Balcony gardening tips
With the right supplies and plants, it's easy to grow a balcony garden. Many who live in apartments or duplexes have a balcony available which can be used to create a beautiful, productive garden, though many don't know where to start. This simple, step-by-step guide will take you through the entire growing season, from planting seeds to harvesting plants, all on the balcony. How to grow a balcony garden- easy tips:
1. Plan the balcony garden early. What plants would you like to grow? Where would the plants be placed on the balcony? For maximum use of space, consider using trellises and a plant stand or shelf on the balcony.
2. Choose plants suitable for container growing for the balcony garden. Many seed companies have developed plant seeds especially suited for container growing, including varieties of cucumbers, summer squash, tomatoes, even blueberries, and flowers. Many herbs, flowers, and vegetables are already well-suited for containers, such as bush beans, peas, chives, and petunias, to name a few.
3. Choose containers suitable for a balcony garden. The best containers to use for a balcony garden are plastic with drainage holes on the bottom. Plastic is light weight, as opposed to ceramic pots, which can weigh down the balcony unnecessarily when plastic pots are easily available and generally cheaper.
4. Use a well-draining soil less mix for the balcony garden. Mix together peat moss, perlite, wood chips, and a bit of compost to ensure a light-weight medium for container plants to grow and thrive.
5. Purchase the plants or seeds and plant them in the soil less mix in containers in the balcony garden. If using seeds, be sure the soil less mix is moist before planting. Keep the potting medium evenly moist but not too wet. Do not allow the potting mix to dry out as seeds are germinating.
If plants have been purchased, plant them directly into the soil less mix in the containers and water well.
6. Keep the potting medium in the containers well-watered throughout the growing season. Do not over water, but do not let the potting medium become dried out. On long, hot days, container plants in the balcony garden may need to be watered twice per day. To save on the cost of water, collect rain water whenever possible for use in watering container plants.
7. Fertilize container plants in the balcony garden with diluted fish emulsion and used coffee grounds. Use the fish emulsion as directed on the package, fertilizing every three weeks or so. Sprinkle used coffee grounds on the potting mix, avoiding the leaves of the plants, every week or so.
8. Harvest fruits and vegetables in the balcony garden as they become ripe. Cut flowers to take into the home, if desired.
9. Pull out the plants in the containers at the end of the growing season. Add the plants to the compost bin, if you use one. Bring the containers from the balcony garden inside and store them for the winter.