Growing a balcony garden and making your outside space a green machine.
Any plant, you can grow in a formal garden you can also be grow in your balcony garden, as long as the climate conditions are appropriate.
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Best use of the space.
Space is at a premium in any balcony garden, and there are easy ways you can maximise your area for a lush garden. Choose plant types intended for containers or small spaces for the best results, and use high-quality potting soil plus nutritious compost to nourish your garden.
Hanging pots will also add vertical growing space, multiplying the number of plants in your garden. Many plants thrive in pots and on balconies, including beans, spring onions and strawberries.
Grow a salad garden with pots of edibles on a patio or balcony.
Spread your pots around your balcony instead of clumping them in one area. Doing this will spread out the weight distribution, and you will have no nasty balcony gardening mishaps.
Soon enough, you’ll be getting all the benefits of a healthy, edible balcony garden. But remember unless firmly fixed in place, small pots are also far more likely to blow over in strong winds, which are yet another inevitable challenge of balcony gardening.
It’s always a very good idea to take stock of the growing conditions on your balcony. You’ll find that the possibilities for innovative growing are endless.
- Some plants will require more space than others.
- You can even grow plants on the small apartment balcony.
- Make use of any wall space and hang half-baskets and wall pockets.
- You can create a garden using trellises, shelves or hanging baskets.
Try not to forget just how heavy a container can get once it’s full of soil, water, and a loaded tomato plant, especially if you have a bunch of them. When you’re new to things like propagating, taking cuttings, even keeping a plant alive, don’t let the thought of losing a few plants deter you.
In the urban environment, many residents have only a window, small balcony or yard space to grow edible plants. You’ll find lots of ways you can take advantage of small spaces, even using vertical gardening techniques and by growing varieties of plants which grow well in containers.
Plants may dry out quickly, especially if you’re using terra-cotta pots. To counteract this and give your plants the even moisture they need, select the biggest pots you can.
Afternoon shade will reduce the moisture plants need.
Mulching is especially helpful if you’re growing in long shallow containers. The biggest downfall of growing in containers on a balcony is just that, you’re growing in containers.
Don’t be afraid to mulch your balcony containers. Since you do not have ready access to plant in the ground, containers are obviously crucial to planting a balcony garden.
Growing your own vegetables.
Creative design, such as recycling materials can save on gardening expenses, making growing food more accessible. Besides adequate exposure to sunlight, understanding your space is key to succeeding at balcony gardening.
Fruits, herbs, vegetables and flowers are all popular, and even dwarf trees can thrive on the right balcony. Vegetables that are grown in a typical backyard garden also do well as a container-grown plant on balconies.
Try to find pots at yard sales or second-hand stores.
Vegetables perfectly suited for growing in containers include kale, radishes, cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, green onions, beans, lettuce, squash and parsley. Get started with the best plants, feed and water them and enjoy a summer full of your favourite vegetables and herbs.
Make sure vegetables get picked when they ripen to keep the plants productive. For growing vegetables indoors, stick with smaller, more manageable plants like lettuce, kale, and compact tomatoes.
Container gardening does make it possible to position the vegetables in areas on your balcony where they can receive the best sunlight. Growing vegetables on your balcony mean you will utilise containers hence reducing irresponsible disposal of discarded containers.
How do you build a small balcony garden?
When you create a balcony garden in a small space, hanging pots and baskets are the best way to go. This will allow many plants to grow in the frequently neglected overhead area. Attaching planters to your balcony railing is another great idea as it doesn’t require additional space.
Vegetables grown in containers are also attacked by pests and diseases just like any vegetable garden. One way to employ the idea of a garden and vegetable gardening is by using a mix of vegetables and flowers.
You’ll find that you can still grow a variety of vegetables in a small amount of space, tomatoes, corn, zucchini, midget melons, peppers etc. with excellent results. For the majority of vegetables, the ideal growing medium is generally a mixture of three-part loam soil, one-part compost or composted manure.
Containers can at times be expensive, so try the garage sales first.
