If you are lucky enough to have a balcony then you should make sure you are making the most of that space. Even on a small balcony, you will be able to grow plenty of food for yourself and your household. Here are a few tips to help you make the most of this part of your home:
Use Every Inch Of Space
Container gardening and vertical gardening techniques mean that you will be able to make the most of every inch of space on your balcony for food growing. Think about the space not only in terms of the horizontal floor area but also in terms of the vertical space. Food can be grown up the back wall of a balcony, or up, on or over the railings which surround it. You could increase the growing space available to hooking containers onto the outside of the rails, and can also stack containers to make vertical towers for planting. You may also be able to create hanging gardens – if there is a ceiling to your balcony, you could perhaps use it to suspend a series of hanging baskets and other containers to make your own hanging gardens.
Grow On Your Balcony Year Round
Open balconies can often get too hot in certain climates during the summer months. If you live in a warm climate, consider creating a shaded area in which to grow some edible plants. Covering some of a balcony with shade netting can make it easier to grow food in these outdoors areas in areas that are hot in the summer.
In other parts of the world, a balcony can become very cold in the winter. If the winter weather is cold where you live, you could still consider growing food on your balcony – even when there is a definite chill in the air. By using cloches, mini-polytunnels and other options to cover your growing areas and containers, you could still continue to grow a range of plants throughout the whole year.
Make A Seating Area Without Giving Up Planting Space
If you enjoy spending time in your balcony garden, you will be far more likely to give it the time and attention that it needs. Create a seating area on your balcony – but think carefully about the layout and design of that seating area, so you do not lose too much of your planting space. Hammocks and hanging chairs can be an ideal solution, as plants can still be grown beneath them. Another idea is to choose folding furniture, so it can be stored out of the way when not in use.
Another important element to consider when planning your balcony garden is how you will water your growing plants. If your balcony is covered, you can often still harvest rainwater from it by placing containers below down spouts on guttering, or simply by suspending a bucket outside the rails which can collect water falling from the balcony above. On open balconies, simply placing buckets or other containers out in the rain will help you to collect this precious resource to use on your garden.