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Greener Balconies are happier - Balcony Gardening gets a thumbs upBy Smitha Jose
Outdoors Tweet 0 Comment(s)
If you want to be happy for a lifetime, plant a garden – Anonymous
Can't agree more to this quote. Gardening is indeed an enriching exercise that fills your heart by dirtying your hands. No matter how urban our lifestyle be, we cannot resist the tempting smell of the soil and the plants that bring us down to earth from a world of sophistication and mayhem.
Gardening, in the present age has become all the more intimate and important to mankind. Now, we don't gripe about lack of a garden space in our small apartments. Instead, we have adapted to the changing circumstances. With a tiny balcony at the back, we are happy as those farmers with acres of land.
Fresh veggies and fruits, fragrant flowers or just ornamental plants- a balcony can provide you the space for any type of gardening.
It is not just this unconditional pleasure that we get from gardening. We get some real output too, don't we? We will be the few among those lucky people who get to have fresh, organic food which grows right in front of their eyes. An otherwise dumping place for all the extra stuff at your home, balconies couldn't be happier with lush green plants adorning them like a tiara on head.
Let's see how to go about setting up a balcony garden that gives you both juicy, crunchy and fresh veggies and a fragrant flower bed.
Watch out for the season
Not all the plants are evergreen – meaning each plant is different in its requirements. There are plants which need 6 to 8 hours (full sun) of direct sunlight like green beans, cucumbers, peppers, tomatoes etc. While others like carrot, radishes, curry leaves, beets and other root vegetables need a maximum of 3 to 4 hours of direct sunlight. Hence, depending on the season and the availability of sun light to your balcony, zero in on the plants that can be grown. You can rotate the crop as the season changes.
Grow complimenting plants
When the space and resources are limited in a balcony, we should go for the best combination of plants. Plants with expansive, shady leaves like squash can be planted alongside the plants that need less or indirect sunlight.
Alternatively planting plants that need nitrogen and plants that fix atmospheric nitrogen is a useful tool to ensure a healthy growth of both plants. All legumes and other nitrogen creating plants can be planted to increase the fertility of the soil before planting those which require more of them.
Alternatively, coffee grounds can be added to the planter soil to enrich it with a generous amount of nitrogen.
Well, if you are running out of space with veggies and can't figure out a proper space for your beautiful flower garden, think vertically. The railings of the balcony are still lying unused !! Either hang those pots on them, or from the ceiling. You have probably used every single free space in the balcony ( leaving apart the walkway) and surprisingly it does not look cluttered but beautiful like an Eden garden.
Plants are indeed a pleasure to serve, care and look at, leave alone the benefits they provide. Whether its a floral garden you love to see or the more beneficial vegetable or fruit one, a lush green balcony can save you from boredom, frustration and give you the joy which this mechanised world fails to provide.
Hope this article has ignited that gardener in you.
Happy gardening to you!!
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