How to Manage Inner City Gardens
Those people living in the city centers face it rough when it comes to gardening. In fact, city living has its own challenges for gardening enthusiasts. Due to ever rising apartment prices, interior living spaces are usually overcrowded while the outdoor space is limited. But this does not mean that life in the inner city should never be green. Before giving the apartment some green, you need to consider the simple DIY inner city gardens ideas discussed below.
Firstly, you need to identify the bright side of your apartment building. It is true that sunlight is crucial for most plants. In fact, some of the plants do better with a lot of direct sunlight while others require shade. Most of the balconies get light from one direction or all. So, before getting started, you should spend some time outside at your balcony and observe the climatic conditions that your plants are going to be subjected to.
If you realize that your balcony faces to the North or North-east direction, then be sure your plants will experience a lot of sun every day and the growth will be fast. But for balconies facing East or South will not face adequate sunlight, and therefore require plants that tolerate shade. A balcony that faces to the West typically requires plants that tolerate the sun, such as pumpkins and rosemary.
Secondly, you cannot just overcrowd the only outdoor space you have, that is balcony, with potted plants. So, it is time to utilize the vertical space. Always remember that inner city balconies do not have a lot of space. You need to be highly creative if at all you want to be a successful city gardener. These are some of the solutions that will enable you utilize the vertical space:
- Utilize hanging baskets and pots
- shelves can also be used
- Mountable hanging gardens work best
- Vertical gardens and raised planters
- Plant stands can be utilized
- Benches whereby shade-loving plants are placed underneath while sun-loving ones placed on top
- Growing climbers on your balcony fence
Again, you need to provide shelter to your plants. Even if you live in first or second floor, it is obvious your balcony will experience winds from time to time. Such breezes may not harm your plants, but may dry out the soil in the balcony garden. To minimize evaporation rate, consider coating the soil in all of the potted plants with good and healthy mulch. Another option is to plant climbers, which will cover the balcony walls, rails or even the ceiling. These act as windbreakers and also make the balcony look like a leafy sanctuary.
Also, ensure you give your plants water on a regular basis. Bear in mind that most plants need regular watering, especially in warmer times. If possible, water them every second day. Be careful not to saturate the plants. Remember waterlogged soil may lead to root rot. It is, therefore, good to offer your garden less water but more often. Ensure your pots have holes to help in drainage. This tends to allow oxygen to pass through the soil so as to give plant roots vital nutrients. Most vegetables and herbs do well in pots, so ensure to incorporate a few edible plants in the little green sanctuary.
In addition, all what your plants need is great care. If you really want the plants to be smiling at all times, consider giving them plenty of love and attention. It is obvious insects will try to invade your garden, so you should know what to do in order to drive them away. It is advisable to protect your patch with some organic pesticides.
When doing pot mixing, do not just pick any type of soil out there. For healthy growth, you should invest in good quality soil. Make sure you feed your plants regularly. Use fish emulsion or seaweed fertilizes, which provide nutrients that are easy to absorb. When it comes to mulching, consider going for straw mulch, which is good for vegetables and herbs due to its ability to decompose faster adding organic matter into the soil.
If you come across anyone saying that inner city gardening is impossible just ignore them. With the above discussed inner city gardens tips, anyone can be successful once they give it a try.