How to Garden in Containers on the Balcony
A balcony can become an outdoor oasis filled with lush green plants, colorful blossoms or abundant vegetables. Make the most of the small distance by putting in containers and arranging them to take advantage of vertical distance. Almost any vegetable or herb, most annual flowers and many perennial ornamentals can thrive at a container with appropriate care. Plants with the words “dwarf,” “miniature” or “terrace” in their title are especially bred to grow well in tiny spaces.
Determine the sunlight exposure of the fireplace by monitoring the sunlight that reaches it throughout the day from the spring and summertime when you intend to garden. Most vegetables require at least six hours of daily sunlight, while herbs, flowers and a few leaf vegetables may tolerate shade or partial shade. Select plants which grow well in the lighting your balcony typically receives.
Fill planters with potting soil and set them on drip trays so moisture doesn’t drip throughout the fireplace onto these beneath. Use planters or hanging baskets with bottom drainage holes so that the dirt doesn’t become soggy. Select small 2-gallon baskets and pots for many annual flowers and herbs. Use 5-gallon pots to get larger vegetables and perennials.
Install a shelving unit and one wall of the fireplace to extend your growing space. Establish heavier and larger pots on the bottom shelves and also smaller pots on the closets. Use a unit with adjustable height shelves, allowing you to quickly modify the shelves to fit the most plants on the balcony.
Plant flower or vegetable atom in ready pots. Plant the seedlings at the same depth they were growing in their previous container. Arrange the pots on the balcony in order that they receive the necessary sunlight exposure to your plant variety, which is available on the plant care label.
Place tall or climbing plants in which they could climb your balcony railing, or install a small support stick or trellis from the grass. Lean massive trellises against a wall. Plant climbers, like clematis or morning glories, in long narrow containers at the bottom of the trellis or railing and also tie vines to the supports with cloth plant ties. Grow vegetables, like pole beans, tomatoes and raspberries, on vertical supports.
Hang some planters from the balcony roof or plant them in planters attached to the balcony railing. Grow flowers, strawberries and compact cherry tomato types in hanging baskets. Plant beans and peas to track over basket sides instead of up a support. Arrange hanging baskets in order that they receive sunlight, but don’t block the sun from reaching the plants on the balcony.
Water container plants when the top inch of soil feels dry. Irrigate until moisture starts to drip out of the container bottom and into the tray. Outside fireplace plants might require watering daily in warm weather, particularly if the balcony comes with a overhead cover, so plants can not receive natural rainfall.
Fertilize most plants once monthly from the spring and summertime. Use a soluble fertilizer formulated for the plant type and applied from the amount recommended on the package.
Prune plants monthly from the summer and spring so that they do not outgrow the pots or the fireplace. Pinch back the growing stems of flowers to your leaf grass to encourage smaller, more compact growth. Harvest the outer leaves out of herbs and leafy vegetables in order that they do not grow too large and also to encourage fullness. Most perennial plants bear pruning in spring, so remove up to half the plant’s height and growth to keep its dimension.