Gone are the golden olden yesteryears wherein the construction of an apartment had very limited restrictions. Today, for every square inch you have to pay a cost. In most of the cities, to get a balcony (a patio or a veranda) constructed, you have to pay a premium rate to the authorities. You can increase your living area by enclosing it into your drawing room or have an evening family tea or singly interconnect yourself with the outside alluring greenery in the balcony.
Then why not utilize this balcony for creating a beautiful garden?
Not only can you have pretty flowers beds, but also grow organic nutritious vegetables of your choice!
What Are The Main Advantages Of Having A Garden In The Balcony?
Cost-Effective: Very few gardening tools, a small packet of manure, limited soil & your few minutes daily are required to commence a garden in the balcony.
Privacy: This is a special attribute you can get depending on the floor you dwell. Also, no permanent fencing/wall is required, unlike ground floor/plot gardens.
Easy to Manage: Unlike park or plot farming, you require limited efforts to manage balcony gardens.
Size: Even if you have a small balcony, you can design your garden in a manner by which you can utilize the maximum available space.
Direction: Even if you have a north-facing balcony – sun rising to the right and setting to the left – if designed by working on few additional precautions, you can have an appealing garden in the balcony.
Age not barrier: A perfect hobby for your grandpop and granny offering them serenity and calmness.
Basic Supplies Required to Make a Balcony Garden?
Gardening soil – Sometimes termed as topsoil as it is a natural soil, when mixed with other components enhances the growth of plants.
Watering Pot – Size depends on how much weight you can lift. It has a movable container with a funnel and a handle.
Pots – Size depends on the plant type, especially give due consideration to the root ball size.
Trallis – For creepers or vines to ascend easily, without disturbing the growth of other plants.
Vertical Planters – Using vertical planters is the key to a beautiful balcony garden, use all types of planters such as railing planter, vertical wall planters and hanging planter.
Hand-held Trowel, Angled Shovel, Kneeling Pad, Rake and many more once your balcony garden is fully operational.
What Are The Important Points To Remember Before Commencing A Garden In The Balcony?
Natural Illumination: Here you have to check the amount of sun in your balcony gets. It is scientifically proven that a balcony getting around 6 hours sunshine – partial and direct put together – allows a variety of plantation. This helps the process of photosynthesis (plants preparing their food) and enhances their growth.
Climatic Conditions: Always decide the saplings that will grow efficiently in their natural conditions. Also, you should remember that the wind is directly proportional to the height of the building. The amount of breeze on the topmost floor will be different from the first or second floor. A sudden gust might harm some of the delicate plants. You should also remember to grow seasonal plants. A summer plant might not reap in cold winter and vice-a-versa.
Investment: How much amount you are going to spend in a balcony garden? Similar to overspending, even underspending is not advisable. Justifiable amount depending on your capacity is required, which has to be calculated in advance.
Time: If you are on a touring job there should be someone to water your precious plants. Due to weather conditions or plant habits, some plants require two times water. Will you be able to allocate reasonable time for a balcony gardening?
Necessary Permission: In India, some of the societies ban balcony gardening due to their own set of rules. Get it checked beforehand.
Garden Design: Arrange the balcony furniture and the pots in a manner which will allow you to water the plants easily and others to walk freely.
Water Outlet: Confirm in advance the path of water that flows from the pots. It should be diverted to the sewage facility provided by society.
What Types Of Plants Are Recommended For A Garden In The Balcony?
After gathering all the garden accessories and effectively working on important points as mentioned above you can grow almost all types of plants that are grown in India.
If you are a first-timer then start with some easy growing plants mentioned below, as they require comparatively less attention. But negligence is not at all recommended.
If you have a small balcony it is recommended to grow those plants, which occupy more vertical space.
How To Take Care Of The Balcony Garden Plants?
- Cut the top ends of the plants at the regular intervals – once in 10 to 15 days.
- Clay pots have a natural property of keeping the soil cool, hence recommended.
- An appropriate mix of fertilizer/manure into the soil as per the recommendations will enhance plants growth.
- Excessive sunlight might be harmful to some of the delicate plants. You can create a small shade of plastic or an umbrella as a precautionary measure.
- Rest your pots on a saucer with small colourful (if available) pebbles in it. Not only will it enhance the beauty of the pots, but also increase the shelf life of earthen/clay pots.
- Plant the seeds as per the required depth, which facilitates their early growth.
- Excessive water might decay the seeds if the water gets saturated. Hence reasonable water is recommended.
- Tall plants should reside towards the end wall and shorter plants in front, which will ease the watering and give an elegant look.
- If you are a novice, arrange the empty pots/containers beforehand to ease the layout changes. Once finalized, fill in the pots with soil and other ingredients.
- Create a natural shade of vines for the plants growing on the balcony flooring. Some recommendations are honeysuckle, jasmine, ivy, clematis, etc.
Bury the traditional concept of balconies being used as an attic or a throw-place of unused items.
Utilize your balcony to the fullest. Not only will it circulate fresh air around the flat, but will also enhance its beauty.