Gilles Clément used to say: “To make a garden, you need a piece of land and eternity. ». If you believe the French gardener, botanist and writer, you can grow anything you want in any place. To do so, all you need is land and time. As far as growing a vegetable garden is concerned, anyone can do it in any corner where there is a small piece of land. Therefore, a balcony can be a perfect place to grow a vegetable garden. Surely, this will seem a bit unusual, but it has become a very trendy practice both in the art of gardening and in the art of outdoor decoration. To bring more details on this subject, this article will zoom in on the cultivation of an urban vegetable garden on a balcony.
Why grow a vegetable garden in the middle of the city?
Before tackling the subject, it should be noted that the purpose of an urban kitchen garden on a balcony is to give a city dwelling a greenery that will be a source of well-being. Moreover, this practice can play three very important roles: a decorative role, an ecological role and a nutritional role. Certainly, urban agriculture beautifies balconies and terraces with its incomparable greenery. On the other hand, the technique of vertical gardening gives balconies a well-arranged layout that makes them look good.
On the ecological side, urban agriculture has a positive impact on the preservation of the environment. Indeed, a vegetable garden on the balcony can guarantee the enrichment of biodiversity. In addition, growing food resources at home reduces the use of transportation. This means that growing food on balconies does not emit any greenhouse gases. It is difficult not to think about food security when we talk about vegetable gardens. Indeed, growing fruit and vegetables on a balcony is synonymous with serenity in terms of fresh food.
How to grow a vegetable garden on a balcony?
Anyone can grow a vegetable garden as long as they acquire the essential techniques, have patience and love for gardening. Of these three points, it is the gardening technique that is the most important. Having said that, what are the determining techniques for growing a balcony vegetable garden? First of all, it is essential to know where on the balcony the vegetable garden should be placed and in which direction it should be facing. To do this, the trick is simple, you must avoid opting for a north-facing exposure. Thus, its ideal location should have a southern exposure so that it can have a maximum amount of sunlight.
The choice of potting soil and fertilizers is also very important for a successful city garden. It is therefore necessary to know what type of soil to choose according to what you want to grow. First of all, for the cultivation of vegetables such as carrots and potatoes, you should choose sandy soil mixed with compost. Then, calcareous and clay soils, always mixed with compost, are perfect for lettuce, onion, garlic and tomatoes. Otherwise, if you are tempted to plant cornices or zucchini, there is nothing better than acid soil.
What garden accessories are needed to grow a vegetable garden?
After the location of the vegetable garden and the choice of potting soil, it is the turn of the choice of the accessories used that needs to be clarified. For an urban agriculture on a balcony, many accessories are indispensable:
- The sowing greenhouse: it is with this accessory that a vegetable garden must come to life. Indeed, the sowing greenhouse is the place where the seeds germinate.
- The stepped vegetable garden: this type of vegetable garden is a very effective method when you lack space on your balcony.
- Shelves and potting tables: certainly, shelves and potting tables are the basis for a balcony vegetable garden. Without them, vegetable gardens lose their decorative value.
- Geotextile bags: they are one of the effective ways for city gardening. Certainly, using this type of bag has many advantages. First of all, geotextile bags allow optimal aeration of the soil and roots. Secondly, the use of geotextile promotes the circulation of water and air to the roots. In other words, geotextile bags help the soil and roots to cope with all seasons.
- Water reservoirs: indeed, they are perfect for growing a vegetable garden on a balcony or terrace. With water reservoirs, it’s easy to shelter plants when snow begins to fall or when there’s heavy precipitation. In addition, the tubs keep the roots in place during the winter and summer.
What are the different types of balcony gardens?
If you’re going into gardening, it’s best to focus on decoration. Moreover, the choice of look is very wide to have a beautiful balcony while opting for agriculture as a decoration tool. The cascade garden is the most widely used garden style. Its objective is to accommodate a large number of plants thanks to a wall that forms an overlay of planters. For this type of arrangement, it is wise to leave a considerable space between the floors so that the plants can grow freely.
For its part, the plant tower is also an essential style in the field of outdoor decoration. The advantage of this technique is based on the economy of space while providing a singular and breathtaking look. As for the bag-garden, it can easily decorate any corner of the balcony thanks to its lightness and handiness.
What can be planted in a vegetable garden on a balcony?
Plants that can be cultivated in a balcony garden are very rare and their maintenance is not as easy as that of plants grown in the open ground. Indeed, a vegetable garden requires daily maintenance. Generally, a vegetable garden can accommodate two kinds of cultivation: the cultivation of vegetable plants and the cultivation of aromatic plants.
The vegetable plants that can be grown in a balcony are essentially vegetables. There are many vegetables: seed vegetables (beans and peas), leafy vegetables (salads, arugula and cabbage), and fruiting vegetables (pickles, tomatoes and cucumbers). Then there are root vegetables (carrots, turnips and radishes) and flower vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower and artichokes).
As for aromatic plants that can grow on a balcony, they are classified into two kinds of plants: woody plants such as lavender and herbaceous plants (rosemary, thyme, parsley and chives). Certainly, aromatic herbs are very popular in vegetable farming. However, a great difficulty lies in their cultivation. Therefore, the climatic conditions, types of soil and maintenance methods must be taken into account for them to flourish on a balcony. In short, in order to know how to grow a balcony garden, one must enjoy gardening and learn the proper farming techniques.