A Guide to Starting a Balcony Kitchen Garden
July 18th, 2021
If you wish to start a beautiful kitchen garden and create a serene and refreshing green space on your balcony, then this is surely not a very tough job to be done if you evaluate a few important factors before initiating to set up the garden. You can either opt to set up this small kitchen garden on your balcony or your terrace which would basically comprise of certain herbs, veggies and some edible greens of your choice. For people who live in high-rise apartments, a balcony garden would help you feel very close to nature. Also, growing herbs, fruits and veggies at home give you great satisfaction and a feeling of fulfilment. No matter how big or small your balcony is, with some dedicated effort and creativity, you can easily be able to transform the balcony into a very beautiful kitchen garden.
Here are a few necessary tips for kitchen gardening that you should follow to achieve the best results:
Selecting a right space
Firstly, you need to find the right space depending on a few factors namely area, sunlight, position etc. Your kitchen garden does not necessarily need to be very close to the kitchen in your house. This can ideally be on any of the in your house. While some of the apartments usually have several balconies and backyards, you necessarily need to choose the one which seems to be most suitable for the growth of the plants. You can check whether your apartment complex has some specific rules for preserving your plants on the selected balcony or backyard. You necessarily need to access the intensity of sunlight that your selected balcony or backyard receives. If you have multiple balconies or backyards in your apartment, then you should ideally choose the one that receives the maximum amount of sunlight.
Evaluating the sunlight
The very crucial factor that should necessarily be taken into consideration while planning a kitchen garden on your apartment’s balcony is the intensity of sunlight that the balcony receives. There are various plants that require different intensities of sunlight. The vegetables ideally requires sunlight for 8-10 hours daily and the herb plants would usually require sunlight ranging from 2 to 4 hours.
So, you need to ensure to choose a suitable spot that receives sunlight for a fairly long duration of time. You do not have to worry even if your balcony is towards a shady position. You can still consider certain varieties of plants that usually require lesser sunlight. Some vegetables like pepper, tomato, cucumber, squash etc. require a full amount of sunlight whereas some other veggies like cabbage, beets, peas, carrots etc. can manage to thrive in a partial shade also.
Designing the kitchen garden’s layout
Based on the availability of space as well as your personal preference, you can intelligently design your kitchen garden just like the way to have planned it to be. For example, in case your balcony is very compact, you can ideally plan out a vertical garden on one of the suitable walls of your balcony. This can ideally help you a lot in saving a considerable amount of floor spaces for some other uses. Apart from this ideation, another very feasible option is keeping the colorful basket planters that can be hung on the railings. This looks very appealing and at the same time effectively saves a considerable amount of space. You will receive great quality metal plant stands available in the market that can be effectively used for arranging your pots.
Choosing the pots & plants
This is better if you start with easy-growing veggies and herbs like basil, mint, lemongrass, curry leaves, tomatoes, spinach, eggplant, peppers, lettuce etc. When you manage to establish the garden then you can continue to plant other varieties that are mainly based on the intensity of sunlight that your balcony receives etc. When you are in the process of seeds sowing, you necessarily need to keep in mind that too many seeds in a single pot would ruin the chances of the plants growing.
Terracotta or earthen pots are usually suitable for plants to grow and are also easily available in the market. You can also try to purchase some beautiful ceramic pots of different colors and shades. You can also consider reusing glass and plastic containers that are a great way of reducing waste and feasibly supporting the environment. You should always ensure that the pots that you choose should have a depth of at least 6 inches for the roots to grow optimally and also should have a drainage hole that would allow the draining of the excess water from the plant pot.
Picking the perfect soil mix
If you have already decided what plants you are growing, the very next step is to prepare the perfect soil mix. For this, you can opt to use a potting mix that is available ready-made in shops or you can mix soil with cocopeat and compost for achieving the best results.
The bottom line
By following the above-discussed tips, you can easily become a smart gardener and then grow some fresh organic produces for yourself and your family. So, get ready to pluck some healthy fresh lettuce for your salad or pluck your homegrown herbs for preparing a lip-smacking savory soup. Best of luck!
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