If you're like thousands of apartment dwellers, the only outdoor space you have may be a tiny balcony. But not having a yard certainly doesn't hinder anyone from doing big, beautiful green things with your balcony. Balcony gardens can be achievable, intimate, and absolutely stunning.
Creating an ample garden on your balcony requires a little planning and decision making based on specific factors that you're going to have to make do with. Take a look at these tips for creating a lush, outdoor space that you'll love.
Consider weather conditions
Balconies are usually considered as "microclimates", meaning it's a very small or restricted area that differs in the climate of its surrounding area. Depending on the location of your suite, the microclimate of your balcony can be different from that of your neighbour's.
In terms of exposure, the most important factors to keep in mind are the sun and wind. You should keep in mind the direction your balcony is facing from the sun. If your garden is turned toward the east, you'll be getting the delightful morning sun and some afternoon shade. As for wind, the higher up your suite, the more windier it will be on your balcony. People tend to forget that the wind can be more devastating than the scorching sun.
Also keep in mind the amount of heat the surface of your balcony retains. Not all plants, such as lettuce, can survive the extreme heat. Consider implementing succulents if you're balcony radiates intense heat.
The good news is that there are plants that are fit for almost every condition possible. So don't be too worried if your balcony has less than ideal weather conditions compared to that of your neighbor's.
Containers and Soil
When choosing containers, take into account the drainage capabilities of the containers. Drainage holes help guard against roots rotting due to over-watering. Additionally, putting saucers under the container prevents water from spilling down off your balcony onto your poor neighbour below.
As for what kind of soil to use, all-purpose potting soil will be particularly suited for the plants you will be growing. Note that succulents and other specialty plants will need a different type of soil mix.Grow vertically
This is the single biggest way to maximize a small space. Depending on whether or not your balcony has railings, walls or both, consider some essential space saving gardening accessories like hanging baskets, wall-or-railing-mounted containers, and trellises.