Planning a Balcony Garden – Planting and Home Caring

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Planning a Balcony Garden

No yard? No problem. Apartment and condo dwellers needn’t miss out on the pleasure of growing their own flowers, fruits, and veggies. Just about anything that can be grown in a traditional yard can thrive as part of a balcony garden.

Many people in the world are apartment dwellers.  Living in larger cities such as Los Angeles or New York City is virtually impossible to not live in an apartment.  So, even though you may live in an apartment as I did for the majority of my adult life so far, doesn’t mean you don’t care to garden or want a beautiful outdoor living space.

So here is a great video I found on tips for growing a porch or balcony garden.  The key is utilizing pots and planters, the proper plants, and figuring out what is right for your environment and light levels.

There are so really neat ideas on this video for small space solutions.  I really want to purchase a couple of these wall hangings to plant on my very own patio!  Although I no longer live in an apartment I think this video still showcases a lot of great tips for anyone who likes to garden!

How to Start a Balcony Garden

If you decide to create your balcony garden, there are endless possibilities for what to grow and how to grow it. In the following, I will offer a few ideas based on the level of effort and space you want to dedicate to the garden. There are all of them, so keep in mind when choosing something that grows in your balcony garden. Sources: 8

Like any other agricultural enterprise, the creation of a garden on a balcony with containers requires careful planning. In this article, I will guide you through the most important considerations and steps you need to take to start a successful balcony garden. The most important considerations are summarized in the attached pictures at the end of the article. Sources: 7

The first step for beginners in the balcony garden is to explore and find out the specific and essential details of the balcony garden you want to create. This includes various factors such as the availability of space, sunlight, water budget, and the time you want to invest. Once you have selected the best location for your plants on your balcony, the next step is to decide where to plant. Sources: 6, 7

Based on various factors such as the availability of space, sunlight, water budget, and time you want to invest, you can decide which plants you want to grow and what resources you need to create the balcony garden you want to create. Here are 5 simple tips for gardening on a balcony, even if you only want a small balcony garden. As a beginner, you have to decide how much space you want to dedicate to your new balcony garden. Sources: 1, 6

The idea of balcony gardening is appealing and you can start making the most of your little green corner. Here you learn how to gardening in a confined space, such as on a balcony. Here are 5 balcony garden ideas that you can start with if you are wondering which plants grow best for you and your children on the balcony. Sources: 1, 4

It all depends on your space, exposure, and the amount of time, energy, and money you want to spend. You don’t need much equipment to start your balcony garden, but there is a selection of plants, containers, pots, soil mixtures, and gardening tools, including trowels, rakes, and pruning shears. With plants and containers, you can create a low-maintenance, simple balcony garden that you can cultivate. Sources: 2, 4

To grow a balcony, roof, or terrace, you have to choose the right plants. Dream of a 10 m high magnolia with lots of plants growing in pots on the balcony. For summer beds, begonias, petunias, osteospermums, and industrious lizards are great pot plants that will brighten up your balcony in late spring, summer and autumn. Sources: 5

Given the difficulty of hauling plants and pots to and down the balcony and the fact that many people look forward to the balcony all year round, it is a good idea to plant in winter. Nevertheless, your balcony is a microclimate, and your zone will differ from where plants grow in the park. Sources: 2

Remember that you want to leave your plants outside in colder climates in winter, so make sure that they have classified at least two zones below cold tolerance if your area is classified above. Make sure your plants are in your balcony garden so you don’t forget to water them. Chances are your balcony will have direct sunlight from the roof, so you don’t have to water every day, even if it rains. Sources: 0, 2

A private balcony garden will calm you down and nature will give you a sense of purpose. Instead of having a boring and abandoned balcony, use it to build a balcony garden where you can grow fresh, organic food. With a boring abandoned balcony, you can store your garbage, old unused items, chairs, faded paints, brooms, vacuum cleaners, etc… You can use this balcony to create tiny balcony kitchen gardens. Sources: 3, 7

Container gardens allow vegetables to be placed in an area of your balcony where they receive the best possible sunlight. The vegetables you plant are adapted to the climate of the balcony, and the only requirement that remains is to water and fertilize. The varieties selected for vegetables are best suited to the mini-garden. Sources: 7

To use the vertical space in your balcony garden, think about buying a few plant stands. You can place plant stands like the ones shown above on DIY ladders or shelf planting to give you more space for your pots. Don’t just place simple pots on your balcony, install a planter or wall pot, add a stack of planters, or hang up a few baskets to create some space. Sources: 1, 3

