Having a garden is one of the highlights of summer for many people but not everyone has a yard in which to plant flowers. Luckily, there are a few ways that even apartment dwellers can enjoy gardening.
If you are fortunate enough to have a balcony or deck off your main living area, you can use containers to turn it into a mini garden. Today, you can purchase containers that hang right on the railing without any invasive installation and large pots can be used on the decking. If you have a roof above your balcony, you may even be able to install hanging plants. Just be sure that you review the rules of your apartment complex before you add anything to your outdoor area.
When choosing flowers or plants for your outdoor area, you want to be sure to buy plants that will thrive in that environment. If your apartment balcony is shady then you want to get plants that like the shade. If it has blazing sun all day, buy ones that can take the hot sun, or be sure to move them into the shade during the noon heat if they specify that they are for partial shade. Buying annuals is probably a best bet as they will flower all season and you won’t have to deal with them in the winter.
When selecting your containers, be sure to get ones that have good drainage. You may even want to add some small rocks on the bottom to provide additional places for water to go. If you will be putting the containers on your decking, be sure to buy saucers for them so the water doesn’t seep onto the deck and stain it – if you don’t you might find yourself forfeiting your security deposit or re-staining the deck when you move out. Before drilling holes for hanging plants, be sure to check with your landlord or apartment caretaker.
Be sure to use a good potting soil for your plants and water thoroughly. Plants in containers can dry out rapidly and you may have to water them every day. Be sure that you don’t over water, you want the soil to be moist with no standing water. Container plants do well when fertilized about once a month with a general fertilizer or one made specifically for your type of plant.
In addition to planting flowers outdoors, you can also enhance your balcony area with interesting potted palms and other tree like plants that can be moved into the apartment when cold weather comes and enjoyed all winter long. When arranging the plants, be sure to use pots and plants of varying heights – all plants of the same height will look boring, but if you put together containers of different sizes and heights in groups this will add a lot of interest.
Be sure to check your plants every day and pinch off any dead flowers and leaves to keep your balcony garden oasis vibrant and fresh.