Living in an apartment does have its perks, but the only downside is that there’s no garden. The good news is that you can make one. Right on your balcony! Creating a balcony garden can be as simple or as extravagant as you want it to be. It can be a simple flower garden, or it can be a dense vegetable farm – the possibilities are basically endless.
If your fingers are itching to get dirty, here are a few tips on how to create your very own balcony garden.
The first thing to do is to measure your space. Sketch the layout on a piece of paper and decide which pots and plants will work best in that space. It won’t be very practical to use big ground pots in a smaller space. Instead, use the walls to create a vertical garden by hanging baskets or fixing wooden pallets and trellises to the wall for herbs and succulents. Another handy trick is to fill a clear shoe pocket organizer with soil and plant some of your favorite herbs in it.
The climate on your balcony may differ from the climate outside. Usually, they’re a lot smaller and retain more heat, depending on the position of it. The climate is very important to consider before purchasing any plants. If the balcony faces south, look for plants and flowers that grow in partial shade and full sun. Plants that are in direct sunlight will also need to be watered more often because of how quickly the soil dries out. North-facing balconies are a bit more challenging, but some plants will thrive without much sun. Lily of the valley, impatients, and caladium are a few options to consider.
Set a budget before going to the nursery. A few flower pots are not going to cost an arm and a leg, but it all depends on what you want. Some plant species are costly, while others are relatively cheap, but you’ll also need to factor in the cost of soil, fertilizer, and nutrients. The best thing to do is to work out how much you want to spend and take your time shopping for the plants and accessories. Do some research on which plants will need additional nutrients, and which ones will flourish with the basics.
Deciding on a balcony garden ultimately boils down to maintenance. Are you out of town a lot? If so, will your neighbor be willing to help water the plants while you’re away? If not, are you willing to invest in an automatic irrigation system? These are a few things to ask. Fortunately, there are a few drought-resistant plants that don’t need much attention, but they will still need to be watered every once in a while. The best thing to do is to start slowly without making too much of a commitment. Pick one or two plants and see how much water and attention they need. Once you start getting a feel for what works in your space, buy a few more plants. Agave, Bougainvillea, Lavender, and Portulaca are great starter-plant options that don’t need to be watered as frequently.
Finally, let your creativity run wild. Use old teacups or grab a few muffin tins from a thrift shop as planters. There are so many unique ways to create a stunning balcony garden.