Tips For Condo Gardening

Tips for condo gardeningYour condo balcony need not be boring; it should be an extension of your personality instead and a source of relaxation. A condo garden gives character to the outdoor living space of the home. It also complements the resort living lifestyle your condominium should have.

Before you begin, however, there are a few things you should consider before you begin your make-shift garden:

Check with building/property management regarding the legal and safety guidelines for your condo gardening project. It is important to know the weight limitation considerations. Lightweight alternatives to traditional materials, such as potting mix and containers, will likely be necessary.

Plan and visualize what you can with the limited space that will be your condo garden. Think about the kind of vegetation you want to grow. For starters, it would be good to grow plants that flourish easily, then challenge yourself later as you move along and consider how much time you can dedicate with the project.

If you want to reap some rewards from your condo garden, you should probably avoid these common mistakes:

1. Too many small pots. Too many small containers will make your balcony garden space look cluttered. With small containers, no plant can grow to a large enough size that will create an interesting effect. Keep several large plant containers or planters that will allow multiple plants to grow in creative groupings.

2. Insufficient drainage. Choosing the correct soil is an important part of setting up a container planting. Plants in containers need good drainage for healthy root growth. Plant containers need drainage holes, as well as loose potting media that allows water to permeate throughout the soil and throughout the whole container. Some plants need more drainage than others, including succulents and cacti, as well as plant cuttings. Drainage is one reason why container gardeners should purchase potting soil instead of using dirt found on the ground.

3. Wrong plants. Before purchasing container plants for your condo garden, visit your local garden shop to see what plants are available. Write down a few that interest you, and research them. Will the plants grow too large for your limited garden space? Do they need more sun than you can provide? Will it need a lot of extra care? Narrow down the plants to those that you know you can take care of with ease.

Don’t simply purchase a light-loving plants that you think look beautiful, only to realize that your balcony is quite shady even when the sun is out. There are plenty of plants that thrive in shady areas.

4. Over- or under-watering. The most common mistake when it comes to condo garden maintenance is over- or under-watering the plants. Plant containers dry out quickly, especially on hot, sunny and windy days, so check on the plants daily and keep track of how often you water them.

5. Not recognizing pests or disease. Many beginner condo gardeners don’t recognize a pest or disease when they see it. Unfortunately, letting pests or disease take over may result in a massive kill of your plants or an unsightly condo garden.

After learning what to avoid, you can now start your project by plotting a good design. It follows the same principles as they do in a yard.

1. Reduce visual clutter by choosing containers that blend in with the surroundings.
2. Layer plants, with taller plants in the back and smaller ones in the front.
3. Repeat plant types and colors throughout the garden.
4. Try vertical gardening. Hanging baskets and trellises can be used to maximize space.
5. If your building allows it, shelves, hooks, brackets and wall-mounted urns are great balcony space savers.
6. Consider incorporating a seating and/or entertaining area.
7. Leave breathing room for people and furniture and don’t overcrowd the space.

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