In an age where technology rules our lives, the desire to unplug and get in touch with nature that many of us experience is almost unprecedented. Increasingly, urban apartment dwellers are seeking to grow their own herbs, produce, and even table centerpiece flowers.
If you’d like to start your own garden but only have a modest apartment balcony to work with, take these small space design and maintenance tips into account.
Choose Plants Wisely
Before you choose plants and herbs for your garden, identify the parameters you have to work with. Do a little research and find plants you want in your garden that won’t grow too high or develop root systems. In addition to selecting space-efficient plants, choose what can thrive in your balcony’s climate. Typically, plants that grow well in your area can also do well on your terrace, but some balconies have microclimates of their own. Take a look at how sun exposure, humidity levels, wind, and temperatures vary to those that prevail in the streets, parks, and neighborhoods around your apartment.
Some examples of plants that can do well on balconies include basil, blueberries, currants, rosemary, and tomatoes. Vine plants are great because they take up little horizontal space. Where flowers are considered, perennials such as veronica, Russian sage, and aster are easy to grow in many parts of the country and can be picked for table centerpieces and apartment decor. If you want to grow herbs consider rosemary, cilantro, parsley, thyme, and many other herbs which can be maintained mess-free in mason jars in your kitchen or on your balcony.
Get Creative with Planters
Once you decide what to plant, the next step is to choose the containers. Select pots, planters, and other containers that can accommodate the plants you choose and work well with the design of your space. Tiered planters are great for balcony gardens not only because they can help you make the most of your space but they can also make watering more efficient.
Maximize Sun Exposure
With the exception of plants that do better in the shade, arrange your garden in a way that maximizes the sun exposure each plant gets. Depending on the layout of your balcony, it may be best to line the perimeter of it with plants or to concentrate them in one area. If you do the latter, arrange plants by height so tall plants don’t block smaller plants from getting sunlight. Or elevate rows of plants that are further from the balcony’s edge. Frequent container rotation may be necessary to help your plants get the sun they need to survive.
Establish a Plant Care Routine
Streamlining your garden with plants that have similar watering requirements will make it easier to stick to a routine. If you do choose plants with different watering requirements, consider arranging them into sections to make plant management easier.
In addition to watering and planter rotation, remember to fertilize your plants as needed. Once every two or three weeks, you should remove faded flowers and any weeds that have managed to crop up in your planters. You can also prune branches that appear unhealthy or overgrown to keep your garden compact and free of plant disease.
Don’t Overdo It
Whatever plants you pick and however you choose to arrange them, it’s important to leave some space for yourself. If you want a hammock or a table and chairs on your balcony, make those a priority. Having fewer plants competing for space and sunlight on your balcony may help them thrive. It also prevents clutter on your balcony and makes garden maintenance easier.
Follow these tips, and you should be able to make a hobby out of gardening on your apartment balcony regardless of its size. If youwant to tend to a more comprehensive garden that contains plants you can’t easily grow on your balcony, check out community gardening options in your area.
Gardening is a therapeutic activity that helps you start or end your day in a calm and natural environment. It also enables you to experience the gratification of preparing healthy meals with ingredients you have grown yourself.
Do you have experience maintaining an apartment balcony garden? Share them in the comments!