Nature lovers and gardening enthusiasts are breaking the stigma that in order to grow healthy plants and have a luscious garden, one should own a greenhouse or a yard. Truth is, with proper care and attention anyone can create a flora-thriving paradise on their own balcony.
Transforming a balcony into a great greeny outdoor space is quite easy. As a gardener, the factors you need to consider are the available natural and artificial lighting, regular weather and climate changes, as well as usable space. It’s essential to choose a plant variety that would be able to flourish in the conditions of your home-grown garden.
Why Transform Your Balcony to a Green Heaven
Urban districts could be rather bleak. City life often deprives people of much-needed nature spots, surrounding them with concrete and air pollution. Escaping this fast-paced world to chill and unwind is always a good idea, especially if you have a garden in your living space.
Balconies are an extension of indoor space that we all need in our lives. Whether you want a chill place to drink coffee or read a book, or you are just an enthusiast to grow plants, designing and working on a balcony garden is probably the best decision you could make.
Gardening without a garden might be simple and affordable, but it could also cost you a fortune. It all depends on how you decide to use the available space, resources and cultivation conditions. Choosing decent grow containers and plants is imperative when it comes to the financial point. As a grower, you could create a relatively low maintenance garden or invest in a big home-farming experience.
The Essential Tips for Your Balcony
Are you ready to start growing? Here are the most relevant tips for transforming your balcony into a garden.
Consider vertical gardening
Vertical gardening is a perfect solution for any balcony, especially small a one. It allows the gardeners to grow more plants and flowers that would be taking up less space. Green walls not only look impressive but will also improve the urban and home environment.
There are many options to make the most of a vertical garden installation work. It starts with choosing the proper pods for plant cultivation, according to the available growing area. Growing structures could be attached to a wall or be freestanding. Hanging baskets, railing planters, vertical wall planters, wall pockets, and stack planters are all an amazing solution for balcony farming.
Next, it is time to pick out decent plants that would be flourishing in such conditions. Climbing greens and shrubs acquire vertical space and are perfect for a small balcony. The most suitable plants for vertical cultivation are ferns, pilea, succulents, hostas, begonias, bromeliads, and vines.
Choose the light properly
Before growing a garden and choosing plant varieties, it is important to acknowledge exactly how much natural light your plants would be getting. As all balconies are different, the growing conditions are different as well. Light exposure is crucial for the well-being of the greens and while some prefer shady environment, other crops would need direct sunlight.
Many gardeners try to cultivate home-grown fruits and vegetables, however, such greens would require extra sunlight to grow healthy. If your balcony could not provide at least six to eight hours of natural light for the plants – then planting edibles might not be such a good idea. On the contrary, there are many shrubs, flowers, and herbs that need less sunlight.
- Sunny Balcony
South and west-facing balconies are able to provide sufficient sunlight all day long. Avoid plants that thrive in the shade and optimize greenery that loves natural lighting. Light-loving vegetables and greens like daisy, coneflower, yarrow, blanket flower, lavender, butterfly weed, and sage are a perfect addition to a sunny garden.
- Shady Balcony
A north and east-facing balcony could also be turned into a luscious garden, so no need to get discouraged by the lack of natural light. Choose to grow plants that tolerate shade or need less sunlight to thrive. Ferns, copper plant, amethyst flower, begonia, and hydrangea are going to be a great addition to your shady balcony.
Find the right plants for your environment
Finding the best plants according to the available growing environment is one of the most crucial steps home-growers have to take. Lighting exposure, available space, and weather conditions at your balcony should match the plants’ specifics and preferences.
Balconies exposed to sunlight can get quite hot and extreme heat is harmful for some plants, so it’s imperative to take this into consideration when you are deciding what to plant. The same goes for the wind – some greens love windy areas while others would curl up. A good way to protect plants is by placing them near the floor or install blinds.
Greens need individual care so it is essential to concentrate on what your plants would need in order to be healthy. A grower should be able to meet the care requirements of plants they choose for their space. Think about how much time you would be able to spend taking care of your garden and how much effort it would take – then you can make the right decision.
Applying specific feeding and watering routines to your ornamental or/and edible plants would help you grow the best greens. If you are a busy individual and you barely have time to work on your garden, then you have to concentrate on minimizing the manual plant care through automatization. Installing a drip irrigation system is a valuable solution for watering. You could as well use self-watering pots, or try to get drought-resistant plants.
Plan your space
Gardening always requires space planning. According to the size of your balcony, you should prepare a plan on how to situate your garden and where it would be optimal to place your plants.
Small spaces are also good for gardening, so even if your balcony area is tiny – you can make it work. For example, placing plants on window sills and fire escapes is a superb option for mini-balconies. You could also make your small balcony work by hanging planters, pile up pots, create trellises and start vertical gardening.
Nonetheless compost and fertilize
Gardening requires providing sufficient food supply for greens. Fertilization and composting play a huge role in reassuring the well-being of home-grown garden plants. Applying natural fertilizer regularly would surely keep your flora in outstanding shape.
Urban life provides us with less opportunity to take care of nature, however, using compost tea to grow plants is a great way of putting waste products to work. Instead of watering, make compost tea to quench your garden’s thirst.
How to make compost tea? Get a 10-gallon bucket of water, an aquarium pump, high-quality compost, an air pump, and a compost catalyst (a mixture of nutrients). Dump the catalyst in the bucket, float the compost in a sachet and pump it. The brewing process would start and would finish after a full day of pumping. Apply on plants by adding to soil or spraying the leaves.