From Dean Dowd on June 16, 2008 in Landscaping
With growing populations and the strong attention being brought to energy conservation, higher percentages of Americans are living in apartments or condos. Sometimes, your only piece of the great outdoors is a small balcony. This may restrict your country living to a certain extent, but there is no reason you cant still have an amazing balcony garden.
Whether you want beautiful blossoms to brighten up your patio or a full-blown organic vegetable garden, it can be achieved through some careful planning and layout. Because of the location, you will need to either build container boxes or use pots. Both can be quite successful for gardening. Unless you have the ground-floor apartment, you should be considerate of the tenets below in regards to drainage. You may consider placing your boxes on pans that will direct the water into a gutter system.
The next step is to build the boxes. They should be at least a foot deep to allow for plenty of soil for the plants to grow in. Choose a material that is not too heavy, as you will gain extra weight with the addition of soil. Wood, clay, and vinyl are all common choices. Brick, cement, and stone can be too heavy if your balcony is raised. Bring in a choice mix of potting soil, manure, and native soil. Some compost is a great addition as well.
Ideally, you will have a water spigot or hose nearby. If that is the case, install a drip irrigation system. This is the most efficient form of watering and plants love it. If you are unable to do this, you will have to patiently hand-water your garden from inside. Work with your landscaping contractor to choose plants that are native to your climate and will thrive in that environment. Enjoy your little self-contained piece of country living!