Balconies can be oases of peace and greenery. Even an urban apartment dweller can transform the space with a few balcony garden ideas. What is a balcony garden? It can be a place to drink in nature, grow your own veggies and flowers, or play with ornamental plants. Balcony garden design interplays containers with plants that will echo your needs and personality.
What is a Balcony Garden?
Think you can’t have a garden on a balcony? You just need some tips on how to garden on a balcony while you also think outside the box. You can design a traditional, retro, edible, flowering, or other planting scheme. Or mix it up. Just be prepared to haul a bit of potting soil to your space.
Your balcony can be a place to bring nature in and provide a peaceful retreat. Or it can be where you cut your grocery bill and grow organic, healthy food. It might be as simple as an herb trough to give you fresh seasonings for your cooking. The use for the space is up to you.
First check with the management of your building and find out if there are any restrictions, such as weight load or prohibition of hanging planters. Then get planning. Consider the lighting, mature height and width of plants, how you will water, and maintenance needs. Gardening on a balcony takes some planning but is well worth the effort.
How to Garden on a Balcony
The fun part is the balcony garden design. You will need containers. You can buy them new or haunt a thrift store for some you can refurbish. Make sure any pots have plenty of drainage holes. It might be a good idea to get saucers so extra moisture doesn’t spill all over the place. Assemble a few tools like a spade, pruners, garden gloves, watering can, and anything else that will make tending the garden easier. You will want fertilizer at hand for most plants at least annually. You may also need stakes, trellises, plant ties, or even wall pockets.
Plants for Gardening on a Balcony
The most important thing to consider is the plants. Get starts or start seed indoors for vegetables. If you have a high enough space in full sun, consider getting a dwarf fruit tree. Plant herbs for a simple and useful way to green up the balcony. Choose low maintenance plants, especially those that are tolerant of dry conditions, since containers dry out more quickly than in ground plants. If the balcony space has room for a table and some chairs but that is it, make a dish garden as a center piece for the table. Build a trellis and plant some ivy to screen you from the neighbors and give some privacy. Easy to grow plants:
- small evergreens
- dwarf trees
- veggies that grow vertically or cut and come again such as lettuces
- shady solutions- hosta, begonia, impatiens, ferns, coleus
- hardy perennials like rosemary, salvia, heuchera, hellebore, vinca, lavender, salvia
With a little planning, gardening on a balcony can be a joy.