You have a balcony and want to turn it into a beautiful garden? You’re in the right place.
Creating a balcony garden is not hard at all and the possibilities are countless – you can cultivate anything from edibles to ornamental plants.
If executed the right way, a balcony garden can arouse admiration (and maybe even some envy) and give you a beautiful place where you can enjoy and relax.
Ready to make your own balcony garden?
Create a Budget
Before you start making plans, buying supplies, and planting, ask yourself: Do you have the budget? For instance, you need to be aware that ready-grown plants will probably cost you a fortune, so you should consider buying seeds or asking a friend to share seeds instead.
You should also do some research online before buying planters and flower pots. There are many affordable options out there, so it’s worth investing some time and effort.
The only thing you really need to spend good money on is high-quality soil.
Make a Plan
If you want to create a perfect garden on your balcony, you need to at least draw a rough plan. Take some time to think about what you want it to look like and what kinds of plants you want to cultivate. Then, take into consideration the size of your balcony and whether it is shady or sunny.
Measuring its height, width, and length and putting it on paper will make it easier to arrange items like boxes, containers, or furniture.
Pots and Planters
The planters and flower pots used in your balcony should be both practical and decorative. However, don’t forget that your plants are the stars of the show and the pots should only complement them.
Freestanding planters and pots made of clay or ceramics are stable enough to prevent plants from falling over. However, if your plan is to mount or fix the containers on the railings and windows, they should be made of lightweight material (plastic).
If you’re using pots, they need to have enough holes in the bottom to allow sufficient water drainage.
If you’re cultivating veggies, especially greens, use wide and long window boxes or crates as planters.
Plants should be watered in the morning and according to the plants’ requirements but if you’re too busy (or simply lazy), or your balcony is windy and, opt for self-watering planters.
Sunny or Shady?
If your balcony is sunny, you’re in luck because you can grow virtually anything. The easiest plants to grow on a sunny balcony are roses, geraniums, and verbena. However, if you’re a fan of shade-loving plants like primrose and foamflower, you should know that it will be difficult to grow them here. Here are more plants that thrive well in full sun:
- Morning glory vines
If your balcony is shady, make sure to choose your plants carefully. Before you buy anything, do some research to find out which plants grow best in shady places. Here’s a list of shade-loving plants to get you started:
- English ivy
- Peace lilies
- Most types of ferns
What About the Soil?
You also need to pay attention to the soil you’re using. You can’t just use any dirt because it isn’t sterile and can bring disease. Use special potting soil, which is very light and designed for containers.
In addition, make sure to cover the soil with mulch to conserve soil moisture, improve the fertility and health of the soil, reduce weed growth, and enhance the visual appeal of the area. Avoid using dry soil with pea gravel, shredded cedar, or moss.
What Side Is It Facing?
Balconies facing south remain sunny all the time, which means you should avoid growing shady plants there.
Make sure to grow your sun-loving plants in planters installed on the windows and railings. That being said, plants growing in containers generally need more care than plants growing on the ground, so ensure to water and fertilize them frequently.
North facing balconies remain shady for the most part of the day, which means that plants that enjoy the sun won’t thrive well.
In balconies facing west and east, many plants will grow well, including ornamental plants, some herbs, fruits, and vegetables. However, you should make sure that perennials growing in large containers are protected from strong easterly winds.
Small Balcony? No Problem!
Don’t forget vertical gardening! Vertical gardening will allow you to use maximum space and double up your gardening area. Here are some tips to have in mind:
If your balcony is small, choose more climbers and vines. Flowers like clematis, jasmine, and bleeding heart are great choices. And if you want to grow veggies, go for cucumbers, beans, peas, peppers, and tomatoes.
Use an old rack or shelf to keep the pots in and grow your plants in hanging baskets. Hanging baskets look especially beautiful on balconies. Use them to grow plants like verbena, petunia, moss rose, lobelia, Fuchsia, or even tomatoes.
Use high and narrow pots that take less space and /or potholders that will hold your pots vertically. If you’re skilled enough, you can easily make one yourself using pallets.
Don’t be intimidated by the idea of creating a balcony garden. It’s not that difficult and can be done in only a weekend. One weekend is all you need to collect the necessary supplies and pot up your plants to transform your balcony and turn it into a peaceful spot where you can sit and relax surrounded by nature.