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Vertical Gardening for Your Balcony

March 27, 2020

Vertical gardens are welcome, both indoors and outdoors. They add to your green footprint and can easily become one of your most favourite hobbies.

Inside, they ensure a pleasant indoor climate and increase the oxygen content. Outside, they can become an idyllic balcony garden in just a few square metes with little tricks. Find out below what to look for in the vertical garden outdoors and which ecosystems and plants are suitable.

 

Make your balcony greener with a vertical garden

TL;DR 

Vertical gardening is a fulfilling approach to build a beautiful garden on your balcony for flowers, mints, or vegetables. Be aware of plants that need sunlight or can't handle cold temperatures well. Also, make sure to regard the basics of urban gardening in order to be as creative as possible.

 

Green balcony walls

The idea is very simple. With a wall-garden, a large number of plants are attached to one another, vertically or horizontally. This works with finished systems from specialist dealers but also your own creations. Plants sit close together on a stable surface and are hung on the wall like a picture. If you want to be more flexible in design: There are unique textile bags that you can plant as you wish and hang them on the wall in any pattern.

For DIY enthusiasts: You can also build your very own wall garden. For example, from a palette that you hang on the wall, filled with soil and plant. A vertical garden on the balcony must be tight at the bottom and back and should be able to be hung. There are several options here, which you can either obtain from specialist retailers or do yourself. We gathered a few more options in the texts below. 

 

Plant bags

Plant bags are an innovative solution for the balcony wall. You can get simple plant bags for hanging on the wall with three compartments in a two-pack. The top two floors of the planting bags have drainage so that the water flows into the bottom. For open balconies that sometimes get rain, you should put water-resistant plants in the lower area.

 

How lovely the silence of growing things. 🌱 from r/gardening

 

Bottles on the wall

This inexpensive upcycling option is only suitable for covered balconies where the vertical garden does not get any rain.

Here is a simple DIY step-guide on how to get started:

  1. Collect the largest possible PVC bottles with a lid.
  2. Place the bottle horizontally on the table in front of you and fix it.
  3. Use a flex to saw multiple openings or a single large opening.
  4. Screw the lid on and fill the bottle with soil.
  5. Edit more bottles in the same way.
  6. Put plants in the bottles. Mix bushy growing plants with climbing and hanging ones, the branches of which you can place as desired.
  7. Attach the bottles horizontally one above the other and next to each other on the wall using screws or nails.
  8. Spread them as close together as possible to give the impression of a green wall.

 

Vegetable patches on the balcony

With the right vegetables, urban gardening even works in a simple planter box on the balcony railing. However, the acreage is quite small. Mini greenhouses and small raised beds offer more space, while many fruit trees even thrive in tubs.

 

Vegetables that are great for the balcony: 

  • Aubergines: like it warm, Ophelia F1 hybrids take up little space and are also suitable for small containers
  • Beans: can climb up the balcony railing, ideally use low bush beans
  • Cucumbers: Piccolino wears well, but needs a climbing aid
  • Potatoes: thrive in a planting bag that is hung on the wall
  • Carrots: round varieties take up less space in-depth, it is best to mix soil with a little sand
  • Salad: Picking salad (lamb's lettuce, arugula, Lollo Rosso) can be sown in boxes from March
  • Tomatoes: Balconi Red and Balconi Yellow grow bushy and do not need to be tied up
  • Sweet peas: plant three or four plants around a climbing aid, grow quickly and also look pretty

 

Herbs and vegetables on the balcony

Instead of ornamental plants, you can also grow vegetables and herbs or strawberries in the vertical garden on your balcony. In our last article about urban gardening, you will find out which are suitable for this, what you need to keep in mind, and which types can also cope with shadows. 

Our tip: If you "garden into height" and arrange plants on different levels, you automatically create sunny spots and shady niches. With this way, you can draw advantages for the full range of herbs. 

 

Raised plant beds

Raised beds offer many advantages: due to the elevated position of the plants, they are exceptionally well protected against pests. Care can be taken at a comfortable height, and there are also better climatic conditions in the raised bed for a great harvest. 

Many raised beds can also be used as a cold frame in colder seasons or as a thermal house. Another advantage: rollers under the raised bed allow you to move the planter from one corner of the balcony to the other in a relaxed manner. 

Integrated water and composting systems ensure a plentiful harvest and flowers. Make sure to use plants in the lower area that prefer it to be moist, while in the upper area, there is space for sprouts and deep-rooters that love drought.

Our tip: Although you can also plant flowers, the raised bed is particularly successful for growing vegetables. Place larger plants in the middle and smaller plants outwards to create optimal lighting conditions.

 

Grids for climbing plants and hanging pots

Grids are incredibly versatile. Used in flower beds, tubs or on walls, climbing plants such as sweet peas, fir beans, climbing peas or small cucumber varieties can quickly become a green privacy screen. However, you can also mount a grille on the wall to hang individual pots or flower boxes there.

 

My pot hanging clip from r/gardening

Plant pillars and plant towers

Planting towers or pillars are ideal for small corners on the balcony. Plant columns usually consist of a stand with a foot into which soil is poured. The construction, which is primarily geared towards flowers, enables colourful eye-catchers on small and large balconies. Plant towers, which can also be counted as raised beds, allow the stacking of several elements for flowers, herbs, salads and much more. 

 

Vertical gardens in winter?

Before you get started with a cosy vertical garden on your balcony, you have to keep this in mind: if you don't have plants suited for winter, your vertical garden corner must be removed before winter, preferably before the first frost. To do this, cut back all plants and remove the soil from the pockets or bottles. Clean bags or bottles thoroughly and store them in a frost-free, dry place. 

 

... and have fun with it!

In order to see your vertical garden grow and bloom, you can become as creative as you want to. In which direction you want to green up, whether it is flowers, vegetables or mints, is also your choice. If you have other tips for beginners, make sure to let us know in the comments.

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