If you have access to a balcony, you can grow veggies, herbs, flowers, and vines. Growing plants on a balcony is an easy thing to do, but you have to be willing to sacrifice some foot room. You can get fresh air, get your hands dirty, and interact with nature. In an urban environment, having your own private retreat is almost as precious as gold. A touch of greenery will induce a refreshing feel.
A balcony garden can be as simple or complicated as you want. Take into consideration your space, the light, and the exposure of the balcony before embarking on this project. Also, figure out how much time, energy, and money you want to spend. Since you’re an apartment dweller, you’re limited in what you can plant, but you still have options. Your balcony garden will look splendid no matter what you decide on.
Here’s how to turn your balcony into an irresistible retreat.
Measure The Hours Of Sun Your Balcony Gets
It’s important to understand that your balcony is a microclimate. It’s a small, restricted area, so think about its unique conditions and demands. All plants require a certain amount of sunshine for photosynthesis. They need this energy to grow, bloom, and produce seeds. If a plant doesn’t get enough light, this limits the photosynthetic process. As a rule, balconies get sun from one direction, so spend some time outside and take note of the climatic conditions.
If your balcony faces north, it will never get direct sunlight. You’ll need shade-tolerant plants. If it faces east, on the other hand, it will be lovely in the morning. And if it faces west, you’ll get a generous dose of sunshine. You’ll need plants that love the sun. If your balcony faces south, you’ll get sunlight most of the time. You need to know for sure how many hours of direct sunlight your space gets. You can time it out or use an online calculator to determine sun exposure.
All plants need direct sunlight. If that’s not possible, electric light can be supplied. Plants don’t care where the photons of light come from.
Stock Up On Balcony Planters
Balcony planters offer ample space for all types of plants. The pots are designed to hang from the balcony railing, so you can maximise on growing space. You can grow small shrubs, perennials, and various traditional garden vegetables. Selecting the right planters depends on the size of your balcony. You should invest in lightweight planters, as you can move them around without too much difficulty. Balcony planters are available in a wide range of colours, such as green, pink, and blue.
If you have your mind set on a planter on wheels, you should forget about it. Planters on wheels are suitable only for deck and patio areas. If it gets too hot, you just roll the planter into the shade. Planters can be used in combination with vertical gardening. You can make a vertical garden out of wooden pallets. You can make most of the space you have available. Wood pallets have to be treated if they’ve been in contact with harmful substances.
You have the liberty to explore a variety of containers. Why don’t you add your personal touch to the project? Think about recycling plant pots. If you have a lovely pot that you’d like to use, but it doesn’t have holes in the bottom, use a plastic pot that fits into it.
Pick Plants That Can Survive On A Balcony
A set of plants is sure to make your home look amazing. The magnificent scent of the flowers will attract butterflies, hummingbirds, and other pollinators. If you grow herbs and veggies, you’ll enjoy a better quality of life. Choose plants that you can manage with less care and attention. If you have a windy balcony, choose containers such as terra cotta. Now, let’s take a look at the best plants for the balcony.
- Leafy greens: kale, lettuce, spinach, arugula, mustard greens
- Herbs: oregano, basil, rosemary, thyme, sage, lemon verbena
- Vegetables: tomatoes, eggplants, beans, peppers, carrots, radishes
- Flowers: lavender, fuchsia, hibiscus, roses, pansies, violas
Depending on your vision and the space available, make an estimate of the investment required. Put together a list of everything you need. Be careful not to add too much weight to the balcony. This could result in a safety hazard that will put you and those close to you in danger.
Make Sure You Have Water Easily Available
You should water the plants a couple of times a day. Not only is water an essential nutrient, but also it carries nutrients throughout the plant. When the plants mature, you have to water them more frequently but in smaller amounts. If you want to minimise the amount of watering you do, consider getting an automated watering system. Your plants will bloom, even if you’re far away. Overwatering will drown the plants. If there’s too much water in the soil, there won’t be sufficient air pockets, so the plants won’t be able to breathe.
If you have lots of planters and pots, incorporate water-retaining granules in the soil. They’re like sponges in the sense that the granules can hold an enormous amount of water in comparison to their size. Another thing you can do is to adopt mulching. It’s highly beneficial for plants if done properly, of course. Mulch made of wood chips is the best type to use. Equally, pebbles are attractive but don’t mix them into the potting soil.
Keep Furniture To A Minimum
One of the challenges you face is space. It’s a good idea to keep furniture to a minimum. The space isn’t big enough to fit the furniture you wish it could. Limit yourself to a small table and a couple of chairs. It should be more than enough to enjoy the space. Decorate the walls and include accessories with a strong look. Most importantly, don’t neglect the balcony garden. Go there, sweep around, and spruce up.