Many homeowners like to try having a balcony herb garden because herbs are easy to grow almost anywhere. So, limited space in that area would be a great one to try. You don’t need to do some special treatment in growing those plants besides watering regularly.The easy maintenance and flexibility are what herbs have to offer when it comes to home gardening. Besides, you can also make use of these plants as part of the ingredients in your cooking. Growing your spices is a great support to your healthy lifestyle.In this post, you will have some steps to guide you to make your balcony herb garden. Also, you will explore some tips and ideas to improve it.
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How to Begin a Balcony Herb Garden
When you’re about to build your herb garden on your balcony space, here are a few things to start with.
Knowing the Sunlight
This is the very first thing you have to acknowledge. You have to know what kind of sunlight the herbs are gonna receive in the space. It’s a large part of growing the plants. This step has to be one of the main considerations in gardening around the balcony. Most herbs require 4 to 6 hours of direct sunlight to keep healthy. So, you may need to check out the balcony during the day at different times.
Choosing Starter Plants or Seed
It could be a crucial decision. You can choose to grow herbs from seed. Growing them from seeds would be a fun thing to do. You will witness exactly how it becomes bigger or taller day by day. Well, you can just buy a seed starter pack from the store. On the other hand, there’s a more practical choice if you want it to be easier. You should aim for starter plants. These have already sprouted. This way would allow you to see the exact appearance of the herbs.
Preparing the Gear
To do herbs gardening, there are only a few things you should prepare. You should grab some pots, herb plants, and potting soil. After that, you’re ready to begin. Pots are great for the balcony herb garden because of its portability. You can get all the potted herbs inside the house to avoid the cold weather. Once it’s done, get them back out to extend the fresh herbs season. It’s recommended to get the seed or starters that you already use in the kitchen for cooking. So, the herbs would be available quicker than you thought. Moreover, you should also get some new and interesting varieties of plants as an experiment.
This is one of the most crucial parts of gardening. The first thing you should do after planting a seedling, you should water the soil. Know more about the plant you’re about to have in your balcony. Find out what kind of soil it needs, whether it’s moist or dry. You will need to check the soil regularly to avoid the herbs get dry out. Don’t forget to check the weather too. So, you can see if the plants get the water it needs from the rain. Pay attention to the edges of the herb. If it begins to brow or wilt, you have to water more.
It’s a bit tough to know how and when to harvest the herbs. That’s because not all herbs are similar in terms of harvesting. For example, a basil plant should be harvested by snipping the leaves from the top, not the bottom. If you’re planting oregano and mint, you can just spin any leaves on the plant. For chives, you can just cut it down to the soil if you want. Do some research to get more knowledge of how each herb should be treated.
Herbs to Choose for Your Balcony Herb Garden
After knowing how to begin, you should also know what are the recommended herbs you can grow in your balcony garden. Considering the sunlight, weather condition, and position, you should choose the right plants for space. Practically, you can grow any herb you want on your balcony garden but it still depends on the condition of the space. Some popular herbs are recommended as part of your home gardening. They are basil, cilantro, thyme, mint, chive, oregano, rosemary, fennel, sage, marjoram, dill, and parsley. You can choose a few herbs according to your need and the containers you have in the balcony area. If you’re a cooking lover, it’s recommended to have all the herbs ready to make the food you make taste delicious and full of fresh spices.
Containers for Growing Herbs on Your Balcony
The best containers you should use to grow the herbs are clay pots. That’s because it’s made of natural material which is perfect for the nature of plants.
However, you can also choose to have plastic pots. People aim to have this container because of its flexibility.
Besides plastic and clay pots, a ceramic planter is also an option. This container will improve the beauty of your balcony herb garden. All the choice you should go with is based on the space you have.
If you have a wide area on the balcony or terrace, why don’t you create an actual herb garden? Even though it would need extra effort to build, you will also get a larger portion of the herbs you need. For containers, you can use huge drawers or a chest.
How and When to Plant
If you want it to be simple and quick, you can just purchase some herbs in pots. You should buy it from the garden center because they have a more robust that’s matched with the condition in the balcony.
You can also start from scratch by planting the seeds and water them and use organic fertilizer. With a little bit more patience, you will succeed in growing the herbs on your balcony garden.
According to the season, you should do a rotation to your plants. For those of you who don’t live in a really cold climate, your herbs would be okay for all year round. During the winter, you should take care of them more to avoid the freezing temperature.
