

There’s a little news today. My book, Redemption for a Redneck has been nominated for a prestigious award. Read about it HERE

Thanks for visiting Johntheplantman. These articles are sponsored by my book

As usual, I would just love for you click here to go to Amazon and purchase the ebook edition of my wonderful book, Requiem for a Redneck to go on your Kindle. I have also noticed that Amazon now has a free Kindle app for iphones and tablets. Is that cool or what?

 

If you want a consultation in your yard in N.W. Georgia, send me an email at wherdepony@bellsouth.net

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Published by John P.Schulz

I lost my vocal cords a while back due to throat cancer. The laryngectomy sent me on a quest to find and learn to use my new, altered voice. I am able to talk now with a really small and neat new prosthesis. My writing reflects what I have learned in my search for a voice. My site johnschulzauthor.com publishes a daily motivational quote and a personal comment. I write an article a week for my blog, johntheplantman.com which deals with a lot of the things that I do in the garden. I am also the author of Requiem for a Redneck and the new Redemption for a Redneck--novels portraying the lives and doings of folks around the north Georgia hills. I have an English Education degree from the University of Georgia and very happily married to the lovely Dekie Hicks. You may enjoy my daily Quotes and Notes at http://johnschulzauthor.com/

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