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A natural green space can bring peace, tranquility ,and solace to any environment. Municipalities invest millions of dollars in developing green spaces because lush green areas make a city more pleasant, more welcoming and calm. When people in the densely populated cities around the world want to create an oasis of their own, they have to get creative. A balcony garden can be a great solution for those wanting to grow food, flowers and foliage but do not have a yard to start a garden in.

The following ideas we discuss on balcony gardening can be applied to interior spaces as well. You do not have to have a lawn nor a balcony to grow plants. If you desire to scratch the itch in your green thumb, we have some tips and tools for being able to grow plant life anywhere using simple tools and successful methods.

No Space? Don't Worry

It is possible to grow plants, flowers, herbs and food in a room in any house or living space. Do not be discouraged by tight spaces. You can have a 300-square-foot studio/efficiency apartment in the heart of New York City and still grow your own foliage.

If you have the will to grow and the imagination, then we will provide you with the information you need to grow your balcony garden. Don't worry if you do not have a balcony, however, as your main challenge will be to in supplying sunlight to your plants.

Many plants actually do not require direct sunlight, so they do not have to be near the window to absorb the UV rays needed for the photosynthesis process so vital to the plant's health. When you choose an area for plants, it should, above all, have access to a window.

If you have a window to let light in, you can start an indoor garden. Sun exposure is a given for a balcony garden. Since light and access to it is key, it is not advisable to attempt growing plants of any type in a basement. To do so, you would need to buy lights that emit the same UV rays as the sun, and this not only means spending more money, but it also makes your job a lot more work. 

Evaluating Your Space


plants in the balconies of building

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Planning is essential when you only have a tight space within which to work. First, consider the type of plants you want to grow, the climates they need to grow in, the amount of light they need, and how you will make this all work in your space. Do not feel overwhelmed, as this is a natural part of the process.

When you've decided on the general area for your balcony garden, measure it to get its dimensions. Most balconies are sitting spaces, and some do not even have enough space to sit. This type of balcony was designed so users could stand and gaze at the sun, moon and stars.

For regular balcony gardens, you need to decide if you want to sit and relax among your foliage or if you want to maximize the space growing plants that yield food so you can pick seasonally to supply your kitchen with fresh fruits and vegetables. Either way works, and you must decide what will work best for you and your balcony garden vision.

Things To Consider On Your Balcony

  • Will you have hanging plants?
  • Will you mount containers to railings or walls?
  • Will you install a shelving system?
  • Can you reach everything on the balcony?
  • Can your balcony support a lot of weight?
  • Do you plan on entertaining guests in your balcony garden?

Measuring Your Light


Your plants will not determine your lighting, but rather your lighting will determine the kinds of plants and foods you can grow. It is wise to get a good measure of your balcony’s sunlight. There are species of plants that will wither and die in direct sunlight. There are others that will not grow unless they have direct exposure to the sun.

Once you have monitored where you light comes in and how long it shines directly on that space, you can begin your research into what plants need to go where. (Also note the places where sunlight is not direct because many plants can grow without direct sunlight.)

Things To Measure:

  • How long your balcony garden gets direct sunlight
  • Areas where there is indirect light
  • The direction your balcony faces

How To Get Started

Study


Start by studying. There are two ways to go about your research. The first way is to visit your local nursery. If you live in a major city, the closest nursery may be a big brand store. You want to seek out a local nursery because it will have the plants you seek and because it has the experts who can help advise you.

You will want to avoid exotic plants because buying vegetation that isn't native to your environment will stack the odds against you being able to grow them on your balcony.

Ask


Pick the brain of the person working there and let him or her know what you are embarking upon. Ask for advice about which foods or plants you should get and which ones you should start from seeds or seedlings. Most importantly, find out which plants are annuals and which are perennials. This will help you select the proper plants and then organize where they will be placed. Some plants will need to be out in the sun, so they should be situated more toward the outer regions of your balcony.

Browse


You can also research what plants you may want and how to get started with your balcony garden online. This website is a great resource. Make comments on articles and interact with our community as much as you like. Searching an inquiry specific to your city or region will give you a good idea about what plants grow in your climate.

Keep Notes


Look for plants and foods that do not need to be deeply rooted. Also find some nice, fragrant flowers and herbs to create a well-rounded experience in your balcony garden. Always take notes. If you have specific plants in mind you definitely would like to include, then research those plants first.

Your notes should be detailed enough to where a child can pick up your notebook and know exactly how to care for your garden. This is important if you ever take extended vacations, and must rely on a plant sitter to keep your greens alive. You would hate to return to a dead, dry, unkempt garden!

You need to have instructions for your own reference and comprehension as well as that of others. Consider that everyone in your home may not be as green savvy as you are. Provide an outline so easy that anyone could read it and care for your garden properly. You'll thank yourself for going through the trouble now.

Container Selection Key

potted plants

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The containers must suit the plants that will go in them. You do not want to suffocate your plants by keeping them in too small pots for too long. Always remember that plants grow. They can outgrow pot and containers.

When purchasing containers, have an itemized list of the plants you own and how deep, long, or wide their roots will grow. You can sometimes keep similar sized plants in the same container. Research if the two specific plants can grow together and coexist in the same soils ecosystem. This is tricky and you do not want to kill any of your plants or accidentally crossbreed them.

If your containers will be held on shelving units or in a small, pop-up greenhouse, then the containers you use must be able to fit and still provide space for blooming. With shelved plants, put the plants that bloom at later times up under one currently blooming to make sure it gets the sunlight it needs.

Tips For Making A Balcony Garden Grow

  • Use organic potting soil
  • Get a greenhouse shelf
  • Fertilize monthly
  • Join home garden forums

Unique Design Ideas

house with balcony  plants

image source: pixabay

There are so many unique design ideas out there. The key to designing a balcony garden you will love every day is to be patient. You do not have to deck out your garden with flowering plants and herbs all at once. Take the process day by day.

Go onto your balcony and think about where you like to stand. Build the garden around that spot. Look to your left and right and decide how you want it to feel when it is full of foliage. Pick one plant you want to your right. Then pick another for your left. Tend to these plants until you feel it's time for you to add another one. Let the process be organic. The purpose of this garden is not purely decorative; it is for detoxifying, and the feel is more important than the look. Trust your instincts and you cannot go wrong.

Conclusion

You are transforming a space with no life into a space that will live and breathe. Start today. Get your notebook ready and search for nearby nurseries. Look up the plants you would like to have in your garden and start your balcony garden care guide. Enjoy the process and most definitely enjoy the private oasis you'll ultimately have.

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