Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Start a Garden in your Balcony. A Guide.

Author: Eric.

A garden is an excellent addition to any home. Unfortunately, living in a small space such as an apartment in most cities, it remains a dream. But don't lose hope! If you have a balcony, you can set up a great garden in no time. We will give you some great ideas on how to create and sustain a garden on your balcony.

1. Things to grow in your balcony garden

You can nurture any plant that works with your climate on a balcony garden. You may choose which plants to nurture depending on your interests.
Herb gardens are fun. They bring different fragrances to your balcony, and you can pick fresh herbs for your meals.
You can also have a vegetable garden. Some vegetables to plant that are tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce, and beets.
Imagine the joy of picking your own veggies to make a salad or put in a soup? So rewarding!
You can also grow fruit such as strawberries, lemons, and blueberries on your balcony garden.
Flowers are great as well. Planting flowers and fruits is a great way to create a pretty and uplifting ecosystem that nurtures your soul and other life such as butterflies, beneficial insects, and birds.

2. How will the weather affect your garden plants?
In India, we get different weather every three or four months. You can rotate plants on your balcony according to the seasons.
In the summer, it's a great time to plant things like tomatoes, carrots, peppers, beets, and lettuce.
Herbs like basil, oregano, sage, and thyme will also thrive. Flowers like Marigold, sunflowers, hibiscus, daffodils, zinnias, and bougainvillea do great in summer.
During monsoon season, you can plant veggies that prefer cooler weather and soil such as beans, broccoli, cucumber, spinach, kale, and lettuce. Flowers such as gul mohur, lotus, monsoon cassia, and indigo flowers are great for monsoon season.
In winter you can still grow some veggies. Try carrots, capsicum, and cauliflowers.
For herbs try chives, thyme, and basil. You can also grow some flowers indoors such as petunias and paper daisies.

3. How to design and organize your balcony garden

There are different ways to organize your balcony garden.
You need to use the one that will help you maximize space or create a great ambiance.
You can create a vertical garden which you do by hanging lots of planters or pots from a trellis.
A great thing with vertical gardens is you can set up a drip irrigation system and cut down on having to water your plants manually.
Make sure you put your vertical garden where it gets enough sunlight because plants need it.
Great plants to grow on vertical gardens are herbs and leafy green veggies. For plants such as tomatoes, and cucumbers, you can place a large pot on the ground and use the trellis as the support they climb up on as they grow.
You can also hang your plants in small pots around your balcony border. Other planters can be hooked on to the balcony railing.
The other option is to have plants in different pots all over the balcony where they can get some light. It does not allow you
to grow a lot of plants but will allow you to nurture a few favorites.

4. Essentials for a balcony garden to thrive

- Sun
Although you can grow anything you like, some other factors will determine what grows in your balcony garden.
Start with sun exposure. How much sunlight does your balcony garden get?
Some plants do not need much sunlight, while others like most herbs require between 4 -6 hours of sunlight each day to thrive.
Pick the plants that will get enough sunlight on your balcony for a prosperous garden.
The location of your balcony will also matter. Balconies on higher levels receive more sunlight than those on the ground level.
If your terrace is mostly shady, it's a great place to plant ferns, begonias, English ivy, and peace lilies.
For a balcony that receives a lot of sun, strawberries, basil, lettuce, and tomatoes are great.
You can also companion plant, which means planting flowers that help each other to thrive. For example, leafy plants can be used to shade plants that do not require lots of sunlight.

- Soil
Soil is another balcony garden essential. It's easy to get good quality soil that can drain well from a gardening supply store or a garden in nearby farms. You can put gardening soil in pots of any size depending on the plant size and growth potential.
You will find help with soil from the people you buy flowers or seeds from for your balcony garden. They can also tell you the best pot size and how much sun each plant needs so you can plant them strategically for great results.

- Gardening equipment
You don't need a lot of tools to grow a garden on your balcony. Get a small trowel to dig through the small pots or planters and a watering can to make it easy for you to water your plants.

You may also get a spray bottle for spraying organic pesticide solution whenever nasty pests like aphids try to attack your veggies or flowers. If you like working in soil with your bare hands, that's fine; but if not, a great pair of gardening gloves are inexpensive and will protect your hands as you work .

- Water and fertilizer
Of course, you will need to water the plants. It's also a good idea to buy some organic fertilizer or compost tea because all plants need some nutritious food to grow properly.

Fertilizer comes in liquid form that you can mix in water, or grainy stuff you can mix in the soil. If you go to a gardening supply place or a plant selling center they will give you ideas on what to use for fertilizer and where to buy it.

5. Starting a balcony garden
To start a garden, you can start with seeds. You will find them in garden supply stores, and they always have instructions on
the back on how to grow them.

Another option is to visit a nursery and buy already germinated seedlings. Nurseries always grow out seeds and sell the seedlings to garden enthusiasts. Buying seedlings from nurseries will save you time and energy so you can just start planting the herbs or veggies in a pot when you get home as opposed to making your own mini-nursery.

As for flowers, you will find them from flower sellers in many roadside flower businesses. Any time you buy a plant or seedling from someone, always ask how to care for it. You can always go back to the same place in case your plant has problems, and they will give you advice on how to tackle them.

6. Tips to help you care for your balcony garden

Plants on your balcony will thrive based on how you care for them. Ideally, to grow a great garden on your balcony, you only need lots of interest and commitment.
If you have a hard time with a plant, you can research online about it or visit your garden supply place for advice.
You will find answers that will help you change any of your negative gardening habits, and your plants will thrive.
Once in a while, you will find pests such as aphids and white flies in your garden. 
You can check out garden pest experts for pest solutions.
Another great idea is to use organic pest solutions for your balcony plants. Research on them and try each one until you find one that works.
The most crucial step to having a balcony garden is to start it.
 Once you do; take care of the plants by ensuring they get enough sun, water, and fertilizer.
Give the plants a lot of attention and do not be afraid to ask for advice from other gardening enthusiasts, pest control experts and organic farmers. After some trial and error, you will have the garden of your dreams and be an expert gardener yourself. Go for it!

Editor's Word: That was such an immensely useful guide from Eric!
Eric owns a pest control company: sixbrotherspestcontrol.com
Their pest control products are safe for the environment. Go check their services out.
Infinite Love,

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