Where you can plant your vegetables depends on what suits them best. Root vegetables will tolerate more shade than those which bear fruit, like cucumbers, peppers, tomatoes and eggplant. Flowers, vegetables, herbs, even trees are possible if you have balcony or rooftop space.
Even a herb garden on your balcony.
Plants such as lettuces and herbs are easy to grow in tight spaces, and still, deliciously add your spring and summer meals. When picking your pots, it’s a great idea to remember the potential of bringing your plants inside once cold weather comes back to extend the season of fresh herbs.
Pick up the right tools and understand how to water and harvest your herbs to help make your balcony herb garden successful. You only need a couple of things to plant herbs successfully on your balcony.
Many vegetables require lots of sun, about six hours per day.
Get the herbs you already use in your cooking and a few new varieties that look interesting while at the garden centre. If you and your kids like pizza, you could grow one or two tomato plants in the container or grow bag surrounded by the herbs perfect for a pizza.
Nearby buildings or neighbour’s balconies may shade your own balcony so know what sunlight your space receives to successfully grow herbs. You could start with plant space-saving veggies like peppers, bush-type tomatoes, eggplants, bush-type cucumbers, and strawberries, plus herbs.
- Don’t fill pots to the top with soil mixture.
- Container gardening adds versatility to gardens.
- Herbs and small flowers are great for railing planters.
- Clustering pots can make it easier to water plants efficiently.
Smaller pots and planters are great for planting kitchen herbs, perennials, and annuals. Those herbs, already growing in small pots, can be found in your local store.
For those that really do have access to a rooftop, balcony, terrace, or patio, you can grow a wide range of veggies, herbs, perennials, flowers, and vines in containers. Herbs are great for apartment balconies because they are easy to grow, fit in relatively small containers, and some have vines allowing them to grow vertically.
To add delight and colour to your balcony, grow flowers.
Most herbs will need around 4-6 hours of direct sunlight to grow well. Many greens and some herbs need much less sun to survive and thrive.
It’s all about low maintenance plants that give a high return on herbs and flowers. There are flowers, creepers, conifers, herbs, vegetables, shrubs and even dwarf trees that someone could grow.
Soil, sun, and water.
You’ll do need to invest in good quality soil for your plants but otherwise there is a lot of variances. Gravel and micro-bark are both excellent options and will keep the sun off of the soil, which keeps your plants’ roots cool and able to retain more water.
Regular garden soil alone may not be sufficient if it does not have the properties for healthy plant growth. The growing medium or soil must be porous to allow good aeration of the plant roots.
Always wash any used containers with hot soapy water before using it.
The ideal soil mixture is dark brown in colour and looks like crumbs. Clean up any soil or water spills right away to prevent stains, and keep your tools, fertiliser and other equipment stored safely.
If the balcony has a lot of shade or has filtered sun, it is possible to grow lettuces. When gardening on a balcony, sometimes the best way to maximise your growing potential is to grow vertically to take advantage of a sunny area and utilise all of your space.
Your apartment’s location may mean that your balcony only gets full sun, or is only shaded throughout the growing season. Select plants suited to the climate and the sun or shade the container will receive.
How do you grow vegetables on a balcony?
The majority of plants and that includes edibles will grow happily in a pot on your balcony or small courtyard. Pots can easily be placed on hard surfaces or hanging baskets suspended from railings or walls. If you have a little more space, you could grow a few vegetables in a raised bed.
People always overestimate how many hours of direct sun a spot gets. This is true on a balcony because buildings or walls can obstruct the sun in certain parts of the space.
Pay attention to your plants and how they respond to things like sunlight, water, heat and cold. Great container gardens will require adequate drainage, the ability to regularly water them easily, and must not be too heavy on your balcony.
Feel the soil or employ a water indicator to check before watering.
When plants are grown in containers instead of the earth, they may need to be watered a little more often. This is another good reason to consider self-watering pots or drip irrigation.
Self-watering planters might be a good option depending on the water needs of what your growing. The most common mistake lots of gardeners make is overwatering.