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Small Spaces: 4 Gardening Tips for a Balcony

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By: Annaliese Olson

Balcony gardening is a great way to use more of your outdoor living space. Having a small balcony shouldn’t keep you from having a beautiful garden that is just steps from your door. Before anything else, you need to make sure you have the necessary space and sunlight to allow you to grow a garden. For instance, if there is a large tree overshadowing your balcony, talk to your property manager and suggest tree trimming, so that your plants will have all the sun they need.

If you’re ready to get started, check out these tips on easily growing a garden on your balcony.

Use Vertical Space

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Although balconies are usually small on the amount of horizontal space, there are plenty of options when it comes to using the vertical space of a balcony. Take advantage of all that upward space to create a balcony garden. Use a sunny wall spot for a hanging vertical planter that can hold a wide variety of plants. You can purchase vertical planter installations or consider making your own from recycled materials like milk jugs or metal cans. Another great idea is to check the awning of your balcony for any leftover hooks from the last renter. Using hooks for hanging baskets is a great way to incorporate plants into your outdoor living space, adding beauty without taking up any part of the balcony footprint.

Consider Railing Planters

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Hanging gardens have increased in popularity over the years, and are a great way to add garden space while following building rules. Railing planters simply hang on the handrail without needing to be permanently installed. They use clips to hang on the railing while offering a lot of garden area for flowers, herbs, or other small plants. Railing planters can be used by themselves or consider purchasing many to create an ongoing garden that would beautifully outline the balcony. When planting in a railing planter make sure to consider the mature height of a plant so that it meets your needs. If you want to add privacy to your outdoor space consider a taller plant to add an extra barrier from neighbors. Others may want to keep their plants low on the railing to enjoy the view throughout the day.

Plant in Pots

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Using pots on a balcony is a great way to add interest and color to your outdoor living space. Potted plants can be moved according to your needs and groups of pots can be put together in order to create a flourishing garden area. Consider using large and small pots as well to get the most usable gardening space on the balcony. To cut down on cost check out ways that you can reuse other items to hold small plants. You can easily create recycled planters from milk jugs, coffee tins, or even an old work boot for a budget-friendly garden space! Get creative with how you plant different varieties in your balcony and reuse items to save a buck or two.

Use a Plant Stand

Another aspect of gardening in a small space like a balcony is to dedicate one corner of the space instead of the entire area. A plant stand is a great way to use both vertical space as well as create a corner of interest in your outdoor living space. A tiered plant stand is placed in the corner of an area and uses height to maximize the amount of growing space for a garden. Consider purchasing a plant stand or making your own by placing potted plants on tables or stacked crates.

There are many ways to maximize the growing space available within the confines of a balcony. Consider using the vertical space with a wall hanging or hanging baskets to take full advantage of all the space available. Other options to save space include corner plant stands or railing hangings that don’t need to be permanently installed. Adding potted plants of different sizes and varieties will also bring interest and raise the potential of a balcony. Consider all these options when looking to garden in a small balcony space.

Annaliese Olson is a gardening and animal care writer. When she moved to the city from her family’s farm she decided she needed more nature in her life. She is dedicated to urban farming, she loves to creatively discover spaces for gardens to blossom in her city home.

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About the author

Marina Andresi

Marina is a marketing content developer for RENTCafé.com. She likes to research and write about real estate market trends and their impact on the nation's social scene. She also writes essays about significant films and TV shows. If you want to get in touch you can email her @ marina.rentcafe@yardi.com.

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