What Do I Need To Start A Balcony Garden?

What Do I Need To Start A Balcony Garden

No space is too small for greenery, even your balcony. It can be as simple as a few railing baskets to as complex as several pots and vertical gardens covering every inch of wall space. If you have a creative mind like a gardener but are new to the idea, the steps below will provide a great start to improving your balcony. 

Transform your tiny outdoor space into a mini oasis with these balcony gardening tips. 

Before you start 

The first phase of balcony gardening, especially for newbies, is to conduct research and determine certain essential factors for the balcony garden you’re hoping to create.  These include a variety of criteria such as the availability of space, sunlight, water, your budget, and the amount of time you are ready to give.

It’ll also help to know what plants have the capacity to grow in the environmental conditions of a balcony. Here’s what you should consider before you jump straight in:

  • Space – You must first consider how much room you want to devote to your new balcony garden. Do you want to cover the entire balcony with pots and plants? Or do you like to have them on a small section of the balcony?

    Even if you just have a little balcony, it is easy to grow a small garden there. Altalternatively, You could even install pots or build some gorgeous DIY trellises to make a vertical garden.
  • Light – Another important element to consider is the amount of sunlight that your balcony receives on a daily basis. You must be aware of the exact amount of hours of sunlight per day. This can be done manually with a stopwatch or with a gardening instrument known as a solar calculator.

    Another thing to consider is which part of your balcony receives the most sunshine. Some areas may be obscured by the adjacent buildings and hence receive no sunshine throughout the day. Make sure to mark out the region of your balcony garden that receives the most sunlight, as some of your plants will not live without it.
  • Wind – Another factor to consider while designing your balcony garden is the wind situation on your balcony. Many plants do not perform well in windy environments, whilst others thrive in them.

    So, when you decide on the plants you want to keep, make sure you know how windy they can get on your balcony. In severely windy areas, consider putting blinds to avoid the wind from hurting the plants.
  • Time – Some plants need special care and attention, but others are rather simple to maintain. Before selecting plants for your balcony garden, conduct extensive research on them.

    That way, you’ll be able to determine whether you have the time and energy to devote to nurturing them. If not, you can choose from a list of plants that are generally easy to grow based on the time you have available.
  • Edible plants – Growing your own food can be wonderful because it tastes fresher and tastier than store-bought goods. The only problem is that you will need at least 6-8 hours of sunlight per day to grow any type of food.

    If that isn’t an issue, you should look into the various varieties of food that could be grown readily in pots. If not, you could try planting a little herb garden. Herbs like rosemary, thyme, basil, and mint can be planted on virtually any balcony or terrace space with no issues.
  • Price – Another important element to consider before designing your balcony garden is your budget. Gardening equipment is normally available for every budget. However, it will still cost some money.

Choose the right plants

Many balconies create shade. If your balcony faces east or west, it will only receive direct sunshine for a portion of the day, and if it faces north, it may not receive any direct sunlight at all.

Add to this the shade provided by walls, screens, and overhangs, and you’ve got yourself a very shady area for growing plants. But don’t be discouraged; many plants actually like shade. Hostas, begonias, heucheras, geraniums, and ferns are excellent for cheering up a shaded balcony.

Plants in pots on sunny balconies can burn – especially if the balcony has a clear screen, which creates a greenhouse effect.

The solution is to plant drought-tolerant, sun-loving plants.  fill a sunny balcony with herbs like lavender, rosemary, and oregano, while pelargoniums, Stachys, and succulents will offer color and charm.

Vegetables that don’t take up a lot of room and are happy growing in pots are ideal for balcony gardening. And, as previously stated, most herbs are easily grown, so the options are limitless.

In a compact space, it is best to have a few larger plants. This is a landscape design tip that makes spaces appear larger.

A balcony garden design that incorporates three of the same plant in matching pots creates a charming atmosphere. However, if you prefer the wild jungle aesthetic, feel free to mix and match as you please.

If you don’t want to buy all of your favorite herbs individually, we recommend getting your hands on a herb garden starter kit, such as this 5-herb set on Amazon. It comes with everything you need to get started growing your own herbs from your own balcony. 

Seeds or seedlings?

Depending on when you start, you can grow from seeds or seedlings. Unfortunately, some of the seeds will not sprout or survive.

With a small balcony garden, it would be a pity to plant only one or two seeds and then have nothing to grow if those are the ones that don’t germinate. If you have too many sprouts, you can easily thin them out.

Whether you’re planting seeds in small starter containers or filling planters, grow bags, and containers, proper soil is essential.  Plants grow considerably healthier and more rapidly in nutrient-rich soil. It is the quality of the soil that makes all the difference.

We recommend this Organic Planting Soil, it’s great for both indoor and outdoor plants, and will save you having to buy a huge bag of soil just for your balcony.

Grow vertically 

When you have a limited amount of room, you want to make the most of it. If you can hang pots or trellis on the walls of your balcony, they can provide more area for growing plants while also making the walls look more attractive.

Also, if you have a railing on your balcony, consider adding a hanging pot such as this one for optimal plant storage. These small multi-colored plant pots are perfect for that! They’re super cute and much cheaper than you’d expect, too. 

A vertical balcony mini-garden can be built using prefabricated components or from scratch. You’ll need a sturdy, tall wooden or metal trellis, as well as handles to connect flower pots to it.

We love these narrow lattice trellises, as you can expand them to fit the size of your balcony perfectly. They work great with trailing plants such as vines. 

Ladder planters are all the rage right now, and we love how rustic and farmhouse-chic they look on a balcony space. This one on Amazon is tall enough to fit dozens of plants without taking up much precious space on your balcony. 

The flower pots should be positioned at a small angle so that you always have good access to the dirt when watering and caring for your plants, and so that they have enough area to grow properly.

Growing plants in this manner is incredibly convenient, as is growing plants in elevated pallet beds. You won’t even have to bend down to care for most of the plants.

We love this elevated flower bed on Amazon, it’s narrow enough to fit on even the smallest of balconies while optimizing your space thanks to the storage shelf underneath. 

Growing climbing plants across the front of your balcony can provide shade from the sun and weather factors, as well as greater privacy by shielding your outdoor space from curious neighbors. Ivy, honeysuckle, and clematis are excellent plants for creating this living screen.

Arrange beds and larger containers along the exterior boundaries of the space to define it and disperse the weight. Make use of available wall space by hanging half-baskets and wall pockets. This pack of 2 metal wall planters is perfect for balconies as they’re easy to attach and remove, and they look great too.

Get the right tools

Creating a balcony garden will involve the purchase of some basic tools to care for the plants later on. Large tools are not required for a balcony garden; instead, utilize mini garden tools, which are often easier to store.

Here’s what you’ll need to get started:

  • A basic set of hand gardening tools, consisting of a small shovel, trowel, rake, and bulb planter. This 8-piece gardening tool set comes with everything you need to get started, and all of your equipment can be stored away in the handy carry case.
  • A traditional watering can should be enough, a balcony garden doesn’t require the use of a hose. How cute is this rustic metal watering can?! The removable spray spout makes it functional as well as attractive.
  • A good pair of scissors or secateurs, like these, will make it much easier to trim plants, remove leaves and deadheads. 
  • Gardening gloves are necessary as they will protect your hands from dirt and thorns while you tend your plants. We recommend this pair on Amazon, as they’re super-grippy without compromising on breathability. 

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