Your balcony can be the perfect place to create a garden oasis where you can relax after a long day at work. Even if your space is limited, you can still enjoy a beautiful garden by making the most of your space with containers. Container gardening is easy, versatile and fun. However, before you get started, there are certain important factors to consider.
Consider How Much Time You Can Spend on Gardening
If you typically work overtime and don’t spend much time at home, then you may want to select plants that require little maintenance and are drought resistant. The Home Depot is a good starting point for novice gardeners. They usually carry the most commonly grown plants for your area. Chances are, if the plants are doing well at your local Home Depot, they will probably do well on your balcony. Your local family-owned nursery can be a great source of information as well.
Considering the Space of and Around Your Balcony
In a small space, a few properly placed containers can go a long way. By selecting plants that vary in size, shape and texture, you can create an inviting space, without having to overwhelm your small space. Not only should you consider the amount of space on your balcony, but also the space around it as well. If your balcony faces another apartment building, you may want to consider lining your balcony with bamboo containers for privacy. Bamboo grows tall, is quite hardy and also does well in colder climates. It is a great choice to use as a privacy screen.
Create Garden According to Access to Sunlight
You want to consider the amount of light your balcony receives. Remember this expression: “The sun rises in the East and sets in the West.” If your balcony faces East, then it will receive the most sunlight in the morning. Most annuals love the sun and are a great choice for an East-facing balcony. If your balcony is surrounded by taller buildings and is shaded most of the day, then you will want to select plants that thrive in low light.
Some Plants Can Only Survive and Thrive in Specific Places
This may be the most important factor to consider, particularly if you are buying plants online. If you are shopping at your local home store or nursery, you won’t need to worry about zones, because the plants that thrive there, will also thrive at your home. However, if you are shopping online, you need to know what zone you live in before you select your plants. The zone refers to the average minimum temperature in your area and will tell you which plants will survive in that temperature. Zones range from 1 to 10, with 10 being the hottest. For example, South Florida is a zone 10. Much of North Carolina lies between zones 7 and 9. The USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map will tell you which zone you live in.
Arranging your Plants by Height
Now that you have the basic information you need to get started, you are only limited by your imagination. All you need is basic potting soil, various containers and your plants. Always place taller plants in the back and shorter plants up front. You can also use plant stands to achieve various heights and create interest. Finally, remember to carefully follow the watering instructions that come with your plants. Watering too much or too little will leave you with a balcony full of dead plants. Now, get out there and create your garden oasis!