Creating a balcony garden with vegetables, herbs and the like is not difficult. We show you how you can design it imaginatively so that everything flourishes and a successful harvest succeeds.
Urban gardening – gardening in the city – is trendy, because it has many advantages to cultivate your own plants on the balcony. You can be self-sufficient to a certain extent. With vegetables, fruit and herbs that can be grown in a sustainable, environmentally friendly, seasonal and organic manner. It also goes easy on the household budget. It is also a wonderful side effect if you only have to step in front of the balcony door to harvest fresh ingredients.
In addition, a balcony garden is not just a matter for experienced gardeners. Novices and beginners can also tackle this mission without any problems. You don’t have to have a green thumb to look forward to growing your own.
There are just a few things to note, which we explain point by point.
The equipment for the balcony garden
Good preparation and equipment are essential before you can start gardening on the balcony. This includes appropriate containers for the plants, a helpful basic set of tools as well
Flower pots and Co.
Containers of different sizes and depths should be available for sowing and planting the seedlings, which meet the needs of the respective plant. In addition to typical pots and boxes from the garden center, discarded cooking pots, bowls or boxes can be used. It is worth browsing through stores, flea markets or junk shops.
Wood and basket are less suitable materials because they start to rot in contact with soil and moisture. It is important that small openings are drilled in their floors so that waterlogging does not accumulate later. Porcelain ware can also be prepared accordingly. With a special ceramic drill holes can be created without breaking the old soup bowl, vase or the like.
A very simple solution is to use a lying sack of garden soil as a cultivation option. At the top you make slots for planting in the sack and on the underside small punctures so that waterlogging can drain off. Once the plants have grown, they will soon overgrow the sack so that not much can be seen of it.
Tool for the balcony garden
Work in the balcony garden cannot be done with bare hands. Certain basics are a must. Our checklist reveals what you need and what function the individual tools and utensils have – ideally, when buying them, value is placed on durability and quality. Instead of rust-prone devices with plastic handles, invest in rust-free metals and wood.
The watering can is indispensable for a regular water supply for the plants. Especially when the balcony is covered and you can’t benefit from the rain.
A hand shovel facilitates the transfer of soil without major wastage.
Hand cultivator or hand rake
The earth has to be loosened up again and again. This works best with the three-pronged tool that resembles a rake.
The plants are cut with secateurs, dead or diseased shoots are removed and herbs, fruits and vegetables are harvested without damaging the plant.
In the case of climbing plants, you may have to intervene and specify and direct the direction of growth using cords as a climbing aid, along which the shoots can grow.
Gardening gloves not only protect against thorns, scratchy leaves and the like, but also against black fingernails and stressed hands. The proper hand washing with soap and a brush is not spared.
Anyone who starts gardening by sowing seeds needs a prick stick. A pen can also be used as an alternative. This means that filigree seedlings that sprout densely packed from the ground can be removed undamaged and replanted a little further apart. Incidentally, this process is called pricking out. However, if each individual tender shoot has its own pot, this is called singulation.
The right soil
Every plant has its own demands on the soil quality. But it does not have to be set in earth that is tailored to it. Even if the diverse range in the garden centers tries to convey the impression.
With the addition of sand, lime, pebbles, compost, etc. you can create the composition in which the respective cultivation thrives best.
For the sake of the environment, you should make sure that the soil does not contain peat when buying. The immense peat extraction is a major problem for the peat landscape ecosystem. Peat-free soil is more expensive, but urban gardening is also done under the aspect of acting a little more in harmony with nature.
Incidentally, soil without peat can be purchased more cheaply from the municipal waste management companies, which process the city’s organic waste there. You can fill the soil there yourself by sacks.