How to Start Your Own Garden On Your Balcony
Everyone raves about having fresh food. There’s nothing more fresh than growing your own and eating it right after it’s picked! Apartment living doesn’t mean you have to go without your beautiful and bountiful gardens. You only need to know how to plan to make it happen. After you put your garden together, the plants do all of the work!
- Get moisture control soil: The number one killer of house plants is overwatering. Nervous gardeners see their lovely plants starting to bloom and they want to encourage the seedlings to grow by watering, and watering. Unfortunately, this has the opposite effect and it drowns the plant. The soil needs time for it to dry out to prevent root rot. Moisture control soil helps out the gardener by having the right combination of solvents and minerals to help wick away moisture when there is too much, and it holds it in where there isn’t enough. You still need to be mindful of watering, but it takes some of the guesswork out of gardening. You can find this soil at any home department store.
- Find a sunny spot on the balcony: Plants need water, air, and sunlight to grow. Figure out where your balcony is in relation to the sun. If you are facing east, then you’ll have ample morning sun, but if you are positioned to the south, then you’ll only have a corner or two that will receive good sun during the middle of the day. Different plants require different amounts of sunlight. If you only have 4-6 hours of sunlight on your balcony, then look for plants that require medium to low amounts of direct sunlight.
- Choose what you want to grow: Decide whether you want to have an herb garden, vegetables, or different seasonal flowers. You can always do a combination as well. Some excellent herbs to start out with are basil, mint, cilantro, and parsley. Try your hand at some veggies with tomatoes, radishes, lettuce, onions, and peppers. Some great flowers that take to containers are pansies, petunias, snapdragons, and marigolds. Different plants thrive during different parts of the year. Research what plants grow best during the season that you are looking to plant in.
- Tiered planters: After you decide what to plant, figure out how to maximize your growing space. One of the best ways to get more out of your balcony space is to use tiered planters or vertical planters. Save space by going up instead of spreading out. You can also add in hanging planters for added greenery. These are perfect for the petunias. You can find vertical planters online, or in some home department stores.
- Have a watering schedule: You want to water your plants, but you want to careful not to over or under water your plants. Keep a little checklist out next to your garden so you remember when the last time they were watered. Depending on how hot it is outside, you should water them every other day, or 2-3 times a week. There’s also a technique to watering. If you douse the pots with tons of water, then most of it will go down the side and flow out the bottom. You want to slowly pour about 10 seconds worth of water per pot. Then after waiting a few minutes, go back and rewater the pot for a few more seconds. This lets the water penetrate the soil, reaching it down to the base of the roots.
Having plants and greenery around makes any living space come alive. The balcony area will soon be one of your favorite places in your apartment. Take a break from the busy day to step outside and enjoy your little oasis of herbs, flowers, or vegetables.