Transforming Your Balcony Into A Garden: An Ultimate Guide!

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If you’re looking to transform your balcony into a lush garden—or even if you have a tiny patio space, this is a really helpful guide to figure out what you need with your space constraints and unique growing conditions.


Your first major consideration when growing on a balcony is whether the balcony itself can support what you’re growing. Most balconies should be able to handle a few containers or beds, but it’s a good idea to test the sturdiness of your space before you start loading it up with plants.

Take stock of the growing conditions on your balcony



What direction does your balcony face? South-facing balconies are the best, but southeast- or southwest-facing will do. And if you’ve got a north-facing window, you can still grow plants. You’ll just need to adjust the types you grow to be shade-loving varieties.


 Go out on the balcony in the morning, afternoon, and evening to see how the shadows fall on the space before setting up your garden. Oftentimes you’ll set up a balcony garden only to find that you placed your plants in an area that gets shaded by an obstruction for 80 percent of the day. Take note of how shade plays over your balcony to help inform the best location to set up your garden.



Wind issues are the biggest problem with balcony gardens, far more so than for raised beds or containers on the ground. Your first option is to plant wind-tolerant plants, such as rosemary. A second option with more flexibility is to stake your plants well and use windscreens to help break some of the nastier gusts. Similar to checking the shade on your balcony, walk out a few times during the day to see which way the wind is blowing as well as how strong the gusts are. If you get a lot of wind, make sure you use heavier-duty pots, such as terra-cotta.

Balcony garden design


Every balcony is unique, so the urban gardening masterpiece you decide to create should be tailored to your situation. That being said, there are some basic rules of thumb to follow to create a balcony garden that’s beautiful, functional, and, best of all—productive. Balconies have three distinct sections to consider, which are the floor, the railing, and everything else. Thinking in these three layers will help you make the absolute best use of the limited space you have.

What to do with the balcony floor

 If you’re willing to sacrifice some foot room, the floor of your balcony is a great spot for larger containers full of plants that need a bit of space to grow. Tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, and beans are all great plants to grow in containers on your balcony floor. Over time, they’ll fill out the space well.


Plant seedlings, not seeds

 It’s easier to get your garden off to a good start if you buy seedlings from a local nursery and simply transplant them into your balcony garden. Starting seeds is certainly a fun option to try if you want to flex your gardening muscles. But if you’re a first-time gardener looking to get growing fast, buy seedlings from a local nursery.

Bigger containers = better


 The biggest downfall of growing in containers on a balcony is just that… you’re growing in containers. They dry out quickly, especially if you’re using terra-cotta pots. To counteract this and give your plants the even moisture that they need, select the largest pots you can. The increased volume will allow the soil to hold more water and evaporate much more slowly.

Easy crops for a balcony garden

The only true requirement for a balcony garden is that you don’t grow anything that will absolutely take over the space. Sprawling squash plants, for example, wouldn’t be the best choice. That being said, even squash is possible. However, there are some plants that are better suited for beautifying a balcony, as listed below.


 Herbs: Basil, sage, thyme, oregano, and so on

Leafy greens: Loose leaf lettuce, spinach, kale, and so on

Garlic: ‘Artichoke’, ‘Silverskin’

Tomato: ‘Patio Princess’, ’Balcony’

Lettuce: ‘Green Oak Leaf’, ‘Black Seeded Simpson’

Peppers: ‘Camelot’

Eggplant: ‘Fairy Tale’, ‘Bambino’

Swiss chard: ‘Rhubard’, ‘Rainbow’

 Beans: ‘Blue Lake’ (pole), ‘Purple Queen’ (bush)

 Cucumber: ‘Spacemaster 80’

Strawberry: ‘Ozark Beauty’, ‘Seascape’


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