Beautify Your Balcony with a Container Garden
Do you have a green thumb? Or perhaps you are like me and don’t have an ounce of gardening capability in your entire body. Either way, here are some great tips for easy gardening in small spaces, like your apartment balcony or patio.
I do not like to garden. However, I do like to experience beautiful flowers and fresh vegetables on a regular basis. Every spring I start out with high hopes that this will be the year I beautify my porch with flower pots, window boxes and containers. It is a rather daunting task for me, seeing as my plants don’t usually make it through an entire winter in the house with me. Maybe with these helpful hints I found online I will have a little more confidence that my balcony garden will be a success!
Step One: Choosing A Container
There are many types of containers available to choose from, including plastic, wood, terracotta, and ceramic. When choosing from this selection, keep in mind that you want something that will hold moisture but also has adequate drainage. Placing your containers on bricks or blocks will allow free drainage. Make sure to line your pots with newspaper to prevent soil loss. If you decide to go with wood, remember to avoid containers treated with toxic compounds since the vapors can damage your plants. And lastly, the size and number of plants will determine which size container you choose. Deep rooted vegetables require deep pots.
Step Two: Soil
Most container gardeners have found that a “soilless” potting mix works best. In addition to draining quickly, “soilless” mixes are lightweight and free from soil-borne diseases and weed seeds. These mixes can be purchased from garden centers. When you add your soil to your container, leave a 2 inch space between the top of the soil and the top of the container. You will be able to add 1/2 inch or so of mulch later.
Step Three: Fertilizer and Watering
Since container gardens drain water quite rapidly, fertilizer will be washed out with each watering. It is recommended to use a dilute liquid-based fertilizer every other watering. If you are experiencing dry, hot weather, watering may be necessary every day since potted plants loose water more quickly.
Step Four: What to grow?
Here is a handy list that I found on www.GardenGuides.com of plants that grow well in containers:
Annuals suitable for containers include: Alyssum, Begonia, Browallia, Coleus, Geraniums, Impatiens, Latana, Lobelia, Marigolds, Periwinkle, Petunias, Nasturiums, Pansies, Salvia, Sanvitalia, Snapdragons, Thunbergia, Zinnias
Vegetables suitable for containers include: Beans (Snap and Lima), Beets, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Chinese Cabbage, Carrot, Cucumber, Eggplant, Garlic, Lettuce, Onion, Pepper, Radish, Spinach, Squash, Tomatoes
A container garden is as creative as its creator. Have fun, get crazy and enjoy the fruits of your labor!
Have you grown a container garden? Share some of your tips with us here!