Why a balcony garden?
Gardening is one of the most relaxing and nurturing hobbies out there, and connects us to the world around us in many ways. Nature is relaxing, peaceful, and forever present in our lives, and taking care of your own garden is simply an excellent way to remove the stress of everything else. This is precisely why a balcony garden may be just what you need.
Urban apartments may seem like they’re lacking in space, chiefly since they don’t have an actual full garden for the majority of the time. Regardless, that shouldn’t halt you because a balcony garden doesn’t need an acre of grass to come to fruition. All you need is, well, a balcony really. And sunshine, water, and some greenery but we’ll get to that. These kinds of gardens are environmentally friendly, and easily accessible.
Gardens are generally quite inexpensive once set up – and even then, they don’t have to be complicated. Vegetables are much more affordable in seed form, and buying them as seeds will result in a great deal less trips to the supermarket as you’ll be growing your own food in no time with little to no effort involved.
Shopping may be one of America’s biggest pastimes, but so is gardening because it helps us connect with the planet, and its nature. It even lets us create nature itself by growing a decorative and beautiful garden full of color and delight, right at your balcony. Need some tomatoes? They’re on the balcony. Pumpkins for Halloween? On the balcony. Want an apple for breakfast? It may take about 7 years or so, but you can grow some of those on your balcony as well.
First off, check which way your garden is facing to determine where and when the sun hits the ground and from which direction so you know where it’ll be best to grow each plant. For a normal garden, you’d have to check your soil, but in the case of a balcony garden, you can practically buy whatever soil you want for each plant. This leaves all the designing entirely up to you.
Knowing how to plant properly is a simple skill but rather important because of how badly the plants can turn out if done wrong. Weed first, then prepare the soil so that it is healthy for the plants. Adding mulch or fertilizer can help! For planting, it’s quite straightforward most of the time, but looking online can never hurt if you’re unsure. If the plant is too deep, it won’t thrive, and if the roots are above the surface of the soil, they’ll dry out far too quickly; so you’ll want somewhere in between the two to get the healthiest result out of your plants.
The worries of weather
Wind can be quite harsh on your plants, especially if you live a little higher off the ground than a lot of residences. The stronger winds can damage produce, and dry out the soil much quicker. You don’t want your balcony to be too cold or windy, otherwise it may not be suitable to grow plants in.
There are of course ways to combat weather conditions, such as creating shields for your plants, or windscreens. On the other hand, some plants may be perfectly fine growing in these conditions, such as tall, stalky plants which could not care less about the weather trying to halt their growth.
Managing your balcony garden
Once the balcony is all set up, it’s now time to maintain it. Of course, watering regularly is a given, but there are other measures that need to be taken too. Provided your layout is sufficient and organized, it should be easy going from there. With there not being that much space on a balcony though, pruning may be more important than usual. Plants that are pruned correctly are likely to flower and fruit better, as long as you follow the correct guidance for how to cut and shape each plant.
Some insects can be good for your plants, but there are also pests that you need to keep an eye on. Many natural predators will keep them away, however if the population is too high, it can become an infestation which will need action as a result. Aphids, snails and slugs are examples of some pests you want to be wary of if they increase in numbers, so that you can keep your plants safe. Taking all that management into account, you should have a happy gardening experience in no time.