Caring for balcony gardens
Balcony gardens face certain challenges, one of which is wind. Spink warns that wind can damage plants, knock over containers and dry out soil. Container gardening requires a lot of watering, so remember that a good soaking is much better than an occasional light sprinkling. Gardens in the sky are often subject to pollination problems due to the lack of insect traffic at higher elevations. In some cases hand-pollination may be necessary, so give plants a good shake every day; it should liberate enough pollen to be effective.
To prevent pigeons and magpies from visiting and making a mess, Spink warns to keep the space clean: “Responding quickly to any birds that do try to nest can discourage repeat attempts.” Installing a plastic owl or other bird deterrents might also help prevent your balcony from becoming a birdhouse.
The benefits of balcony gardening
Balcony gardens are quick and easy to maintain. “I can water, weed and fertilize my balcony garden each week in about 15 minutes,” says Spink. There’s also the benefit of being able to set it up quickly in the spring, and tear it down just as quickly in the fall. They’re also easy to change around. “Each year I arrange my containers differently and often choose a completely different collection of plants.”
Not having a yard is no reason not to enjoy growing your own fruits, vegetables and flowers. Even the smallest balcony can be home to a dazzling garden full of lush plants.