Rooftop or Balcony Garden that doesn't cover the whole floor surface.
Leave room for hanging out and enjoying your garden.
Make the most of your
little balcony or terrace spaces by gardening vertically. You can use stacking planters,
railing planters, vertical wall planters and hanging baskets. And you can grow a
bigger garden by using that concept, along with raised garden
beds or containers.
There are very beautiful and functional vertical
gardening features that can house your flowers and veggies. Best of both
Be sure to leave space for a
bistro table and chair so that you can relax and enjoy your garden in the
The best way to
have privacy on a small terrace or balcony in an apartment
building, is to grow privacy. Grow
climbers like ivy, honeysuckle and clematis. These can be permanently your
privacy screen, because they're all perennials. Just leave them
there over the winter. Be sure to trim them if they grow out of
bounds. Be courteous to your neighbors, even though you can't
see them. They will definitely appreciate the fragrance of your
honeysuckle or jasmine.
Distribute the weight so that all the
pots or beds are not putting a lot of weight in the same place. Pottery and
soil weighs a ton when wet. I know this.
Use containers that will accommodate adult-size
plants, because you really don't want a plant to mature as a dwarf, unless
you planted a dwarf. And you don't want to keep up-sizing your
planters and making another messy chore for yourself.
Watering is a key
consideration. You will have
to do it more frequently for container plants because the soil of plants growing vertically
is more exposed, and will get dry quickly. Also be sure to check that the
pots and urns you use has drainage holes. I have forgotten, and
i ended up with drowned plants. Not all pots do. But most at
least have a mark on the bottoms and tell you to drill holes, if
you wish. Check all planters for the holes before you fill with
dirt. Keep drainage-ready containers on top of a dish or saucer
if you have neighbors beneath your balcony. Nobody appreciates
being watered or having their outdoor dinners spoiled by your
rain. But don't let plants sit in water too long. They will
certainly rot. Empty the saucers after water is absorbed by the
plant after watering or after a rain.
Keep in mind that any
support structure has to accommodate a mature plantís weight, and it should be well-
anchored. There are many types of supports from which to choose.
In addition to trellises, tripods, arches, and pergolas, there are gazebos,
wire cages, netting, and poles. Plants don't have to be climbers to like a
support. Any tall or heavy plant appreciates the lift. Anchoring
is wise. A good wind or storm can topple the plants, break the
pots, and cause injury to your neighbors, their kids or their
pets who hang out below your balcony. There are lots of lawsuits
waiting to happen if you don't plan well.
Benefits of Vertical Gardening
vegetable and herb yields. Making maximum use
of space means a bigger harvest. Maintaining and harvesting from a vertical
planting is also physically easieróplants reach a higher level, so the need to
bend and kneel is minimal. I like that.
Foliage and fruit are off the
ground, less susceptible to disease and chewing things, and vertical growth provides better air
circulation, which means that plants dry faster after watering, reducing
the risk of fungus and rot.
Symptoms of disease and pests
are easier to spot. More leaf surface is exposed to the sun when plants arenít
growing on the ground.
For photos of my container gardening, check
out this page, and for more ideas, visit this
Remember that you can switch out flowers, veggies and herbs within the design
you like, and use them on your balcony, terrace, patio, or in a courtyard.
Here is a
suggested reading list to help you begin Vertical Gardening