Creating and Maintaining an Oasis in Your Own Home: A Guide on Balcony Gardens
If you’re living in an urban environment with very little space, you may think that there isn’t enough room to grow your own vegetables—however, this isn’t necessarily true. A balcony garden is a perfect way for anyone living in an apartment to grow their own food and spruce up their balcony. Balcony gardens are accessible and environmentally friendly, with an added bonus of sprucing up your balcony and giving extra privacy. That’s why here at Garden Tower Project, we’ve created this informational guide on starting the garden of your dreams right on your balcony.
Why Should I Get a Balcony Garden?
Saving Money on Groceries and Learning About Organics
There are so many reasons to start a balcony garden, including saving money by growing your own food and making fewer stops at the grocery store. Additionally, teaching children about gardening with a food reward is an effective and educational way to allow them to grow an appreciation for the environment and all it has to offer. Gardening is also great for mental health and is one of America’s biggest past-times, as it helps users connect with the planet in a way they never thought possible and let out stress by using their hands and tending to their vegetables. Gardening also helps users feel a sense of responsibility, as they may be the sole caretaker of their garden—this can help those who are struggling with mental health issues take initiative to tend to their balcony and overall help their mental health.
Along with educational and mental health benefits, there are many aesthetic and health benefits as well. Sprucing up your balcony with a variety of plants and produce helps add beauty and creates a unique composition of plants, shapes, and colors to your living environment. Being able to shake things up and create a unique and beautiful space to live in can help with decorating as well as improve your health. Growing your own organic food instead of getting it from the grocery store not only saves money, but also makes you healthier, as you’re more likely to not waste the food that you grew yourself. There are many benefits to having your own balcony garden—so how do you start the process?
Space and Light Requirements and Considerations
Understanding Space and Light Needs for Different Produce and Layouts
The way that your balcony garden is set up depends on how much space you have—some people are able to have small garden beds while others may need to think about vertical garden planters, such as the Garden Tower®. By growing vertically, you can grow a lot of vegetables with a small amount of space. Even if your balcony is incredibly tight, our Tower is unique because it rotates so you can have access to all 50 plants no matter how small your balcony is.
Once you’ve figured out how much space you have for a garden, the next consideration to make is sunlight patterns—balconies that face south and west get extreme sunlight, while North and East facing balconies are much more shady. Take this into consideration when planning what plants you’d like to include in your balcony garden, as different plants require different amounts and intensities of sunlight. Additionally, if you’re living in an apartment complex, talk to your building manager about weight restrictions on balconies—some buildings may not be able to handle the weight of a balcony garden, so it’s important to know what is allowed in your space.
Temperature and Wind Worries
Protecting Your Balcony Garden From Harsh Temperatures and Strong Winds
Something important to keep in mind is the temperature and the harshness of wind on your balcony. If you live higher up, wind can be significantly stronger than on the ground and can damage produce and dry out soil quicker if you’re not cognizant of wind dangers. Wind will also lower the overall temperature of your balcony—make sure that your balcony isn’t too cold or windy for growing. There are ways to help this, however, as weaker, small plants can be shielded from the wind with windscreens or tall, stalky plants.
If you’re using a Garden Tower® in your balcony garden, the tree-like cylindrical shape of the vertical planter reduces wind stresses on plants compared to most container gardens. Planted Garden Towers have stood through winds exceeding 75 MPH with no additional support, making them one of the best planters for balcony gardens.
Planning the Perfect Balcony Garden
Creating Your Garden Layout Ahead of Time
Being prepared is the most important part of starting your balcony garden, as it makes the entire process a lot quicker and easier when you’ve planned everything out. Think about what kinds of greens you eat the most—keep track of these things when you go to the grocery store. Once you decide what vegetables you eat most, it’s important to translate these quantities into a garden plan. If you’re using a Garden Tower®, our plant planner is a helpful tool to quickly plan out your Tower before starting so you know how many plants of each kind to buy as well as already have the entire garden planned out to ensure a quick process.
Many people who have balcony gardens focus on fresh greens and lots of herbs to grow, as it’s hard to beat fresh basil, rosemary, thyme, oregano, and more right outside your apartment. Having access to fresh herbs while you’re growing enough lettuce for multiple salads per week in your Garden Tower® will ensure a healthy diet and lots of delicious vegetables. One other thing to consider while preparing yourself for a balcony garden is potting soil—by picking a high-quality, fluffy soil for your garden, you’ll grow more nutritionally dense and healthier produce as well as bigger yields of greens.
Overall, there are so many benefits to sprucing up your living space with a balcony garden. Not only will you have fresh produce and herbs to use in your daily meals, but you’ll also be able to improve your mental and physical health as well as feel more connected with your planet. There are a couple of considerations and preparations that need to be made, but overall creating a balcony garden is a simple and easy process that will leave you with great tasting food. Looking for some great additions to your balcony garden? Learn more about Garden Tower Project and our signature Garden Tower® today to start creating the garden of your dreams.