Urbanization doesn’t give you the joy of connecting with nature, and hence one of the few places that can help you with this issue is your balcony.
You can do so much with your small space without even spending very much!
A few people are under the false impression that decorating the balcony is of no use as it can be time consuming and expensive. But this is completely false. You can create your own space within a fixed budget and enjoy your morning coffee amongst your favourite plants.
We have come up with a comprehensive list of the five ways you can set your perfect balcony garden and spruce it up according to your needs!
Let us help you turn your drab balcony into your favourite spot!
Understand the role of Sunlight
Before you invest in anything else, start with the basics and observe the amount of sunlight your balcony receives as it is crucial for plant maintenance. According to this, choose your plants.
The light should be ample as many decorative plants need direct sunlight for about 5-7 hours like lavender, sage, mint and basil. A north-facing balcony can be a good home for plants if it has indirect sunlight. Indoor plants which grow even in low sunlight are snake plant, dumb plant and English ivy among others.
Selection of Plants
Understanding the amount of sunlight helps you understand the type of plants you can and cannot grow. Now the second important step is to choose the type of plants you know to grow. It can be for decorative purposes, medicinal or herbs, veggies and fruits.
If you want the balcony just to serve its beauty purposes, go for plants with flowers that display unique colours and structures.
For shady balconies, decorative plants include Japanese Sago Palm, Snake Plant, Money plant, Chaenomeles, Dogwood etc. If your gallery has the right amount of light, you can grow decorative plants like Marigold, Begonias, Pansy, Hyacinth, Creeping roses and lavender.
Vegetables that need maximum sunlight and can be grown in balconies are Eggplants, Peppers, Green Onions, Radishes and Beans.
You can always convert your railings into vertical gardens if you have less space available. For better effect, you can use vines and climbers to cover the walls and all the plant falling off creates a magnificent scenery which serves as the perfect view after a stressful day.
Selection of Soil
Different plants have different needs.
Always collect the right container and select the soil according to the needs of the plants. Plants like English Ivy needs soil that have good draining capacity while plants like Marigold needs soil needs that can hold water for a while. Choosing soil according to the pH needs and water-retaining capacity is vital for plant maintenance. To increase the fertility of the soil, use organic kitchen waste. Fertilizers enhance the quantity of one particular nutrient in the soil and hence ruins the balance of nutrients in the soil.
Always choose the container according to the size of the roots of the plants. The plant with more significant roots needs a big container as it needs breathing space. The container needs to have a hole at the bottom for draining the excess water incase you overwater the plant. This minimizes the damage done to the roots. Place a plastic container under the pot, so that excess water doesn’t ruin your floor.
Watering the Plants: Water is essential for plant maintenance as it is for human beings.
If you don’t water correctly, you are killing your plants!
Water the plants at least once every day in summers and other weathers check the moisture of the soil and then water accordingly. Use water which is at room temperature and has a pH of 7, or you can store rainwater instead. If watering the plants seems like a tedious job, you can always take advantage of self-watering pots that ensure your plants are fed only when needed.
Vertical Gardening: An excellent option for making the most of your tiny balcony is vertical gardening. You can use a stack of planters, railing planters, vertical wall planters and hanging baskets for a fantastic apartment balcony garden. Bromeliads, ferns, begonias, hostas, succulents, air plants and vines all make for great vertical gardening.
A wall pocket is another thing you can try and incorporate into your balcony. You can include a variety of plant sizes, from spillers, fillers and thrillers, without significant commitment. If you change your mind about where you want the wall pocket, you can always move it. And because everything has its own container, the worry about companion planting goes out of the window. This is an excellent option for beginners.