The Balcony Garden
The Balcony Garden
One of the great things about gardening is how flexible the nature of your garden can be. You do not need a large yard; in fact you do not need a yard at all.
If you have a balcony, there is an opportunity to design a garden that is just right for that space.
If you want to create a balcony garden then there are a few things you need to do.
First and possibly the most important step is to ask yourself, how much time do you have to spend taking care of the garden? Balcony gardens usually take the form of plants in containers and may actually require more attention than a backyard garden does.
Balconies can be hot, dry and windy spots and this means that your plants will need to be watered frequently. You will also need to check on them regularly to determine if watering or other attention is required. Pests and diseases can affect the balcony garden.
The second determination you will need to make is how much sunlight the balcony receives. This, in part, determines what you can grow. If your balcony is heavily shaded then most vegetables are out but shade plants are in.
This is where the right plant, right place (RPRP) guideline comes in handy. You place a plant in the location where its needs are met and that plant will flourish, if something is lacking, water, soil, food, then the plant may die or languish. So select your plants with knowledge and care.
Now that you know the light conditions, you can decide how much space you want to allow for the garden. You will need room to move around to care for and harvest. What else do you use your balcony for?
The last question is are you growing herbs, vegetables, fruit, yes you can grow dwarf apple trees on a balcony, if the conditions are right, or ornamentals.
Once you have answered all the questions you can draft your garden plan. This does not need to be elaborate, a pencil sketch on a piece of paper will do. Simply indicate where the plants will go and be sure to include anything else that may be on yoru balcony, chairs, for example.
The plan is not craved in stone and you can make adjustments as you go; it is designed to keep yoru focused and not to get carried away.
It is easy enough to buy more plants than you can use, if the budget permits, when you visit a garden centre.
It can be difficult to resist some of the floral beauties that are teasing you into taking them home.
Use you garden plan to develop a plant list and do your best to stick to the list. It can be helpful to talk with the garden centre manger or a horticultural expert and explain your plan, before buying.
Balcony gardening is as rewarding as any other form of gardening as long as you follow the few simple steps that I have outlined. Most importantly, have fun gardening is a joy not a chore.