Growing fruits and vegetables is not only a great way to save money, but the hobby can be extremely rewarding and satisfying. That said, when people don’t live in houses, they feel like they don’t have the option to do any gardening, or even have much room for flowering plants. The good news is…if you have a decent-sized balcony, you can! You just have to limit yourself to a few things that are suitable for the space and geographical area and follow some simple tips:
Make sure that your balcony will be strong enough to support everything you want to add to it. The weakest area will be in the middle, so keep the heaviest things around the perimeter. In most cases, this will not be a cause for concern, but it is always better to be safe than sorry.
Ensure that you will have enough room to walk out of your patio door onto your balcony, so take measurements and pictures of the area before heading to the store so that you don’t end up buying too many supplies. It can seem like there is more room than there really is until you bring everything home.Plus, you don’t want it to be overcrowded. Keep in mind you may also want to have a chair or two outside as well. Make sure you are clear as to how you want things to be set up before you start.
The first year that you attempt your own gardening, remember this key statement: less is more. It is better to do things on a smaller scale and have them healthy than to overwhelm yourself and end up feeling like it is becoming more of a burden.
Choose plants that need minimal attention. This will take less time to maintain, and you won’t have to worry if you go away on vacation. You could plant from seed as well (earlier in the spring), but it can be better to get a head start with plants that are already well on their way. They will also look better on your balcony, as you will not have a waiting period before things pop up and start to grow.
Instead of planting seeds or plants in the ground, you obviously need to buy pots.Ensure that they are large enough for the root system to develop and be able to support a growing plant. You will also want to ensure that they have proper drainage.If plants are over-watered with nowhere for the water to go, the roots can end up rotting.
When it comes to choosing flowering plants, it is best to limit yourself to three to colors to prevent it from looking too busy. Two shades in the same color family plus one contrasting color looks great.
Ask a staff member at your local garden center for recommendations on fertilizers, as these can really give your plants a boost.
If you are able to hook up a hose to your sink, this will be a much more efficient way of watering vs. carrying small amounts with a plastic container or watering jug.
Be sure not to over-water your plants. Always feel the dirt first to see if they still have plenty of moisture. Too much water can also make the leaves turn yellow.
In the fall, you can dispose of the plants (unless they are perennials (because those return the following year). Keep the pots and planters with the dirt so that you don’t have to buy (or haul) new dirt next year. This can be reused.
If you are in charge of a condo or townhouse complex in Coquitlam or surrounding area and are looking for a professional landscape company to take care of your landscaping needs, give us a call at ATC Landscape!
Proudly serving the Tri-Cities (Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody), Pitt Meadows and Maple Ridge since 2001.