If you don’t have a spacious yard, do not despair – you can always turn your balcony into a small yet lush oasis of greenery. Miniature, balcony gardens certainly have their own advantages – they look cosy and intimate, and are generally considered a lot easier to take care of as opposed to large-scale garden lots. Not to mention how they give an uplift to your apartment’s exterior, which you as an individual resident of a building might not have the power to considerably affect.
When starting your balcony’s garden, the sheer lack of space might seem daunting. However, nowadays there are many modern balcony planters designed to be attached to the balcony railing to save your precious floor space for furniture. But if you have a million-dollar view that you don’t want to obstruct in any way, you might want to consider a good mix of wall mounted planters and pots hanging from the ceiling.
Since potted plants do not get a constant supply of moisture like plants grown in yard soil do, it’s important to water them as often as necessary, or at least choose modern balcony planters that allow for self-watering. Self-watering planters have an integrated water tank at the bottom which allows the plant’s roots to draw water as needed, for weeks on end. They are an especially attractive choice for homeowners who travel a lot, or lack a green thumb, as the self-watering design is equally effective in preventing drying out and over-watering the plants.
But even self-watering planters won’t be of any help if you fail to choose your plants right. To ensure your balcony garden does not end up a failure, consider your hardiness zone as well as the unique microclimate of your outdoor space. Is your balcony perpetually shaded, or does it get light and how many hours of it? Is it sheltered or windy? Do the building materials affect how hot or cold the space gets? Taking time to evaluate your conditions and choose suitable plants can greatly enhance your gardening success.
And finally, you need to ensure that your plants get adequate drainage which might be a problem for container soil. To ensure the plants get all the drainage they need, choose pots made out of porous materials, such as terra cotta, which include drainage holes. A good potting mix will also help provide adequate drainage. Potting mix ingredients like perlite or vermiculite create pores in the soil which improves drainage. Moreover, compost potting mixes which include organic nutrients can help fertilize your small garden, additionally increasing your chances of success.