How to Start A Small Balcony Garden For Beginners (Tips & Ideas)
Do you want to grow a garden in your Indian apartment balcony but don’t think you have enough space or don’t know where to start?
Do you want to provide your whole family with fresh organic vegetables and herbs at a fraction of the cost but don’t know where to start?
You live in an apartment where you can’t have a full garden.
You might also be very busy to plant a large garden.
Don’t you wish there was an easy, comprehensive, step by step guide sharing with you everything you need to know about starting a garden in your terrace even if you are beginner?
Well that is what I am going to talk in this article. I am going to cover balcony gardening tips and ideas for beginners.
I have grown many vegetables in my little balcony like small flower trees, tomatoes, green chili, cucumber, mint, coriander, zucchini, spinach, beans, peas etc.
It is really very amazing to sit in your balcony surrounded with many types of plants
What is Balcony Gаrdеnіng?
Balcony gardening is the practice of growing plants, vegetables in containers placed in your balcony instead of planting them in the ground.
A balcony garden might be small (size the space permits) on your balcony size) and usually portable containers or pots used.
It can range from a few railing baskets to multiple pots and vertical gardens covering every inch of wall space.
For the best result and not waste your effort or money, you need to ask some questions before you start.
Questions You Need To Ask Yourself before You Start
#1. What Is Your Balcony Climate?
In general, balconies are microclimates that vary greatly from the ground environment. For example if the balcony is shaded or sun light does not fall, then the climate is different from the balcony where the sun lights directly falls or exposed to wind.
Also the surface temperature can make your balcony hot or cool.
But nothing to worry here as there are lots of beautiful plants for almost every condition. So it’s on you how you figure out your balcony environment and choose the plants wisely.
#2. How Big Is Your Balcony?
So even if you have small balcony, you can still start terrace gardening. You can hang your plants or you can pile up pots and create vertical gardening. There are always ways. You just need to find the right space and use it in the correct way.
#3. How Much Sun Light Does Your Balcony Get?
You need to accurately calculate how many hours of sun light falls on your balcony as building or walls can obstruct the direct sun light.
You can use a tool called sun calculator or methodically time it out with a watch.
#4. How Much Heat Your Balcony Gets?
Not every plant thrives in extreme temperatures. For instance in extreme heat lettuce will not flourish. So you need to calculate it to make the selection of plants easier.
#5. How Much Care Can You Do?
All plants need some care and most importantly water. You need to ask yourself how much time you can give for your gardening. If you are travelling a lot then it’s cause of concern.
So to minimize the care, you can install a drip irrigation system or use self-watering pots with large reservoirs.
As a beginner, you need to start it slowly and observe if you really like it.
#6. Do You Have Water Easily Available?
If you have lots of pots or containers, you might need to invest in large watering can. You just need to make sure your plants gets required amount of water.
Which Type Of Pot Is Best For Planting?
You don’t need to spend a lot in balcony gardening. As you are a beginner you need to start it slowly and learn what works best for your balcony.
Try to find pots at gardening stores otherwise you can use second hand pots as well. You even might not have to buy a container as anything can be turned in to a container.
If weight isn’t a problem, big containers and planters made from wood or terra cotta are extremely appealing and give ample space for all kinds of growing.
Remember that terra cotta generally dries out fast, however. Resin and plastic containers provide a lightweight alternative in the best variety of sizes, shapes, and self-watering choices.
If you go for a larger pot or planters, you will have the option to grow small shrubs, perennials or a wide variety of garden vegetables. However small pots can also be used to plant kitchen herbs.
The best would be to combine both based on the weight your balcony can resist.
What vegetables can you grow in your balcony?
You can grow vegetables, herbs. Although some vegetables need full sunlight but still you can grow some of the vegetables and herbs with less sunlight as well.
By growing your own vegetables you are making sure that you and your family eats organic products.
Here is a small list of vegetables that you can try as a beginner. Once you know the skills of balcony gardening ideas you can try other vegetables.
How to Design Gardens for Balconies?
You can start with a garden for your kitchen producing herbs and vegetable or you can plant flower trees.
The best would be to mix both edibles and flowers.
Take the planting technique “thriller, spiller and filler” into consideration.
The thriller being the focal upright, the spiller to cascade over the pot, and the filler to take up the spaces in between.
Tomatoes, Peppers, Rosemary, Snapdragons
Strаwbеrrіеѕ, Sԛuаѕh, Lobelia, Bacopa, nasturtiums
Pаrѕlеу, Carrots, Bаѕіl, Mint, Coriander
Balcony Gardening Tips For Beginners
#1. Choose Plants Wisely –
You need to be very careful while selecting your plants as this is the starting point.
You need to select plants which can grow in your balcony based on direct sun light, humidity levels, wind and temperature of your balcony.
You should stay away from plant that will grow high or develop a long root system.
Some of the plants that will do well are berries (mainly strawberry), peepers, mint, tomatoes, coriander or rosemary. You can also spice it up by planting some flower plants like vеrоnіса, Ruѕѕіаn sage, and aster.
#2. Select Pots or Planter –
When you determine what to plant, the next step is to select the containers. Select pots, planters, and other containers that can fit the plants you choose and work well with the design of your balcony or terrace.
Tiered plants are excellent for balconies, not only because they can help you get the most out of your balcony, but also because they can make watering more effective.
Always arrange your pots before you put soil inside as once you put soil they will be heavier to move around.
#3. Make Sure To Maximize Sun Exposure –
You need to arrange your balcony garden in such a way that they can get the maximum sun exposure.
You need to arrange plants by height so that tall plants do not block the sun otherwise you can elevate the plants which are away from your balcony’s edge.
Frequent rotation of containers can be needed to help the plants thrive by having the sun they need.
#4. Take Good Care Of Your Plants –
You need to group you plants by their watering requirement.
Be sure to fertilize your plants when necessary. You should remove the faded flowers and weeds. You may also prune the unhealthy or overgrown branches to keep your garden compact and clean.
#5. Have Some Space for Yourself –
Make sure you balcony garden does not take all your empty space otherwise you won’t have any space left to put a chair or table. Do not over plant.
#6. Prevent Pests in Your Garden –
In order to protect your plants from bad bugs, you can cover your plants with a floating row cover, a light-weight, spun-bound fabric that rests on top of the plant or on wire hoops.
You also need to attract good bugs like Ladybugs, lacewings, minute pirate bugs, bug-parasite, and damsel. These bugs will naturally help to keep the amount of pesticides down by consuming the bad guys.
- Set up your containers always before pouring the soil. They are much easier and lighter to move around.
- Put your organic potting soil and organic fertilizer and mix it together.
- Plant seeds as far as down in the soil as recommended.
- Add more soil around the base of the seedlings if necessary.
- Add water until the soil is soaked, but not totally saturated, and ensure the water stays away from the leaves as the plants grow.
Balcony gardening tips for beginners is an ultimate step by step guide who wants to start a small garden full of vegetables, herbs and flowers in their balcony.
Planning for your balcony garden is probably the important tip in your guide.
You need to plan it out carefully so that you’re not frustrated or overwhelmed. You need to consider how much effort you can put and what your balcony climatic condition is most importantly how much sun light your balcony gets.
You can instead enjoy your wellbeing and your delicious food right outside your house!