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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.
What is a Balcony Garden?
A balcony garden is a type of container gardening that is done on a balcony or terrace. It involves growing plants in containers, such as pots or hanging baskets, on a small outdoor space like a balcony. Balcony gardens can be used to grow a wide variety of plants, including flowers, herbs, vegetables, and small trees.
They are becoming increasingly popular in urban areas where outdoor space is limited, and people are looking for ways to bring nature and greenery into their homes. A balcony garden can provide fresh produce, improve air quality, and create a beautiful outdoor space for relaxation and enjoyment.
Pros and Cons of a Balcony Garden
Balcony gardens are a great way to bring the beauty and benefits of nature into small urban spaces. However, there are pros and cons to consider before starting a balcony garden. Here are some of the main pros and cons of balcony gardens:
- Access to Fresh Produce: With a balcony garden, you can grow your own fruits, vegetables, and herbs, which can provide fresh produce for your meals.
- Improved Air Quality: Plants help to filter the air and remove pollutants, which can lead to improved air quality in your home.
- Aesthetic Appeal: Balcony gardens can add a beautiful touch to your home’s exterior, and create a peaceful and relaxing space to enjoy.
- Stress Relief: Spending time in nature has been shown to reduce stress levels and improve mental health.
- Educational Opportunity: Balcony gardens can provide an opportunity to learn about plant care, botany, and sustainable living.
- Limited Space: Balconies can be small, which can limit the number of plants you can grow and the types of plants that are suitable.
- Limited Light: Depending on the orientation of your balcony and the surrounding buildings, your plants may not receive enough sunlight to thrive.
- Wind and Temperature Fluctuations: Balconies can be exposed to wind and temperature fluctuations, which can be damaging to plants.
- Pest Problems: Balcony gardens can attract pests such as aphids, spider mites, and whiteflies, which can damage or kill your plants.
- Maintenance Requirements: Balcony gardens require regular maintenance, including watering, fertilizing, pruning, and pest control.
How to Start a Balcony Garden
Here’s how to start your very own balcony garden step by step!
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 tending 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.
FAQ’s about Balcony Gardens
A balcony garden is a type of container gardening that is done on a balcony or terrace.
You can grow a wide variety of plants in a balcony garden, including flowers, herbs, vegetables, and small trees.
Balcony gardens can provide many benefits, including fresh produce, improved air quality, stress relief, and a beautiful outdoor space.
To start a balcony garden, you should first assess your space and lighting conditions, choose appropriate containers and soil, select plants that are suited to your environment, and care for your plants regularly.
Common challenges of balcony gardening include limited space, limited light, wind and temperature fluctuations, and potential pest problems.
Yes, balcony gardening can be done in apartments and rental properties, as long as you have permission from the landlord and follow any guidelines or regulations that may apply.
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.