For that, a small greenhouse that’s available from the garden center would save the herbs. You can also make your own if desired. For the house located in warm tropics, you have to take more care during scorching summer. Keep the plants safe under the shade and improve watering.
Taking Care for Herbs
Maintaining the balcony herb garden can be quite challenging. You have to pay attention to a few points.
Many herbs will grow best in the space with full sunlight or the one with partial shade. To get the ideal light, it’s recommended that the balcony herb garden is facing south, south-west, or south-east. These kinds of plants won’t grow well in a shady space.
Also, the herbs wouldn’t thrive well and won’t be as flavorful. However, you can still grow some. There are herbal plants you can have in your shady balcony garden.
The herbs that would love to grow in a shady space are mint, cilantro, parsley, wild garlic, and wasabi. However, you should still do the basic requirements like regular watering, moist soil, and some direct sunlight intake it needs.
Because of the sun and wind, the pots or containers would get dry out quickly. Having a garden on a balcony will require watering more frequently compared to a regular garden. For the balconies facing south, this one is a must.
So, make sure you do the watering as much as it needs. You should choose the pots or containers that have large holes on the bottom. So, excess water can freely and easily drain.
Fertilization is very important especially for potted plants. It needs more than a regular garden.
However, you don’t need to do it as frequently as those grow on grounds. It’s recommended to use the slow release of natural fertilizers. Those are the right products for a balcony herb garden.
You have to spread the fertilizer at least once or twice a year. It will be enough nutrition for the plants. Moreover, the organic matters will make a great thing for the soil.
To maintain the quality of plants in your balcony herb garden, you should do the trimming regularly.
It will accelerate growth and avoid the seed establishment. Do the trimming on a sunny day before noon. Using scissors or a knife, you can trim the blooms to avoid seeds from forming.
Balcony Herb Garden Ideas
1. Herbs in Cans
You don’t need to buy pots to plant herbs. Just recycle used cans by removing the labels and washing them clean.
Try to paint the containers with the color that you like. Hang a card with a string to know what it is you’re planting.
On the other hand, you can also leave the cans with its original label. It can be an impression on its own. It’s gonna a nice addition to your balcony herb garden with a farmhouse style.
2. Vertical Pouch Planter
The planter concept on the right would make a perfect addition to your balcony herb garden. It won’t take a lot of space since it’s vertically installed. With the right pouch, you can add three to four kinds of herbs.
If you’re planning to begin a balcony garden you should have this one as a starter. Building a vertical planter will have never been so easy. For the base, get a wooden board or a hanger to get these pouches hung.
The planter on the left is a metal version of a vertical garden. You should consider having it on your balcony to complete your space.
3. Repurposed Table as Container
Check out that eye-catching container right in the middle of the balcony herb garden. That’s such a nice addition to space. On the tabletop, you should make some holes that you can fill with boxes.
Then, use them as a container to plant the herbs. Don’t forget about the drainage for each box to get the fluid flow through it. You should cover the wooden table right under the container to prevent the effect of the liquid.
4. Boots as Planter
This is a clever and fun idea to be in your balcony herb garden. If you have some boots that you no longer use, you can gather and fill them all with soil. Before that, make a hole for drainage. These items will give colors to space.
It’s more than just a container, it’s something that makes the herb garden more alive and decorative. The unique shape and bold colors of the boots are the most eye-catching thing you can have for your balcony.
5. Railing Mounted Pots for Your Balcony Herb Garden
One of the great things about the balcony, it is got a railing. It’s very useful to be used as a holder. So, in a very small space, you can still turn it into a balcony herb garden.
Just mount the planters on the railing with colorful pots. You can plant all your favorite herbs to get the sun and rain they need.
This spacious idea will give you more space to add furniture to enjoy the view from the balcony.
6. Hanging Baskets Full of Herbs
For balconies that are low in space, just have a hanging basket as a container for your herb garden. You can plant some herbs you need. Before you spread them in one place, you should find out more information.
You have to know which herbs can grow near other plants. Some of them can only handle growing alone in a single pot.
So, make sure you know what you’re doing. The recommended herbs you should have in one pot are sage, thyme, rosemary, marjoram, oregano, and lavender.
There are a few things you should prepare before starting the project of making your balcony herb garden. You also need to find out more information about the herbs you are planning to have. After exploring some tips and ideas above, you will be ready to begin.