If you are living in a big city, odds are pretty good that you live in a condo and don’t have a backyard to plant a garden in. There is still a chance though for some outside air when you need it, by opening the door and stepping out onto the balcony. At first glance it can be hard to imagine your balcony having enough space to grow anything, but you’d be surprised what you can accomplish when you set your mind to it. Here is how you can turn your balcony into a garden.
Plan Your Space: Each balcony is different, in that each has a different amount of space you can use. In some cases people don’t have anything on them at all, but in others you can find anything from patio tables and chairs, umbrellas and even BBQ’s. You need to decide what it is you want, and need in the space to begin with. Don’t forget, you may want to have people over as well. Regardless of that though, you will find space to plant your garden when all is said and done.
Decide on What You Can Plant: Again, this will depend on space. If you’ve got a lot of space, you can grow some larger plants, and have more of them. It will also depend on the amount of sunlight your side of the building gets. Some plants require more light, and some less. There are lots of options you can consider without having to think about the amount of sun either though. Carrots, lettuce, chili peppers, kale and French beans can grow just about anywhere. Same with tomatoes, but they typically require a bit more space. Herb gardens are also extremely popular, with sage, basil, rosemary, thyme, chives and mint being the easiest to grow. If you are looking more for a flowery feel to your balcony, you will want to consider sedums, euonymus, boxwood, yew, hydrangea, alyssum, agastache, salvia, nasturtium and lavender.
Bigger Is Better: You may be tempted to get a lot of small containers for your plants, but the rule of thumb is bigger is better. If you limit the amount of space your plants have available, they won’t grow nearly as well, or as big, as you’d like. They need the root space in order to develop. You can find all sort of bigger container options that will work nicely with your balcony, you just need to look for them. This will also help with keeping containers upright and prevent them from blowing off the balcony when the wind picks up.
Don’t Just Plan For One Season: There are plants that will grow at any time of the year, so make sure you plan for that as well. There is nothing more depressing than looking out at a dead garden during the winter after all. Pick up both annuals and perennials, and even add in some evergreens where you can.
Think In Three Dimensions: Plants will grow, and some can get tall. Climbing vines will attach to your walls and trellises, hanging baskets will pick plants up off the ground and tables, and you can hang some plants over the railing too. You just need to picture your plan in more than just one dimension.
Mix Up Your Plants: Try a variety of plants to make your space a truly special one. Choose plants with different shapes and textures, and don’t forget different fragrances. You want your space to not only look great, but smell great as well. This also goes with having both fruits and vegetables, as well as flowers. After all, who says that a garden can’t have more than one benefit.