Balcony Gardening: Gardens in Highrise Apartments and Condos

Balcony Gardening: Gardens in Highrise Apartments and Condos by Gabriela Delworth

Summer temperatures are finally here. It is hot and humid. Friends of friends who live in highrise apartments and condos here in Toronto have asked me (I did live in a highrise before) for tips and suggestions on choosing the best plants for their balcony gardens.
Wouldn't be nice if more and more of these dwellers enjoy gardening in their balconies?

Let's get to the topic of this post now. In my opinion gardening in balconies takes the same planning no matter what floor you live in a building. 

These are basic things you need to find out first:

1- Know your Plant Hardiness Zone. Toronto is generally Zone 6 but going higher it might change to Zone 4 or even 3. This change means two things: colder and hotter. 
This will determine what are the best suitable plants for your balcony garden.

Think about the time you will be around to water your plants. Silly question? Not really.
If you like annuals like Impatients or Petunias make sure you water them everyday
These beautiful, colourful and tender plants drink a lot of water!
Yes, everyday. Or make arrangements with someone to do it when you are away.
Succulents would be an ideal pick. Do not over water them, please. 
Check the soil and make sure is dry before watering them. These beauties adore the sun and resist windy days. So many varieties to choose from.

Are you planning to take your indoor plants out? Not all of them I hope!
If you keep Geraniums on your windowsills during the colder months as I do, please do.
They will start blooming and growing much faster outdoors.

2- Once you chose your plant selection think about the best containers for them. 
Keep in mind three very important things: material, size and weight. 
Materials should be durable, forget about terracotta or light plastic options. 
Choose sizes according to the plants you want to use. Are you grouping them or not?
Containers shouldn't be too heavy (check for regulations where you live) but able to stand strong winds.

3- Then you need to think about fertilizer, soil and mulch. Think about drainage and weight. Potting soil is ideal. Talk with a garden center associate.

Do your homework. You need to know the basics before visiting the garden center. 
If you feel like extending your stay on my blog (thank you!) and doing more reading I have many posts right here.

Happy gardening!
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