Not all of us have the space to do an in ground garden, but that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy plants and a green space. If you have a small balcony or terrace, chances are you can start growing flowers, herbs and vegetables despite the small space. You will be surprised what you can grow on your balcony.
There are some things that will make balcony gardening even easier, and we will look at those in the tips and other things to consider when getting into gardening on your balcony, patio, or rooftop space.
Look at the Rules
Although most places will allow for growing spaces on the balcony, it is important to check with your landlord, condominium association or other regulator to make sure that gardening on the balcony is allowed. When you reach out, you should also ask if there are any limitations to plant placement, visibility, amount and type. It will be very disappointing if you go out to the greenhouse, fall in love with potted plants, invest some money and then come home to find out it is not allowed.
Once you have the go ahead to starting gardening on your balcony, it is time to consider the weight and size of your plants and pots. If there are no rules around gardening on the balcony you might want to take into consideration the significant weight that a heavily watered clay pot with add to your space. Make sure you have the proper support, and that plants can’t be accidentally pushed of fall to spaces below.
You know your garden space is allowed and can support the weight of your new plants. Now, time to consider the logistics of gardening in your new area. How will you get water to your plants? If you have easy access to a hose, this is no problem. If you have to walk through your apartment with a watering can to water many plants, consider the time and mess involved in this process.
It is also important to think of how easy it will be to bring new pots, plants and soil into your balcony garden space. You may want to choose a lighter plastic or cork pot instead of the big heavy terracotta one you see in the garden center. Although it is more expensive, it will likely be easier to purchase smaller bags of soil than a large heavy cube.
It is also important to consider the sun direction and typical weather encountered on your balcony or patio. Is it in direct sunlight all day, does it encounter much wind, are there sheltered areas? Write all of these things down and consider them when you are planning your balcony garden.
Another thing you may be able to do on your balcony garden is to start planting vertically! You can grow flowers like sweet peas and vegetables like regular snap peas up many structures. You may even be able to use the railing of a balcony for growing these. Just remember to clean them up at the end of the season to keep your garden space tidy.
Choose your Plants
Choosing plants is the most important part of building your balcony garden. As with an in ground garden, the amount of sun your plants will receive is going to be the deciding factor. If you have a direct sun facing balcony, consider planting vegetables like tomatoes, peppers and zucchini as well as most annuals like petunias and marigolds.
If your balcony garden is in the shade, consider begonias, impatiens, and coleus for your pots. You could also plant hostas in beautiful pots on your balcony or patio garden.
Vegetables like kale, lettuce, and spinach and many herbs will do well in a part shade location on your patio. Use these plants to fill in the darker places on your patio and add some greens to your dinner plate!
Look at my post about my favorite annuals for ideas for what to start planting on your patio!
When designing a balcony garden for the first time it is important to start small. Each year you can add more as you learn what works and what fits inside your budget. Before you know it your patio and balcony garden will be bursting with color and fresh vegetables.
Let me know below what your favorite thing is to grow on your balcony garden!