Balconies are the perfect opportunity to create a private outdoor oasis regardless of your locale. From vegetables and herbs to fruits and flowers, balconies offer a variety of growing environments.
No two balconies are exactly alike so get to know your space before running out to the garden store for seeds or plants. Spend a day making notes about where the light hits, how long it stays, and any periods of shade. Note the direction that you balcony faces. These observations will help you pick the plants that will work best for you.
Vegetables & Herbs
A proper amount of sunlight is essential for plants to flourish. Tomatoes and peppers are sun lovers, while plants like lettuce, carrots, spinach and kale can handle more shade and are best grown below. Herbs, on the other hand, are very adaptable and are generally considered to be the easiest to grow on balconies. Herbs can also be grown indoors.
There is an endless variety of flowers for use in balcony gardens. Flowers such as lavender can be chosen for their scent, while others such as Echinacea can be used to attract beneficial bugs to your garden. Be sure to choose your flowers based on the amount of sunlight that they will get each day to ensure bountiful blooms. There is also a variety of edible flowers you can choose from.
Most fruiting plants require 6-7 hours of sunlight each day. If your balcony can meet these needs, you’ll be rewarded with an edible harvest each summer. Balconies are great places for small dwarf varieties of fruit trees. Strawberries can be grown from hanging planters, allowing their bounty to grow towards the ground. Blueberry bushes also look great growing in large ornamented containers.
The key to getting fruits and vegetables to produce is to ensure that they are pollinated. Incorporate flowers such as Black-eyed Susan to attract bees and butterflies. This will help eliminate the problem of getting pollinators to notice your fifth story balcony garden and will keep you from having to pollinate you plants with a q-tip.
A sunny balcony can be a difficult place to spend time during the summer. Choosing shade producing plants for your balcony can help keep the area cool and provide additional growing climates for other plants. Tall flowering plants such as hollyhocks and bamboo create great shade, while trellised vines or vegetables such as peas and beans can be used to diffuse the sunlight.
If you live in an apartment complex a balcony can sometimes feel exposed. Plants offer a wonderful way to create privacy without having to fence yourself in. Plants that vine upwards such as ivy, honeysuckle and climbing hydrangea can be trellised to provide a tasteful divider. Sunflowers are perfect on a sunny balcony, growing to heights of five feet and above and providing a cheerful fence line.
A proper amount of sunlight is essential for your plants to flourish. Make sure the planters you choose meet your needs accordingly. Our Garden365 line of container gardens has been designed to meet the specific needs of urban gardeners. Our Elevated Garden will let you make the most of your space by allowing for a double harvest. You can simply grow sun loving plants on the upper level, as well as, shade loving plants down below.
Our Mobile Gardens are essential for any urban garden warrior residing in an apartment. They are ideal for balconies because they make it easy to move the container garden around to make better use of space or meet the sunlight requirements of various plants. In addition, they're easy to roll indoors over winter so you can garden 365 days a year or get an early start on the growing season. Having the proper planters can make gardening easier and a lot more enjoyable.
When it comes to balcony gardens don’t be afraid to approach them as you would any other garden. A little creativity, forethought, and ingenuity can result in a beautiful balcony oasis!