Gardens come in all shapes and sizes. For those who don’t have a flourishing backyard with acres of greenery, you’ve got to make do with the space you have to satisfy your inner green thumb. Creating a balcony garden can bring life to your terrace and give you some healthy options to add into your cooking. By plotting out the space, researching which plants will thrive on your balcony, and gathering the right materials, you’ll set yourself up for gardening success.
How to Create a Balcony Garden
First, consider your space. The amount of sunlight your balcony gets will determine what you’re able to grow and how quickly your garden will grow. Crops like tomatoes and strawberries need lots of sun to grow up healthy, while others like peas and herbs can still thrive in less sunlight. If your balcony is sunlight-deprived, you may need to invest in a grow light to give your plants the light they need.
What are your goals for your balcony garden? Are you looking to build out your collection of natural herbs or do you want to turn your terrace into your own personal exotic oasis? Whether your motives are culinary or aesthetic, planning out your garden will help you maximize space. Hanging and stack planters allow you to create a vertical garden, which helps save space. Climbing plants like honeysuckle, ivy, ferns, and different varieties of vines are perfectly suited for this kind of garden design. Before hanging any planting pots, hooks, trellises, shelves, or any kind of gardening equipment, check your governing Homeowners Association (HOA) policies to make sure your plans are within the rules.
Keep Your Plants Healthy
With any garden, your main concern is keeping your plants healthy. This means giving them plenty of water, treating your soil with care, and keeping up with seasonal demands depending on your local climate. If you’re looking to save money on your balcony gardening project, don’t focus your frugal efforts on soil. Soil is the lifeblood of your garden, so it’s important to give it a fresh, nutrient-rich mixture. Once you’ve selected your plants, research their needs to see which potting mix you need to pick up at your local gardening or hardware store. Depending on the chemical makeup of the potting soil, you may not need to fertilize your plants right away.
With a balcony garden, it’s also important to keep your neighbors happy. Put saucers underneath your pots to prevent excess water from dripping onto the neighbors beneath you. This will also cut down on wasted water, one of the main principles of sustainable gardening. Self-watering pots are helpful, especially if you’re not always around to water your plants. They prevent overwatering by metering the amount of water your plants receive, only feeding them when necessary.
You also need to consider how much weight you’re adding to your balcony. Yes, terra cotta pots have that quintessential Tuscan gardening look, but a dozen ceramic pots filled with water-soaked plants might bear more weight on your terrace than it’s prepared for. Look at more lightweight potting alternatives and different soil mixtures than can lighten the load on your balcony.
For more information on making the most out of your garden, read our blog post on urban farming:
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