HOW TO GROW AND MAINTAIN A BALCONY GARDEN


The pleasure of gardening is accessible to everyone, even if you only have a windowsill or balcony. So go ahead and plant a potted garden – we will show you how


YOU WILL NEED
  • A trough planter with a drip tray
  • Smaller pots with drip trays
  • Drainage stones
  • Potting soil
  • Compost
  • Bone meal
  • Plants in our window box: Bougainvillea ‘Tropical rainbow’, Osteospermum jucundum ‘Mirach’, Rosemary ‘Majorca pink’, Catharanthus roseus (Vinca), Orchid ‘Cooler deep’, Lobelia ‘Riviera rose’ and Basil ‘Red Rubin’
  • Herbs in pots: Origanum, chives (Allium schoenoprasum) and curled parsley
  • Bark chips

  1. Put the trough in a place where the bougainvillea can climb. Place a drip tray under it to prevent water from running all over the balcony.
  2. Put drainage stones in the base of the trough to prevent water from collecting and causing the plant roots to rot.
  3. Mix the potting soil and compost in a 2:1 ratio and half-fill the trough with it.
  4. Add a handful of bone meal to the growing medium and mix it in well.
  5. Carefully remove the plants from their containers and then loosen the roots slightly.
  6. Plant the bougainvillea in the centre of the trough (it forms the focal point) with the other plants around it.
  7. Fill the spaces between the plants with more of the growing medium (but do not fill the trough to the top) and gently press down the soil.
  8. Plant the herbs into separate pots.
  9. Pour a layer of bark chips over the soil to serve as mulch and to prevent the soil from drying out too quickly.
  10. Water the plants well using a watering can that is fitted with a rose-head sprinkler.



GOOD IDEAS

  • Wear gardening gloves to protect your hands and nails from the drying effects of working with soil, bone meal and fertiliser.
  • Provide comfortable seating and keep your gardening tools at hand so that you can care for your plants while you admire them.
  • Hang small lanterns with candles from the railing or against the wall to add more atmosphere.

CHOOSING AND CARING FOR PLANTS
Before you head off to buy plants, keep in mind to what extent the balcony is sheltered, how much sun and rain it gets and how you might want to use the plants (you might want to conceal an unsightly wall, grow fresh herbs, or create more privacy with a plant screen).

In general, fairly hardy, drought-resistant plants that enjoy partial shade are a good choice, but consult a nursery if you are uncertain.

Think about the amount of space you have available on your balcony. Large, round pots might get in your way, but if your pots are too small, you might not feel as if you have a garden at all. A vertical plant stand provides a focal point as well as extra planting space.

Bougainvillea is a superb balcony plant because it can tolerate a lot of heat and it’s spectacular when in bloom. The hardy Osteospermum, Vinca and Lobelia also add colour, while rosemary and basil add aroma – both to the balcony and when used in the kitchen.

Water regularly and feed your plants with fertiliser granules or liquid plant food.

Regularly remove water from the drip trays, because plants do not like standing in water. It is useful to place the pots on pot ‘feet’ or bricks.

Replace the herbs and flowering plants as the seasons change so that the containers and their contents remain attractive.



MORE PLANTS FOR THE BALCONY
Yuccas
Succulents
Cacti
Most herbs
Pelargoniums
Geraniums
Bamboo
Bulbs
Orchids
Hederas (hardy climbers)
Bromeliads (urn plants)
Asparagus ferns
Tradescantia



HOW TO GROW AND MAINTAIN A BALCONY GARDEN HOW TO GROW AND MAINTAIN A BALCONY GARDEN Reviewed by Jet Club on September 02, 2019 Rating: 5

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