Living in the city usually means having a condominium or an apartment in tall buildings or skyscrapers. Living space might be a little limited, and gardening space may be slight or nonexistent. Do not let this discourage you as most often than not; you still have an outdoor space in your unit’s balcony. If you would like a flowering garden or a kitchen garden, you can utilize the outdoor space of your balcony to design and grow your miniature garden with imagination and creativity.
Important Considerations for your Garden Balcony
Before starting on plants and other equipment that you can use for your balcony garden, you need to examine the space that you have and take note of essential considerations. The first is the weight restrictions of your balcony. Can it handle the beautiful but heavy terra cotta pots or can you only use lighter materials such as plastic plant containers? If you are not entirely sure, you can ask your building manager about this.Another challenge when it comes to growing a garden in the balcony space of your building is the neighbors. You have to consider if they might be troubled or affected when you water your plants every morning. On top of setting up your garden, you might also need to set up a system that would catch or divert the water from the plants without ruining your neighbor’s property.Last but not least, consider the amount of sun that hits your balcony during the day. This is important as it would dictate the kind of plants that could be planted in your garden. Most vegetables need 8 to 10 hours of sunshine while for other plants 6 hours of full sun is enough. Many varieties are still available as well if your balcony has partial shade, 3 to 6 hours of sunshine, or full shade, less than 3 hours.
Designing the Balcony Garden
After considering the important details above, you can now proceed to design your garden. If your place has a small balcony, you can choose to have hanging plants instead to maximize the outdoor space. Many types of plant containers could be hung in your balcony railings and can be used to hold plants that do not need a lot of care or watering like lettuce, strawberries, and some herbs. If you do not have a lot of horizontal space to set up pots and planters in your balcony, you can try the vertical garden set-up. This could be done by terracing using stairwells, affixing pallets with soil on the walls, and hanging pots or gutters from the railings of the balcony and stairs. The only challenge with this type is it really needs a good catching and diverting system so that watering your plants would be easier. Hanging or climbing plants is excellent in this type of gardens such as trailing annuals, spider plants, strawberry, and ferns.
Ample balcony space will not be a problem as you can easily fit in terra cotta pots and many planters. Other than small shrubs, various other plants and vegetables could be grown individually there. In one pot or planter, you can already grow several plant varieties – from “thrillers” like rosemary and tomatoes that grow upright; “spillers” like squash and strawberries that cascade on the end of containers; and “fillers” such as carrots and parsley to fill the space in between.