I usually like to hang out in my balcony. As a gardener, I soon discovered that growing plants in my balcony was so convenient and relaxing. My balcony plants also did well more than what I expected! If you want to start your own balcony garden, here are some tips to get you started!
Your little balcony garden must be easy for you to maintain even at the start, so take it easy. If you do not have the time to maintain it, you can keep low-care plants for a start.
Balconies are commonly microclimates, differing substantially from the climate on the ground.
There may even be distinctive microclimates even on a tiny balcony. If an area is shaded, that can be one climate, if any other location is exposed to the wind, that could be distinct weather. Also, the conditions on balconies may be intense, with massive temperature fluctuations. Also, surface treatments can have an effect on how warm or cool your balcony is and if it keeps the warmth over the years.
The trick is to certainly determine out what the surroundings is, before you plan your balcony garden. If you make the effort to evaluate your conditions, your chances of gardening fulfilment will be greatly more advantageous.
Create a plan in advance, keeping in mind the dimensions of your balcony. Do a small sketch on paper to provide you an idea of the opportunities you may have on your space.
How big is your space? Let me begin by saying that even if your area is small, you may still garden. It helps to consider your area dimensionally. Are there vertical spaces you can plant or dangle planters on? Even if there are not, you may do some things to create some vertical area. From piling up pots to growing trellises, there are methods you can try.
How much sun does your space get? I find that most often people wildly overestimate how many hours of direct sun a space gets. This is particularly true on a balcony because buildings or walls can obstruct the sun in certain parts of the space. You need to accurately assess how many hours of direct sun each place gets. To do this, you will have to either time it out with a watch, or get a gadget called a sun calculator. You also need to time it close to your growing season because as the sun moves across the sky, your results will vary from the winter to the summer.
Determine your budget before you start. Many people consider that a balcony garden with a few flower pots may not be very costly. Though true, this depends on what plants you are growing. The price may just vary accordingly. Take your time so that you will not spend beyond your budget.
Do not forget watering. It’s a priority. If you own a balcony that faces south or west or in case your balcony is windy or if you live in tropics, you’re going to have to water your plants more often.
If ever you will go on a trip, you should have a troubleshooting strategy to water your plants. Is calling your neighbour an alternative? If not, settling on an automatic watering method in your pots and planters is a good idea.
Assess the amount of sunshine and the length of sunlight exposure your balcony receives. Is it facing the north or the south? The plants that you choose should depend on the exposure to the sun of your balcony.
If you happen to live in a rented apartment or condo, you have to know whether there are distinctive regulations and rules to follow, depending on the area you are living. In some areas, the suspension of plants outside railings is against the law. There are also the constraints of load weight of pots and planters. So it is good to find that out earlier before you start.
To provide a bit of gaiety and colour to your balcony, plant some flowers. Relying on your taste, wants and the constraints of your balcony as to space, sunlight exposure and budget, the chances are unending.
Assess your area and select flowering plants based on it. For instance, you could grow climbing plants because they gather vertical space or if you have more space, plant your shrubs in pots. Smaller plants that don’t take a lot of horizontal space will most likely have a good position on the balconies.
Check out the brightness of your balcony. In a shaded area, green plants like ivies and ferns are best. You can also plant vines like clematis, honeysuckles, jasmine or bleeding heart based on what fits your climate. On a large balcony with a lot of sun exposure, you can opt for shrubs like citrus, oleander, gardenia, shrub roses or heather in a pot.
Consider the seasons. The flowers and vegetables you decide on to grow may not necessarily bloom all year in your balcony. So, decide on the plants in line with the season.
Featured Image from @theurbangardeness
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