If you are one of those people contemplating how to grow a small garden in your balcony or open terrace for a long while now, we will guide you by giving you enough ideas through which you can make your own beautiful garden. Many people bewail that they can’t grow their own flowers or veggies since they don’t have enough space for a garden area but guess what? With a little bit of extra effort you can plant your own food in small areas with the only requirement being a crumb of direct daylight. Or you can grow things indoors as well beneath a lamp. It’s an old saying “treat the plants like your own babies, in revert they will give you amazing output”.
Initial Steps for the gardener
If you are gardening for the very first time, this is going to be your first step into the amazing world of healthy living and healthy eating. You can plant a single plant and then, after getting good results, start expanding to other varieties. If you are looking to grow some vegetable you can start with chilies or tomatoes as they don’t require much care. Try to have some level of patience as they will take few days to give you the yield.
- Boost Confidence Level
Build your confidence levels prior to gardening. Always start with seeding a small plant that requires least maintenance. Try not to go for bigger ones as they require more care and management. You can plant more after getting the feel of gardening. With sufficient knowledge and experience of gardening you can reinforce your confidence levels as well.
- Select the Soil
Make sure the soil you select has enough nutrients. This is of utmost importance because nutrients are the only things which can make your plant grow the right way. You should be careful after heavy rains to add enough supplementary nutrients to the soil as the seeping water can deplete the nutrients away. In winters you can check the moisture of soil by your hands and then water them accordingly.
You can grow any food in the smallest of space. And you’ll be amazed when you taste your fresh produce and you will soon get to know, how different it is from the vegetables that you source from the grocery shop. You can take advantage of growing greenery in a balcony or terrace that has access to sun light and fresh air. The joy that comes from eating chemical-free, fresh produce from your own garden is unparalleled.
- Select the Right Place
Initially, select the right place at the right time. This means that you need to decide where to plant your garden, on your terrace or balcony or backyard and the right season to start this endeavour. Also think about how the sunlight can directly can reach there? How much weight can the place hold? Do you have a fully functional drainage system in your balcony or roof? How much cost it would take?
If the house is built according to the architect, you can plant heavy shrubs or even small trees on the roof. But you need to ensure that the surface is water proof. Now what you need is to select the “Pots and Planters” that you will be using. These are varieties of pots and you need to know the one that might be suited for you. For example, one-pot container gardens can be placed on a small area like the balcony. You will require adequate sunshine, soil, water and plant seedlings.
If you like herbs infused tea and therefore a lovely herb garden is what you have in mind, you can use the “Tisane Planter”. You can grow peppermint, chamomile, thyme, lemon balm or lemon verbena in small pots. Harvesting can be done in summer. After autumn rolls, they can be planted again.
- What you can grow in your garden?
Answer of this would be ….. Everything!!!! Yes of course, you can grow whatever you want to. Like tomatoes, okra, lime, ginger, radish, carrots, cucumber, bottle gourd, onion or other root vegetables.
Apart from these, you can also grow fruits such as banana, guava etc. Mango can be added, but it requires some extra care or effort and that might be difficult.
- Window Boxes
Probably you are worried about squirrels, birds, rabbits and some animals chewing down your herbs. But with Window boxes you can protect your plants from crawling insects or pesky critters. Window boxes can hang on balconies or on railings. By this you can give a fresh look to your balcony. Your eyes will be delighted to see greenery each instance you visit your balcony. You can grow some fresh fragrant flowers around you with different colors. Always try to seed a salad veggies in Window Boxes.
You should ask yourself questions such as “What box is required to grow which plant”? “How much sunlight is needed for each plant”? “Will the herb that I am planting grow in this particular season”? “Where I am going to grow my garden”?
- Container Gardening
You can grow vegetables or flowers in containers also. What you require are wine crates. Linsey from LLH Designs suggests using protective seal with brackets on the corners of crates. Such containers are portable and you can move them anywhere, anytime or can protect them from direct sunlight and also from heavy rain. These are the specific advantages of container gardens.
You also can grow plants objects that are shaped like pots. Our main concern to have wine crates or pots is that they can hold the water, soil and other materials easily. You can make use of cements bags as well, but they are not suited for long term use as they might undergo wear and tear after 3 to 4 months.
- Vertical Garden
Vertical gardens will help you achieve fruitful results in very less time. Gardening should be done in upward direction instead of outwards. If your house has a sunny wall, you can grow things on it. Recently this gardening technique is in trend.
Does your home lack in horizontal space? Then Vertical Gardening is definitely for you. This can turn any unattractive wall and turn into a sight to behold.
You can refer the book “THE VERTICAL GARDEN” by Patrick Blanc.
- Square Garden
If you have very less space in your balcony but you intend to plant different vegetables, then I would recommend you to opt for square gardening. It requires less space and you can grow a variety of veggies or flowers. You need to assemble a raised bed of soil. This means that the level of soil should be high enough to hold the roots of natural vegetables. It also eliminates grass from growing in your garden.
You can follow step by step procedure for this. Start from Building the box, box can be of 4*4 size. Next step is Fill in the soil, start putting the soil along with the nutrients in the box. The final step is Planting, you can start doing the planting after adding the grids.
- Plastic Sheeting
Attach a plastic sheet to the frame of walls. This sheet acts as a fabric layer and keeps the wall protected from water. For wooden walls you need to have ventilation behind it.
Many people make use of the PVC sheets. But you can use any material which retain can water.
- Other Essential Points
Watering the plants is a must and in summers they need to be sprinkled twice in a day. Dr. Kadur advises people not to water on rainy days as the water drains the nutrients from the soil. Don’t use/waste potable water. Instead try to do harvesting of rain water. You should water your plants in an alternative manner. This is to say that less water and excess of water are both risky. Monitor the plants on a regular basis and notice if they require additional soil or water.
One of the most important things to remember is to keep your plants in sunlight for 4-6 hours. If the sunshine is too harsh, use shades to protect the plants. Different plants need sunlight in different manner, some require 3-4 hours of open sunlight and some only require semi shade or some don’t need rays at all for 1-2 weeks.
Applying fertilizer to your garden is also important every 1-2 weeks; you can examine the garden and can pull out the wane flowers and weeds. You should also remove the branches that are damaging. Such timely actions can protect your garden from plant disease.
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