Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Apartment Living: A Window Box with Science in the Soil

I couldn't take it any longer. I was in Seattle in mid-March and every home improvement store, garden center and grocery store in Seattle had racks of herbs and flowers for sale. I'm strong, but I'm not that strong. 


Three inches of snow fell last night (3/30/15) in Michigan, my home base, and we are weeks (and weeks?) away from planting our pots.  

Yet back on March 9th in Seattle, Spring was in full swing! When I see cherry blossoms like this, it's hard not to think gardening.
So I decided that a window box for our apartment balcony would make sense. Herbs for cooking and flowering plants for color. I will certainly add pots and plants when I am in Seattle later this Spring, but this type of planter should be able to thrive while I'm away.

I bought a wonderful black plastic window box (with drainage holes and a water tray) at Home Depot, a bag of Miracle Grow Moisture Control Potting Soil and a collection of plants.
I crumpled a few strips of paper grocery bag to help support the plants and make up for my shortage of soil. I needed about 5 cups more to truly fill the planter properly - hopefully the paper will help with drainage and circulation. Some of the plants were potted in disintegrating pots, which I love, because you plant the herb right into the soil in it's pot and don't have to disturb their roots removing a plastic pot.

I chose Miracle Grow "Moisture Control" potting soil because it contains fertilizer and a component that retains water (from rain or intentional watering) and then releases the water to the plants as the soil becomes dry. I figure that the rain in Seattle will help naturally water my garden and the science in the soil will help keep the plants happy. 

The plants I chose are:

  • primulas (pink, yellow, apricot)
  • violas/pansies (lavender, violet/orange)
  • Cinnamon Basil
  • Pineapple Mint (it's risky, but I kept this mint in the pot when I planted it. Mint has an aggressive root system and I didn't want it to take over and stifle the other plants)
  • Sage
  • Lemon Thyme
  • Dill
  • Rosemary
The photograph at the top shows my little garden just after planting. Here it is, two weeks later and still doing well! Miracle Grow indeed.

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