Wednesday, June 10, 2020

What's Growing in my Balcony Garden

Since we're home all day erry day, I decided to go bigger on my balcony garden this year. Are you planting anything? Read on for some tips!

I usually grow basil and mint because I was too worried about taking care of anything else. Then last year a gigantic plastic planter literally fell from the sky onto our deck from a storm (we asked our neighbors and never figured out whose it was!) so I planted parsley, oregano, and chives in there and they all grew back on their own this spring! This year I decided to plant even more - garden lady status, here I come!

What I'm growing in my balcony garden

This year, I have a bunch of herbs going - basil, mint, rosemary, oregano, parsley, and chives. I also re-grew green onions from the root (How did I not know you could do this?! So smart!) and planted them outside. I also decided to try fruit and vegetables this year - strawberries, serrano peppers, and cherry tomatoes. I was a little more worried on these, but my tomato plant is already giant and needs a stake to help it stay up, and my strawberry plant already grew a tiny strawberry!

For flowers, I planted a bunch of petunias which are really hard to kill (believe me, I definitely tried!) and do great as long as you give them some water and sun - mine are currently going nuts! They're like 3x the size of what they were in this photo from two weeks ago. When you notice a dying flower, just pinch it off with your fingers to promote more growth. I also put some creeping jenny in a pot on our outdoor dining table, which usually used as ground cover. It's like a little vine that is really hard to kill, and looks beautiful as it grows over the edges of a pot.

Taking care of a balcony garden

It's actually super simple to take care of a balcony garden. First, find your sunniest spot and plant your herbs there. Ideally, you want somewhere that gets "full sun," meaning 6+ hours of sun a day. Plant your herbs in pots or planters using an outdoor potting soil mix meant for vegetables. I like to use the Miracle Grow Moisture Control soil, as it protects plants from over or under watering.

And then really, just make sure you water your plants daily! It's always best to water plants in the morning so they can absorb water in the sun, that way they do not sit in water and rot overnight.

Choosing planters and pots

When you're looking for a planter or a pot for your plants, make sure you pick one that has drainage holes. This allows extra water to drain out of the soil so that your plants don't drown - especially helpful for summer downpours.

Also, think about where your plants will be and if there is anything that could potentially block out sunlight. Our balcony has a brick wall around it, so to make sure my plants get enough sun I have them in raised planters. Raised planters are also great if you want to plant a garden in your backyard but have problems with rabbits going after your plants! These are the raised planters I have. They have holes in the bottom for drainage, but also come with rubber stoppers in case you want to use the planters indoors. I like them because the planter boxes are actually plastic so they aren't too heavy.

Are you gardening this summer? What are some other easy plants I should try? 

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