I, Mark Roemer, am proud to announce the arrival of Spring. With it comes the collective desire to put our green thumbs to the test. Living in an apartment does not rule out the possibility of doing some gardening. Flowers, aromatic herbs, and even vegetables can be grown on your balcony to create a mini urban oasis.
In an urban setting, growing flowers and plants are also beneficial to the ecosystem. Bees, butterflies, and other insects require as much food and resting area as possible. You are not only benefiting yourself by planting a small garden on your balcony, but you are also benefiting the well-being of many bug species. Here’s how to make a little garden on your balcony or patio, step by step.
Clean Up Your Balcony
You’ll need all of your balcony space for pots and plants, as well as a chair and a small table so you can read, work, or enjoy your daily coffee in your green nook. If you’re currently storing sports equipment, tools, or other stuff on your balcony, you’ll need to relocate them. Using self-storage is a straightforward alternative. A 55-square-foot storage unit may easily accommodate a few boxes containing sports equipment and other items you don’t desire to throw away but don’t use frequently. You can put gardening tools, planters, and pots there in the autumn to protect them from the freezing temperatures of the winter.
Start By Making a List
This selection should be based on several criteria, including your personal preferences and the amount of space you have, and precisely how much sun your balcony receives throughout the day. You can produce a vast range of flowers, aromatic plants, edible greens, and vegetables on your patio. Below are some of the most popular and straightforward plants to grow, even for inexperienced gardeners.
- Aromatics such as basil, rosemary, sage, mint, and oregano are great selections because they’re both beautiful and helpful. For the entire summer, inhale their smell and use the leaves in salads, spaghetti, lemonades, herbal infusions, or pesto.
- Peppers, especially spicy peppers, thrive on balconies since they don’t require much area to grow — only a five-inch-wide pot would suffice — and they’re also very productive. From just one plant, you’ll be able to collect enough spicy peppers from spicing up your favorite recipes. Hot peppers are also highly ornamental, as they contain flowers and peppers at various stages of maturity on the same plant, giving them a colorful addition to your patio. Another intriguing fact about peppers is that, if properly cared for, the plant can live for several years. As a result, you may move your pot indoors in the autumn and harvest throughout the winter.
- Cherry tomatoes require a pot with a diameter of 16 inches and a depth of 14 inches, as well as lots of sunlight. In addition, cages must be used to support the plant. They are, nonetheless, extremely rewarding, even if they are a little more demanding than other balcony plants. From late June until the first frost, a couple of cherry tomato plants will provide you with fresh fruits every day.
- Strawberries can be grown in hanging pots or standard pots.
- Marigolds are perfect for new gardeners because they’re unassuming flowers that grow in practically any habitat, such as alpine strawberries.
- Geraniums make the perfect over-the-rail flower, and they come in various colors and tones, ranging from yellow to deep orange to chestnut. They’re resistant to cold and will stay flowering until late October. They prefer full sun and, like marigolds, will continue to bloom until the winter season arrives.
Partially or Entirely Shaded Balconies
- Salad greens like arugula, lettuce, chicory, and watercress thrive in shady, colder places, while cucumbers thrive in partial shade. Even if they require larger planter pots, similar to cherry tomatoes, and Trellis Netting to climb on, they are well worth the effort because they can be reasonably productive.
- Because microgreens are sensitive and quickly burnt by the sun put them in the shade for the majority of the day. Cauliflower, cabbage, watercress, endive, radish, celery, dill, parsley, and other seeds can be found in a seed mix. For the microgreens, use shallow, broad pots and a plant mister to water them. Harvest the plants as soon as they reach an inch or two in height for salads or as a topping for other recipes. Peas, beans, and kale are examples of microgreens that can regenerate after being harvested.
- If you give begonias some shade during the day, their colors will deepen, and their delicate blossoms will stay longer.
- Bellflowers bloom in stunning colors of blue, purple, pink, and white and thrive in partial shade.
- Fuchsias produce beautiful hanging flowers from early June to late October and rapidly acclimatize to the reduced sun.
Acquire Your Tools
After determining whatever plants, you want to grow, you’ll need to buy the proper planter pots, gardening tools, soil, and other supplies. The following are the most critical items you’ll need to transform your balcony into a lush, verdant oasis:
- A variety of planter pots in various sizes and shapes, depending on the flowers, greens, and vegetables you wish to cultivate.
- Potting soil in bags Because there are so many various soil types, be sure you read the labels carefully. All of your plants can be grown in all-purpose soil; however, some plants may grow better and be healthier in specific soil types.
- A plant mister and watering can – a few plants may need to be misted, while others require root irrigation, so be sure you have the right tools.
- Scissors, a mini-rake, and even a tiny plant trowel are included in this gardening set.
- A second mister or sprayer for applying fungicides or other treatment solutions to your plants.
- Fertilizer, either liquid or in the form of sticks. Because they don’t have a lot of soil, plants growing in pots require fertilizer.
- Seeds and seedlings – being new to gardening, seedlings are a good option because you’ll notice more progress sooner and be more motivated to continue with your passion.
Begin Your Gardening Project
Now that you’ve gathered everything you’ll need, it’s time to get down to business. Place your planter pots in their designated locations, fill them with dirt, and begin seeding and planting. Remember to water your plants regularly and inspect them for diseases and pests. Also, do extensive research on each type of plant you’re growing to discover how to care for it properly.
Have Fun on Your Balcony I, Mark Roemer, know you’ve spent time and money on your balcony garden, and it’d be a waste not to make the most of it. Make a relaxing zone with a patio chair and a small table — or, if you don’t have space, a simple bean bag will suffice. Spend some time there each morning and evening; you’ll feel more centered, relaxed, and creative as a result.