Since we’re stuck at home for the time being, now is the perfect time to create that gorgeous balcony garden you always dreamed of having.
When people think of gardens, images of sprawling flower patches and fresh plants typically come to mind. Some of the most gorgeous gardens seem to go on for miles. But for urban dwellers or people with small properties, this dream may seem unattainable. There simply isn’t enough space for an overflowing garden.
However, balcony gardens present a viable alternative to these lush oases. Not only are they easier to manage, but they can help a home transform a home into one’s own personal paradise. Since we are spending more time at home than ever before, it’s only fair that we spruce it up a bit. Here are some tips for building a stunning balcony garden.
7 Questions You Need to Ask Yourself Before Starting
Before starting, you will need to assess your balcony to determine how much space, sunlight, and heat it gets on a regular basis.
One of the nicest things about building a balcony garden is that you can tailor it to your unique style and interests. That said, your budget and space could limit your design. So before you start purchasing your pots and plants, you need to ask yourself some questions.
1) What is your budget?
One of the first things you need to consider is your budget. Some people may have an endless budget that allows them to splurge on a high-tech hydroponics system while others only have some room for new balcony plants. Establishing a budget can help you set realistic goals for your balcony garden project.
2) How much space do you have?
Space is also a crucial factor to consider. You don’t need a huge balcony in order to garden. However, assessing the size of your space as well as any areas that could be transformed into productive gardening areas can help you down the road. If you’re dealing with a small space, you can go vertical and add a vertical planting system or trellis to your urban garden.
3) How much sunlight does the balcony get?
Nearby buildings and walls can end up obstructing the sunlight. If your balcony doesn’t get much sun throughout the year, you will need to make sure you aren’t trying to plan anything that thrives in direct sunlight.
4) Do you plan to grow any fruits or vegetables?
If you want to grow some food on your balcony, you will need to plant it in areas that get plenty of sunlight. You can also purchase special grow lights to help your little plants grow.
5) How much time can you spend on your garden?
Some plants require a little more TLC than others. If you have a limited amount of time available to take care of your plants, you will want to stay away from plants that require a large time commitment. You can also look into tools for minimizing your care, such as self-watering pots and drip irrigation systems.
6) What zone do you live in?
Before starting, you should check your area’s USDA Plant Hardiness Zone. This will help you determine when the best time of the year to start growing certain plants is. Your zone will also be helpful in picking out what plants you want to grow throughout the year.
7) Can your balcony handle the extra weight?
Pots can get pretty heavy. Your balcony might not be able to handle the extra weight. That said, you can plant your seeds in rice pots or plastic containers. They are much lighter than traditional terra cotta and ceramic pots.
How to Make the Most of Your Space
Even the smallest of balconies can accommodate some extra greenery.
Balconies can be pretty small. Some only hold up to two people at a time. But that doesn’t mean you can’t start your own garden on one. The key is to make use of the space you have. If you can’t go forward or to the side, go up. Vertical planting containers and hanging baskets give you extra space for plants and foods. You can even affix your pots to a wall. Lettuce, spinach, basil, and trailing annuals are perfect for growing in your vertical garden.
Addressing Potential Challenges
Building on a garden does present unique challenges, such as:
- High winds
- Potential water overflow onto your downstairs neighbor’s deck
- Birds and other small animals interested in your plants
- Cold weather
To protect yourself against these hazards, you may need to purchase large trays for holding water or chicken wire to ward off wildlife. That said, these extra precautions will quickly prove to be worth it as you watch your garden bloom.
Starting a new home project is always an exciting experience! Whether you want an attractive area to rest during work breaks or a new reading nook, you are sure to enjoy all of the wonderful new possibilities your balcony garden offers.