Many of us live in such tight spaces in urban configuration that is next to impossible to think of having a backyard or a garden to grow veggies or anything else. But don’t give up yet, as we all have balconies or little spaces near our windows where atleast some veggies can be grown. So, in this post let’s focus on what are the basic things that you are going to require for balcony gardening, planning and then in the subsequent posts we will discuss which plants will be most suitable for cultivation.
The first thing you should notice before starting a balcony garden is the amount of light your balcony is receiving. Observe and note down the number of hours the place is getting sunshine for as it will be important in choosing the type of plants/veggies you want to grow. At least 6 to 8 hours of sun is minimally required for any kind of plant to flower.
If your balcony doesn’t have a tap or a direct water supply, the very next thing is to plan how you are going to irrigate your plants. You can of course carry the water from inside but trust me, that is going to become a tedious task later on. In such cases, a small pipe from the tap to the garden is very helpful. If you are someone who travels often, then I would suggest a self-watering system or drip irrigation to take care of your plants when you are not around.
Plan the use of space
If you are planning on growing edible plants like veggies or salad greens then you need to carefully plan your space. Is all the floor space is going to be used up? Are you going to opt for vertical space utilization as well? So, ask these questions before you proceed to start gardening.
Decide upon the containers
Containers are going to be a crucial part of your planning. You can have as many types as you want, you can have hanging ones or the ones that can be tied on the railings or any type of support. You need to pick deep as well as shallow containers to compensate with the type of veggies and leafy greens that you are going to grow. Ceramic or clay pots are the best as they don’t get heated up as quickly as metal containers and also, they don’t harm the environment as plastic containers. If buying plastic containers, opt for recycled ones!
Arrange your potting mix
Soil is one of the most important part as it is the substrate in which plants grow. You need to have a nearly perfect potting mix for your containers to get a good harvest.
Keep your gardening tools handy
When you are growing edible plants, it is possible that they will catch diseases very easily. You will need to dig up the soil frequently, cut infected parts etc. In some veggies you might even need to cut the tip of in order to get a bushy plant.
You would need some medicines
As I said above, veggies will catch diseases very easily and sometimes it may require you to take extreme measures like spraying with certain fungicides or neem oil for saving them.
Add some fertilizers
Organic fertilizers, FYM, vermicompost etc. should be incooperated on a regular basis. As you are growing edibles, they will be in a constant requirement of nutrients so that the plants can provide us with veggies full of nutrients for us.
So get all the things that you require and plan a perfect balcony garden for yourself and your family to enjoy.
Happy gardening folks!