Hanging baskets give your balcony a chic look and you can adjust its height accordingly. If you have a small balcony, an efficient planter can be attached to the wall or handrail. Choose a clay pot or a plastic pot as a container and decorate your balcony garden the way you like to decorate it. Sources: 0, 1, 4

Those who plant pots in their balcony garden should pay attention to synthetic soil. If you are ambitious, you can get larger containers (18 to 24) with trellises that allow the plants to grow on the walls of your balcony. With a small balcony garden, it can be difficult to plant and grow one or two seeds, especially if you can’t do it. Sources: 0, 8

Having a real garden never stops you from enjoying at least a bit of garden joy. For our family, gardening on the balcony is a welcome activity that does not involve too much work and does not offer too much space for too many plants or pots. We decided to turn a balcony vegetable garden into a simple container garden on our small balcony. Sources: 1

Before you start with your balcony garden, it is important that you are sure how much weight the balcony can carry. There are clever tricks to accommodate more plants in a confined space and solutions to common balcony problems. We have selected the best flowers, vegetables, and herbs that grow on a balcony and explained how to grow them.

Rules and Regulations

Before starting, check with building management for legal, safety, and especially weight considerations. Lightweight alternatives to traditional materials, such as potting mix and containers, will likely be necessary.

Make a Plan for Success Planting

Learn about growing conditions like temperature, hours of sunlight, and growing your zone. “Once you understand the growing environment on your balcony it’s easier to design your garden and select the right plants,” says Kim Spink of balconygardener.ca. “Get inspired and try different combinations for your growing conditions.”

If you don’t get things exactly right the first year you garden, one of the advantages of balcony gardens is that they are easy to change from year to year, making experimentation a breeze.

What to Grow in Balcony

Your balcony’s conditions will determine the best vegetation for your garden, but fruits and veggies, like lettuce, strawberries, herbs, and tomatoes, are great for container gardening because they don’t require very much space. Plants that require the structural support of trellises or cages to grow properly (cucumbers, beans, and other vine plants) can make use of the fixtures and beams of a balcony.

What Not to Grow – Avoid varieties of Plants and Vegetables 

“Don’t grow plants that are not suited to your growing conditions,” cautions Spink. “You’ll be disappointed.” When starting out “don’t assume that any of your plants will winter-over on a balcony.” Stick with annuals. Do your research and be honest about how much time and effort you’re willing to put into it. “Your growing conditions, commitment to watering/fertilizing, and your budget are the three biggest factors that help you decide what not to grow.”

Gardening Design for the Best Views

The same design principles apply to a balcony as they do in a yard.

  • Use different combinations of container and plant sizes to create visual interest.
  • Reduce visual clutter by choosing containers that blend in with the surroundings.
  • Layer plants, with taller plants in the back and smaller ones in the front.
  • Repeat plant types and colors throughout the garden.
  • Try vertical gardening. Hanging baskets and trellises can be used to maximize space.
  • If your building allows it, shelves, hooks, brackets, and wall-mounted urns are great balcony space savers.
  • Consider incorporating a seating and/or entertaining area.
  • Leave breathing room for people and furniture and don’t overcrowd the space.

Caring for Balcony Garden

Balcony gardens face certain challenges, one of which is wind. Spink warns that wind can damage plants, knock over containers, and dry out the soil. Container gardening requires a lot of watering, so remember that a good soaking is much better than an occasional light sprinkling. Gardens in the sky are often subject to pollination problems due to the lack of insect traffic at higher elevations. In some cases hand-pollination may be necessary, so give plants a good shake every day; it should liberate enough pollen to be effective.

To prevent pigeons and magpies from visiting and making a mess, Spink warns to keep the space clean: “Responding quickly to any birds that do try to nest can discourage repeat attempts.” Installing a plastic owl or other bird deterrents might also help prevent your balcony from becoming a birdhouse.

Best Benefits of Balcony Gardening

Balcony gardens are quick and easy to maintain. “I can water, weed and fertilize my balcony garden each week in about 15 minutes,” says Spink. There’s also the benefit of being able to set it up quickly in the spring and tear it down just as quickly in the fall. They’re also easy to change around. “Each year I arrange my containers differently and often choose a completely different collection of plants.”

Not having a yard is no reason not to enjoy growing your own fruits, vegetables, and flowers. Even the smallest balcony can be home to a Garden Nursery full of lush plants.

Cited Sources

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