Do you have a challenge with space? Maybe your indoor space is filled with plants or you only have a balcony or patio to do some gardening? Growing plants in a limited space like a patio can be challenging, a great opportunity to be creative and have some fun!
Deciding what to grow or what type of design you like can be challenging. We suggest starting with the basics and with plants that need little care. Look at starting a patio garden as an adventure and enjoy the whole process. There are so many tricks to work around confined spaces, this will help you make every square meter count.
Maximise your space
When you have limited space to start a patio or balcony garden, consider thinking out of the box. Take advantage of your walls, railings, and overhead structures. You can almost say that you are transforming your balcony or patio into a verticle garden. You can achieve this by attaching pots or shelves to your walls. Does your patio or balcony have a ceiling? Add a few hooks for hanging baskets. cover your railings with chicken wire to support climbing plants.
Think of your balcony or patio as an extension of your indoor living space. Choose plant colours and textures that echo the interior design, and even the smallest balcony will look more expansive and more welcoming.
Know your restrictions
The amount of sunlight your space receives is the most critical factor to consider, importantly wind exposure and temperatures as well.
- Wind: Strong winds, which are common on balcony and rooftop gardens high above the ground, can quickly dry out the soil, rip the petals off flowers, and knock over tall potted plants. A solution is to use plants that can tolerate wind.
- Sunlight: If you are one of the lucky ones that gets quiet a lot of sunlight troughout the day. We suggest you use plants that love sunlight, like your vegetable or herbs. Remember that sun reflecting from windows can intensify the heat of a balcony garden and burn delicate foliage.
- Shade: Many urban balconies receive quite a bit of shade if surrounded by tall buildings or covered by an overhang. Often you can work around this problem by putting sun-loving plants near the perimeter of the balcony, where the sun is more prevalent.
Tip: If you’d like to go all out, you can always use privacy screens as windbreakers to protect your fragile plants.
Watering your Patio or Balcony garden
Very few patio or balcony gardens have access to an outside water source. Which means you will have to rely on water from the sink. Try these tips for watering your plants:
- Invest in a large lightweight watering can, to minimise the amount of trips to the sink.
- Put saucers or trays under your plants to collect any water overflow.
- Purchase a lightweight, expandable hosepipe that you can attach to your kitchen sink using an adaptor
- Spoil yourself with a Gardena Watering Set . With the GARDENA Holiday Watering Set, up to 36 potted plants can be automatically watered.
What can I grow on my balcony or patio?
Just about any plant that can grow in a container or a pot can be used for balcony or patio gardening, as long as you provide it with enough water and sunlight. If you live in cooler climates, consider using plants that are hardy enough to tolerate cold and can be left outside. some of our suggestions are:
- Herbs and vegetables
- Small Trees, like fig or olive trees
- Small shrubs that can be used as hedges or toparies
- Container Friendly plants for shade or sun
- All tropical plants for example, Philodendron’s, Spider Plants, Strelitzia Nicolai
- Flowering vines if you have a vertical support
What containers are best for a patio garden?
Any pot that can hold soil and has good drainage is considered a good container. Some may prefer a Tuscan-styled patio feel and only use terra cotta pots, others will prefer modern or fancy. Whatever your taste there is a few things your container has to consist of:
- Plastic or Fiberglass pots are ideal, they are light in weight, however sometimes it is better to use terra cotta pots on windy balconies.
- Fabic growing bags are also a good choose because they are convenient and easy to move around.
- Hanging Baskets are real space savers and can be used to grow almost anything from herbs to houseplants to trailing vegeatbles.
Whatever your fancy, be creative and enjoy your new patio garden. It only needs to start with one plant. Make sure to choose a low-maintenance plant so you will fall in love with the idea of having a tropical balcony.
Shop for some patio and balcony plants here.