Balcony Garden Ideas: How to Create Your Own Edible Garden at Home
With these edible balcony garden ideas, you can establish your own garden of herbs and veggies at home for guaranteed freshness and bonus feel-good vibes.
If you’re a keen entertainer, having fresh produce right on your doorstep may feel like hitting the jackpot. Reaching out to grab primed herbs and vegies for your next culinary creation may seem like a pipe dream to some but if you’re keen to develop that green thumb of yours, you can establish a produce garden of your own at home, even in the tightest of spaces on your balcony. To help you get inspired and start a herb and veggie garden of your very own, here are a few things you need to consider when setting up your edible balcony garden.
What can you Grow out on the Balcony?
Plenty! If your balcony gets a good hit of sunshine at some point during the day, you’ll be able to have a kitchen garden. Broad beans, snow peas, bok choy, tomatoes, spring onions, rocket, broccoli, lettuce, cauliflower and potatoes can all be successfully grown in a small space. And over on the flavour enhancing side, aromatic herbs that suit balcony gardening include parsley, rosemary, basil, thyme, oregano and lemon balm, as well as microgreens. Don’t forget citrus trees – lemon, limes and even cumquats – and a chilli plant is also a great balcony produce option, too.
Getting Your Set-up Right
For a balcony garden, you’ll need to pick pots to plant your produce in. This can range from upcycled plastic planters and self-watering pots to terracotta and ceramic pots, which work beautifully for citrus, fruit and olive trees. Container planting is a favourite way to create a portable produce garden, with your selection taking up little space in the one planter – just be sure to check your plants will all get along in the one spot with similar growing conditions and water levels (sage and rosemary is a great herb power container couple for instance).
Herbs also generally grow best in pots as the warmer, well-drained soil is conducive to a happy basil, rosemary or mint plant. And don’t forget to consider going up – a vertical wall garden is a great option for harvesting herbs while also forming a neat leafy display feature; you can even get a portable one. No matter what gardening system you choose, do your homework to find out what is best suited to your selection of herbs or veggies, and don’t forget to factor in the weight.
Location, Location, Location
Where you place your produce plants matters, and a smart way to plan your balcony garden layout is to group together plants that prefer the same conditions. Your veggies will need to be in a sunny spot as they need anything from a few hours of sunshine a day to a full day’s light to reach their full potential. Having an understanding of how the sun moves across your balcony is integral: an exposed spot is great for herbs including rosemary and thyme, while a shaded spot is where sorrel comes into its own.
As with all great dishes, the ingredients are key to the delicious finished result, and as it is with gardening. Good quality soil starts with a quality potting mix, and then you’ll need to factor in fertiliser – whether in liquid or seaweed solution or pellet form – compost and organic matter and mulch, which could be straw, hay or dried leaves; your nursery will be able to advise what is the best formula for your choice of produce. And teamed with the amount of sun, the other most important factor is the amount of water your herbs and veggies will receive.
Coriander, dill and basil prefer moist soil and will need to be watered at least twice a week, whereas rosemary, oregano and thyme can handle just a once-a-week watering. Citrus trees thrive in a north-facing sunny spot but will require a good soaking once a week and more in summer. And while watering is obviously integral, a well-drained plant is a happy plant, too, so allow the water to permeate through to avoid unwanted fertiliser build-up.
Apartment living can be conducive to a produce garden right on the balcony. Herbs, vegies and fruit trees can thrive in this environment - it’s just a matter of doing some research, knowing your balcony’s climate conditions and talking to your nursery about how to plan your kitchen garden. Looking to add even more of Mother Nature’s best to your place? Check out our selection of beautiful indoor plants that should have a home in yours.
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