How to Set Up A Balcony Garden
Gardening is a hobby that a lot of people have picked up during the lockdown. Gardening also possesses a lot of therapeutic benefits and helps in regulating stress levels. Research indicated people who own a garden in the backyard or grow up on a farm are happier.
It indeed is a wholesome feeling to nurture a plant and watch it grow. A happy garden depends on various factors. Factors that determine the health of the plants are water quality, soil quality, sunlight and nutrients.
Large scale gardens and farms include soil and water testing. Water sample is sent for water testing in a water testing labs before they decide on the crop. Just by choosing the right plants you can turn any place into an urban jungle.
If you are a budding gardener who is confined to a limited space then this is where you need to be. You can grow a plant at almost every place given there is sufficient light for it to thrive. Here are a few tips to set up a balcony garden and make the maximum use of it.
5 Tips to Set Up the Balcony Garden
Scan the Sun
Sunlight is a very important resource for plants. Sunlight helps in photosynthesis, the process where the plants make their food. Note how much sunlight your balcony receives a different part of the day. Segregate your space into the well-lit area and low lit area and place different plants there.
Plants such as pothos, crotons, succulents, do not need full sunlight. You can keep shade-loving plants in low lit areas. You can place plants like rose, potted bougainvillea's etc in full sun. This way all your plant’s needs are met and can thrive.
Have a Proper Drainage
Another important thing to ensure is proper drainage. Overwatering can kill a plant more than underwatering does. Make sure your balcony or terrace has proper drainage. Ensure that there is no water leakage or seepage through the walls. One way you can do this is to keep your pots with drainage holes inside a bowl without any holes. This way all the excess water is stored in the container and there is no leakage on the floor.
If you have a space constraint, vertical gardening is a savior. Vertical gardening ensures that space is well utilized. Opt for vertical pots and planters that can be hung on walls. You can also hang baskets in your balcony ceiling.
Choose The Right Plants
Different plants require different requirements for them to thrive well. Instead of picking the plants that caught your eye in the nursery, choose the plant that is well suited for the conditions at your balcony.
This way you can avoid killing plants without proper care. If you have a busy lifestyle, choose plants such as succulents as they do not need watering often. If you can spare some time in a day to take proper care of the plants, you can grow vegetables and flowers.
Understand different plant's requirements and make sure you pick the one that suits you the best. You can find the list of plants that you can grow on the internet.
Keep the Pests Away
It is a given that your balcony is going to attract a few insects once you set up your garden. Some insects such as the ladybug or the bee are harmless and are helpful for the health of your plant. Bees help in pollination and ladybugs eat the pests on your plants. Some insects can be really bad for your plants.
Keep a watch for whiteflies, mealybugs and caterpillars in the garden.
Check behind the leaves for any infestations. Chewed up leaves indicates a caterpillar. Make sure you remove it before they chew on the full plant.
One natural way to keep the pests away from the garden is to spray neem oil. Mix a cap full of neem oil to one-liter water and spray it on the leaves. Doing this twice in a month will keep unwanted insects in the bay.
Gardening gives you a sense of satisfaction. To look at the plants grow and shower us with love by producing flowers and new shoots is a very wholesome feeling.
Gardening makes us realize how long it takes for a plant to grow and makes us value trees more.
This sustainable hobby is the need of an hour. If you are a first-time gardener, do not get disappointed if you do not get the desired results. Like every tree would teach us, patience and persistence is the key.