Useful tips on how to grow & enjoy fruit & veg. from your windowsill !
Healthy Windowbox Plants... Human Pests (Vandals & Thieves)
Right from the start of setting up my windowbox allotment it was the perception that it would get vandalised or stolen that worried me the most – Living in the centre of a big city, on a fairly busy road that also serves as a shortcut for the drunks on their way home on a Friday and Saturday night, I was convinced that it was bound to get harmed in some way. It is a fact though that until you actually try it out you don’t know whether it will come to harm – and even if it does you shouldn’t necessarily be perturbed !
I used to work for a community garden in a fairly rough part of Manchester and we planted the outside area of the centre with a whole variety of perennial plants. OK, one or two got taken and some of the flowers were cut off, but by repeated restocking of the gaps, people gradually came to respect the space and left it to grow unhindered.
You can easily chain the windowbox to the windowsill or frame by attaching a chain to the top or side of the box, or for a stronger hold pass a chain through the drainage holes underneath (before you plant it up obviously). This isn’t such a bad idea anyway, as it’ll stop the box from accidentally falling off.
And if a plant gets smashed up a bit or gets pulled up, most will grow back if replanted. Vandals will soon get bored and move on to a new target somewhere else (hopefully!)
Even if one or two bits of fruit and veg. get taken so what? - It shows people have taken notice of your windowbox and maybe it might inspired them to make one of their own?!
Hopefully you will start a trend amongst your neighbours, which will reduce the likelihood of any one of you getting vandalised and more friendly eyes out to stop it happening in the first place.
You could of course go to more ridiculous lengths such as fixing mesh to the soil surface to prevent plants being pulled up, setting up CCTV or motion-activated laser beams, but I wouldn’t bother - you'll be drawing more attention to your windowbox - and let's face it, at the end of the day it is just a windowbox. So don’t give vandals and thieves the satisfaction of being wound up by what they do to it!