Balcony gardening is perfect for those living in a condo or apartment.
Before you start, check your building regulations. Determine the area of your balcony, the space being used for outdoor furniture, and the area you want to use for your garden. Check the amount of light and wind your balcony is exposed to. Protect plants by creating windbreaks or by placing fragile plants in pots on the floor.
Plants exposed to high wind or heat must be watered regularly. To save time watering, create a slow dripping irrigation system or use self-watering pots. Ensure containers have efficient water drainage.
Next, sketch out your garden plan. Save floor space by using tiered plant stands, wall-or-railing mounted garden boxes, or hanging baskets. Use 5-gallon containers for tomatoes, cucumbers, large perennials, or climbing plants. Use 2-gallon pots for peppers, beets, and carrots. Plant herbs individually or group them in a planter. Many vegetables, as well as flowers, do great in hanging baskets. Vining plants like tomatoes, and strawberries are a few (1).
When selecting soil, use a peat-based soil. Place a layer of newspaper over the drainage holes before adding the soil. Pre-moisten soil before adding it to your containers, and ensure soil is evenly damp before planting.
Select an assortment of plants for four-season appeal. Mix both annuals and perennials, add evergreens, or mix vegetables with flowers as it may attract beneficial insects. This helps diversify your garden and will make it more resilient to insects and pests (2)
Pollination is important if you grow vegetables. Wind pollination may be enough, as the blooms on your plants sway in the breeze. If you have little wind and no insects in your area, you will need to hand-pollinate. Gently shake the cage or stakes of plants every few days. Hand-pollinate during the hot part of the day when the humidity is at its lowest (1).
These tips come from https://www.enjoycontainergardening.com/blog/balcony-gardening-with-containers/ and https://www.cbc.ca/life/home/8-tips-to-turn-your-tiny-balcony-into-a-lush-garden-1.4226500 Looking for more gardening tips – check out the educational resources on the North Bay Heritage Gardeners website! Visit https://northbayheritagegardeners.com/education
Kayla Gervais, Office Administrator
Suite 112-245 Oak St. E.,
North Bay, ON P1B 8P8