You have a balcony and you’ve decided to grow a garden on it. Why keep it boring and bland when you can color it up with a gorgeous balcony garden?
A balcony garden is very doable, and it really doesn’t matter how small your balcony is. Most plants that can grow in a yard can grow on a balcony as long as there are a few prerequisites that are met – good soil, sufficient water, sunshine and fertilizer. And a little bit of TLC.
If you have no idea where to start, don’t worry. We’ve got you covered with this actionable list that’ll guide you on exactly what you need to know to get started.
1. Pick your type of balcony garden
Start by deciding on the type of garden you’re after. For this, you should consider how much time you’re willing to put into tend the garden. Here are some garden types:
- Kitchen garden – grow vegetables, fruit and herbs
- Herb garden – focus only on kitchen and medicinal herbs
- Flower garden – color up your garden with flowers
- Easy maintenance garden – think cacti, succulents and flowering ferns that require minimal maintenance
You might want to go with a mixture of these or you might want to focus on just the one type. But having an idea of what plants your focusing on will help you to pick out the style, not to mention plants and seeds, for your balcony garden.
2. Plan your balcony garden
Take into account the space you have for your garden and think about how you might utilize this to the max.
Vertical planting is an excellent way to give yourself more space and greenery, while utilizing ladders or steps to place your plants are also easy ways to maximize your balcony space.
Think about the conditions on the garden – wind, sun, rain – as this will help you to plan how you want your garden to be set up.
3. Set a budget
Gardening can be done on a modest budget or an extravagant one. The point is to pick how much you’re comfortable spending on your garden.
To put this in perspective, you can make a watering can out of a used milk container or you can always purchase a fancy watering can for the job. The point is that by defining your budget, you’ll be able to pick the plants, tools and containers that work for you.
4. Choose your plants
Before you choose your plants, there are a few things you should consider:
- How many hours of sunlight does your balcony receive per day? Plants have varying sun requirements which is important to consider.
- If you’re going for a kitchen garden, choose dwarf varieties as these take less space, grow well in containers and can be very productive.
- What about fruit trees? You can think beyond just flowers and leaves. Miniature fruit plants grow well in large pots.
You don’t have to have it all figured out at the start. Just pick a few… or one… you’d like to start with. It doesn’t really matter. The point is to get started by choosing the right types of plants that suit the climate you’re in.
5. Buy the tools you need
Here are some basic tools you could do with but remember that you can find alternatives for some of them:
Gardening gloves – these aren’t mandatory, but they help to keep your fingernails clean, make it easier to handle plants with spikes or thorns and keeps worms and other unwelcome organic matter at bay.
Watering can – You can buy one or make one, but these typically don’t cost a lot. They’re also not essential, considering that you can use a glass of water from your kitchen to do the same job. However, they do create less mess and make it easier to water your plants.
Trowel – These are a gardener’s basic tool. They help you to dig and plant easily and they’re inexpensive tools to invest in.
Pruners – These help you to cut the plant cleanly and quickly, reducing the risk of infection (yes plants can get infected from cuts too).
Containers – This varies depending on your plants and there are a range to choose from. From planting pockets to self-watering pots to vertical planters, the choices are pretty wide.
Fertilizers – You can pick out an all-purpose fertilizer or find specific fertilizers for each type of plant you have. Choose from liquid or pellet form.
Potting mix – High-quality potting mix is essential. Look for a mix that drains well and has good ingredients. Potting soil typically doesn’t contain any soil, as earth often doesn’t suit the conditions of a container garden.
So, there you have it. The steps to get you started with your balcony garden. If you’re someone who’s never gardened before, it’s easy to be daunted at the idea of starting a garden.
But everyone can have a green thumb as long as they’re willing to put in the effort required to keep their plants thriving.
So here are the five steps to take on your journey to starting your balcony garden:
- Pick your garden type and what you really want out of your garden
- Plan your garden based on the conditions and space you have
- Set a budget that you’re comfortable with
- Choose the plants you want to start with. Check out our guide to best plants for beginners.
- Buy the tools you really need. If you’re budget is strict, only get the absolute essentials.