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Gardening On Your Balcony or Terrace

Whether you are relocating to the big city or downsizing to a smaller space, calling small apartment movers often stirs up a lot of stress and emotion. Where are you going to put all of your stuff? Will your furniture even fit? What are you supposed to do with that tiny closet? Of course, one huge concern is that you won’t be able to have a garden. Well, this is actually a concern for most people trying to eat healthier these days who live in apartments too. If only you had room for a garden, then things would be different, right?

Well, before you get depressed that you can’t grow your own food, or decide to use living in an apartment as an excuse to eat unhealthy, you should know that there are alternatives. Believe it or not, you can grow a lot more than you think on a balcony or terrace, simply by using containers.

Evaluate Your Space

Before you go shopping for containers or plants, you need to take a good look at your space. How much sunlight does it get? Is it covered or will you need to water every day? Do you have a railing you can make use of for planters? Is there an overhang or balcony above you that you can hang baskets from? By evaluating your space, you will be able to make use of every inch of it.

Make a List of Plants

Once you determine how much sun and shade your space sees, you will want to make a list of plants that are best suited for the conditions you have to offer. There is a good chance you will still need to tweak your list, depending on space. Don’t forget about herbs and fruit plants too and keep in mind that there are dwarf varieties available.

Plan Your Garden

Using a piece of paper and pencil, start to create your garden. Take into consideration that there are planters that rest over a balcony railing. Also, remember that tomatoes, strawberries, etc., can be grown in hanging baskets or a Topsy Turvy.  You may want to consider a plant rack for small containers, especially for herbs or plants that need something to crawl, such as a variety of beans. Once you have a good idea how many containers you need and what you want to grow, then it’s time to go shopping.

Plants That Grow Well In Containers

  • Broccoli – Bonanza, Packman
  • Carrot – Baby Spike, Thumbelina, Little Finger, Gold Nugget
  • Cucumber – Burpless, Crispy, Early Pik, Liberty, Salt
  • Eggplant – Black Beauty, Florida Market, Long Tom
  • Green Bean – Blue Lake, Contender, Green Crop, Kentucky Wonder, Top Crop
  • Green Onion – Beltsville Bunching, Crystal Wax, Evergreen Bunching
  • Leaf Lettuce – Butter Crunch, Romaine, Ruby, Bibb, Dark Green Boston
  • Parsley – Moss Curled, Evergreen
  • Pepper – Jalapeno, Red Cherry, Canope, Keystone Resistant Grant, Yolo Wonder
  • Radish – Scarlet Globe, Cherry Belle
  • Spinach – All
  • Squash – Diplomat, Gold Neck, Dixie, Senator
  • Tomato – Tumbling Tom, Toy Boy, Small Fry, Spring Giant, Pixie, Patio

Mistakes to Avoid

  • Insufficient Drainage – It can be tempting to buy those cheap plastic containers, but if you do, you need to create drainage holes in the bottom. Otherwise, you will be dealing with root rot. It is also important to use a quality soil that offers adequate drainage.
  • Under and Overwatering – Be sure not to forget about your plants once you put them out there. Alternatively, overwatering is just as much of a problem.
  • Not Becoming Familiar with Disease and Pests – It is important that you become familiar with pests and diseases, so you can recognize a problem early.

If you are comparing small apartment movers and feeling discouraged over lack of outdoor space, use this guide and make use of every inch of the terrace or balcony that your new space offers.