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Living in a condo might mean you don’t have access to a full yard, however, if you have a balcony there’s no reason you can’t have a garden. Balconies can be a perfect setting for container gardening, allowing you the freedom of growing plants in tight spaces. With a bit of planning, you can be on your way to creating a little oasis and enjoying fresh produce. However, this would have to be according to the Declaration and Rules as some Condos don’t allow hanging pots/baskets and you might need the Board’s approval beforehand.
A good place to start is to begin to imagine what the end goal is. A few options include:
- Beautiful colours and textures for a nice visual appeal
- Growing edible plants such as herbs and vegetables
- Creating a fragrant space
Once you have an idea of what you would like to get out of your balcony, you should visit a local nursery that will be able to help find appropriate plants and advise you on the proper care and requirements for these living plants.
One of the most important elements to consider in a balcony garden is sunlight. People tend to assume their outdoor spaces receive a lot of sun, when in fact many balconies actually provide shade throughout most of the day. Full sun is defined as at least 6 hours of direct sunlight a day. This is the low-end of the spectrum as many vegetable plants require 8-10 hours. If your balcony receives less than 6 hours of direct sun it is considered partial shade. If you receive less than 3 hours of full sun in a day then it is considered full shade. It’s important to accurately observe and determine the sunlight to ensure you pick plants accordingly. The light conditions depend on the orientation of your balcony as well as if there are any tall trees or buildings encroaching and impacting the sunlight.
Once you have chosen plants that are appropriate to the conditions, watering them properly will be an important factor in ensuring their success. Often balconies are exposed to more wind which dries the soil faster. This is in addition to the fact that the smaller pots often used for container gardening hold less moisture. Regularly checking the soil moisture is important in ensuring your plant’s survival.
A container garden will bring you the joy of gardening without having to leave your home and it can add vibrancy and character to your balcony. Start planning yours today!
by Annetta Fruehauf, Executive Assistant