Modern living is about high-rises and small balconies. If you grew up around a green-fingered parent or relatives, the idea of not having plants in your own home can leave you feeling hollow. Balcony gardens are a great way to utilise your space, plant your own produce and provide a splash of colour to your home.
The goal is to transform your balcony into a yard. Don’t let the small space discourage you. Ensure that your balcony receives at least a bit of direct sun.
Don’t overwhelm yourself by either too many plants or by planting those that require a lot of maintenance. Begin with plants that do not require too much care. For example, marigolds, succulents, herbs are all low maintenance.
Feed your kitchen
Tomato, chillies, herbs like coriander and mint, leafy vegetables like spinach are all quite easy to plant. Convert cans or tins into a pot. Put in soil, add some compost, moist the soil with enough water and you are ready to plant. For tomato, use a larger container as roots grow deep and the plant will need support as it grows. Beans are also quite easy to plant and as it is a climber, provide it with a cane or trellis for support. Spinach, tomato, beans, coriander, brinjal and okra are some of the vegetables that can be grown in balcony gardens.
Grow your own herbs
Next time, you can pluck your herbs from your own balcony. Plant lemongrass, curry leaves, mint, coriander, Indian basil and rosemary in your garden and watch your home fill up with their beautiful aroma as well.
As you continue, you can begin planting vegetables and flowers that demand more care and anytime you fail, document the mistakes you made. This will give you more confidence for the next planting.
Cacti and succulents do not require much care beyond the occasional watering. Aloe vera is a great herb to grow on your balcony. As you continue, you can begin planting vegetables and flowers and anytime you fail, document the mistakes you made. This will give you more confidence.
Give in to your imagination. Paint an old coffee mug (chipped is even better) and turn it into a pot for cacti. Paint an old basket and convert it into a flower pot. Place your pots vertically on the balcony wall – It optimises space and imparts a dramatic colourful look to your balcony. Hibiscus and jasmine are common varieties.
Gardening is a long-term proposition. Initial attempts may not be as satisfactory as expected. Keep at it and you will see your efforts will bear fruit, perhaps even literally bear fruit? What a reward that would be!