Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Building a window box!

So the weather is very unpredictable here in Utah in February so I try to have a few projects that I can do inside or at least in the garage to help me keep getting ready for spring... My newest project is making window boxes! It was incredibly easy and satisfying. I can't wait to hang them up and plant them with tons of color and texture when it warms up.

The benefits of a window box are innumerable! For my house I am wanting them to soften the look of my house and add some color and brightness. They add curb appeal to any house. Later on in the year (probably may) I will talk a little more about what to plant in containers and how to make them amazingly gorgeous like they look in the nurseries. (I finally found out how they do it!) It is easier than you think-although they require a lot of watering!

The first thing I did was measure the windows that I wanted to put the boxes on. Make sure your windows are in the full sun, at least 6 hours a day. That way you will have the best results with the plants. You can also do some boxes in the part shade but they must get at least 4 hours of sun during the day. Then I was lucky enough to find some wood in our back yard wood pile (wood piles in the back yard come with a house in the country I found). You can use what is lying around your house or buy the size you need from a local hardware store. Then I just cut the pieces to size.... three pieces of the same length- (one for the bottom,and two for the sides) and two small pieces for the ends of the box. I used 3 inch long outdoor finishing nails to nail the box together. It is also a good idea to glue the box together with outdoor waterproof wood glue before nailing for a tighter more weatherable fit. It really only takes an afternoon if you have the right tools.

Don't forget to drill a few holes in the bottom of the window box so water can drain out of the box when you water your plants. Paint with primer/sealer first and then paint the color you want to match your home.

The method you use to attach your box to your house really depends on the material your home is made of- mine is brick so I need a pretty powerful drill. I plan to attach a metal piece I found at a hardware store that actually holds the box for me so I don't have to attach the box itself to the wall of my house. This way I can take the box off and on easily for cleaning and planting. YouTube has some great videos on how to attach a box to all kinds of houses.

Here is a picture of my box, although it still needs a pretty good paint job and the holes drilled in the bottom :) I can work on that while the snow is coming down in the next few days.

Don't forget this is the perfect time of year to get some of that black plastic for your garden. It will help warm the temperature of your soil in the early spring and speed up your seedling growth once you plant. I am getting some for the area my peas and lettuce will go into. You can secure it into the ground with long metal staples, or if nothing else big rocks!! Make sure to place the plastic on 7-10 days before planting. Happy Gardening!

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