What veg to plant

Below are mini-guides as to what veg. to grow in your windowbox and how to grow it, with recommended cultivars that are known for their ease of growing, good flavour, size or hardiness. Simply click on the icon with the starting letter of your vegetable for details..






Chicory makes a nice, bitter contribution to salads and may also be cooked. There are three types of Chicory: Witloof, or Belgian has a rosette of leaves with a deep root which can be ‘forced’ or covered with a pot to produce white leaf buds, to reduce the bitter taste; Red Chicory, or radicchio, forms a heart of red or variegated leaves like a lettuce; Sugarloaf Chicory is similar, but green. Prefers a sunny site, but will tolerate shade, otherwise unfussy.
Sow seed: 1cm deep, 23cm apart (Witloof) or 30cm apart (Red & Sugarloaf) from early summer to late summer (outdoors) or mid spring to late autumn (indoors)
Varieties: Zoom (Witloof), Jupiter (Red), Pain de Sucre (Sugarloaf) 

A variety of Red Chicory


Also know as American, Italian or Green-sprouting broccoli, Calabrese has bluish-green flowerheads. Seed can be sown in pots in autumn for early crops, or planted direct in the ground in spring for summer cropping. A fertile, firm soil is needed. Once the main head has been harvested (before the flowers open) apply a liquid feed or mulch to encourage the growth of further sideshoots.
Sow seed: 2cm deep, 30cm apart
Varieties: Corvet, Jewel, Lord



Chilli plants can be grown from seed indoors and later planted out in summer to fruit in your windowbox, provided that they have a good sunny and sheltered site to move to. They like a fertile, moisture-retentive soil that drains well.
Sow seed: Thinly in pots, lightly covered with potting compost in early to mid spring, kept at 18 – 21oC. Once germinated, grow on at 16-18oC.
Varieties: Apache, Hungarian Wax, Thai Hot Dragon



Similar to Globe Artichoke and just as big - not suitable for a windowbox unfortunately


Carrots are best sown in situ and can be thinned out if necessary as they grow. By careful planning and by using different varieties you can have a succession of carrots from late spring to early winter. Carrots prefer a light, sandy soil.
Sow seed: 1-2cm deep
Varieties: Amsterdam Forcing 2 Sweetheart (early crop), Newmarket (maincrop), Autumn King 2 (late)


Chinese Artichoke

No relation of Globe or Jerusalem Artichokes, this Mint relation is is actually possible to grow in your windowbox, as it only grows up to 45cm. It provides a good winter crop, although the edible tubers are a bit of a pain to clean for cooking. Plant in rich, light soil in full sun
Plant tubers 4-8cm deep, 15-30cm apart in early Spring



Cauliflowers come in a range of colours, making them a decorative and tasty part of any windowbox. There are varieties to flower pretty much through the year, so it is worth checking your seed packet as to the exact sowing times and conditions required. Most are best grown in modules first, then transplanted into place.
Sow seed: 2cm deep, 15-60cm (depending on variety)
Varieties: Beauty (Summer), Kestrel (Autumn), White Dove (Winter), Galleon (Spring)


Chinese Broccoli (pic1) &

Chinese Cabbage (pic2)
Chinese Broccoli has a tangy broccoli taste, whilst Chinese Cabbage, surprisingly, is quite cabbagey!
Both need a deep, fertile, moisture-retentive soil to do well. Full sun is preferred.
Sow seed: 2cm deep, 30cm apart from mid spring (indoors) to late summer (outdoors)
Broccolli Varieties: Hirosaki, Jade
Cabbage Varieties: Tenderstem

chinese kale
chinese cabbage


Celeriac is usually used for the swollen ‘bulb’ at the base of the stem, although it’s leaves can also be used to flavour soups and other dishes. The 'bulb' can be cooked or grated into winter salads. Grow in a fertile soil in a fairly open site.
Sow seed: In pots, on the soil surface in early to mid spring
Varieties: Monarch, Prinz


Corn Salad

A great salad crop, with an earthy flavour, for year-round consumption. Also known as Lamb’s Lettuce or Mache. Does best in a sunny, well-drained, fertile soil. Winter crops may need protection with fleece in exposed areas.
Sow seed: 1cm deep & 10cm apart from mid spring to early autumn
Varieties: Cavallo, Verte de Cambrai

corn salad


For a windowbox, it's best to select self-blanching (SB) or leaf celery (L) varieties, as these take up less space than traditional trench celery. Celery needs a well-drained, moisture-retentive soil with lots of organic matter to do well.
Sow seed: Indoors, in pots, on the soil surface in early to mid spring. Plant out when the seedlings have 4-6 true leaves, with the crown of the plant at the soil surface. Leave 25cm between plants (SB) or 13cm apart (L)
Varieties: Celebrity, Tango, Victoria (SB), Kintsai (L)




Courgettes need deep soil and unfortunately sprawl far too much to be suitable for a windowbox .




Cucumbers, likewise, sprawl or need trellis support so are not recommended here.