Keeping a garden is a luxury that very few city-dwellers can afford. It’s difficult to grow plants when you’re living in a high-rise and don’t exactly have access to a yard space that you can call your own. But you don’t have to give up your dream of growing your own plants—there are still plenty of gardening setups and options that can suit a house without much floor space to spare. Indoor gardens are a popular choice for people living in apartments. If you have a balcony, though, you’ll have a considerably easier time setting up and maintaining a garden in your home.
You’ll need to carefully control the light and humidity in some indoor garden setups, but you usually don’t have to do that for a balcony garden. Still, balcony gardens require a bit of care and may need a few special considerations during the setup phase. Here are a few tips that can help you transform your balcony into a thriving haven for plants:
Think of your balcony as an extension of your home’s indoor space.
You don’t really need to stick with a theme when designing or starting a balcony garden. In fact, you can just wing it and come up with a unifying theme later on, after your plants have settled. However, your balcony is still a part of your home, and it’s a good idea to consider how its look can complement both the interior and exterior of your living space. If your home has a rustic look, for example, you might want to go with terracotta pots for the plants and a wall fountain made of a similar-looking material from Kinetic Fountains. If you’re going with an Asian-inspired theme, you can complete the look with bonsai or moss gardens, or maybe a small tabletop bamboo fountain.
Begin with small projects before working your way up to major gardening projects.
If you have no prior experience with indoor gardening – or gardening at all – then it’s best to start out small to acclimatize yourself. Keep a few small, low-maintenance plants in your balcony first, and then build up from there with bigger and more high-maintenance specimens. By taking it slow and learning from your failures, you’ll be better equipped to deal with more delicate plants and more complicated setups.
Windproof your balcony
A balcony is always exposed to the elements, with wind being one of them. Strong winds can parch your plants and soil, as well as cause damage and destruction by knocking your potted plants over. Prevent this by choosing tough and hardy plants, like succulents or herbs. You can also use sturdier pots to add stability to your plants if your place is pretty windy. Finally, a windbreak is essential if you want to continue growing fragile plants, like flowers and fruit-bearing plants, in your balcony.
Manage your balcony’s light.
More often than not, your balcony is exposed to light and heat from the sun. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as many plants need full or partial sun to stay healthy, and you can always go with plants that thrive under such overexposed conditions, such as hebe shrubs and germaniums. But if you’re looking after plants with a slightly more delicate constitution, then you can either install a shade over your balcony or plant tall plants to block out excess light. If the balcony doesn’t get a lot of sun, however, you can paint its exterior walls a light color to help bounce light and heat back to where you want it to go.
Make watering a stress-free experience.
Depending on how many plants you’re growing in your balcony garden, watering may take quite a decent chunk of your time. Thankfully, there are tools you can use to make the process a bit easier and more stress-free. Water-retaining granules, for example, can increase the volume of water the soil can absorb, so you won’t have to water as often. A water ball, when filled with enough water, can slowly but surely water your plants over the course of a week or so.
Starting a balcony garden is easy enough for people who have no experience in gardening. Remember to be attentive to the need of your plants and do your research when caring for them to ensure that they’ll stay healthy for as long as possible. Just be patient and in time, you’ll reap the benefits of cultivating a green space in your home.
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