Green Thumb: How to Start a Balcony Garden

My mother has always kept a garden, and I inherited a love of gardening from her. Gardening is one of my very favorite ways to spend a weekend afternoon. I love working out in the yard, tending to my flowers and harvesting fresh herbs and veggies to cook with. But living in a big city like LA, it’s not uncommon to be without a backyard. Since my current space in Los Angeles only has a balcony, I started a potted plant garden to get my gardening fix in the city. If you’re an apartment dweller, don’t let the fact that you live in a small space deter you from having a garden of your own. Today I am sharing a few of my best tips for starting a balcony garden…

Assess Your Climate 

Before starting any type of garden, you should begin by accurately assessing the temperature, climate, and how many hours of sun your space gets each day. Balconies and patios often get less direct sunlight than a yard since they are adjacent to tall buildings, so that might affect what you can grow.

Pick Your Plants 

Herbs and succulents are perfectly happy living in pots, as are many fruits and veggies. But if you’re new to gardening, I recommend starting with one of the first two options. Succulents are notoriously hard to kill so they’re great for a beginner. Herbs don’t take up as much space or require as much sunlight as most fruits or veggies, but it’s fun to grow something you can eat. I grow rosemary, thyme, lavender, and oregano in my garden. I cook with them all the time and dry whatever I’m not able to use up when it’s fresh. If you do want to try your hand at growing veggies, some of the easier varieties are peas, tomatoes, carrots, radishes, cucumbers, eggplant and zucchini.

Pot Away!

I recommend choosing the biggest container you have the space for. The more soil a container can hold, the more moisture it will retain. You will also have more room for your plants to grow, which is especially important with root vegetables like carrots and potatoes. Make sure that your pots all have drainage holes or drill some if they don’t already. You can line the bottom with screen or cloth to prevent the soil from spilling out. Use potting soil that is meant for container gardening, not the soil from a garden. It is also smart to pot your plants where you want them to stay because they may be too heavy to move afterwards.

Are you going to start a container garden?

Let me know what you plan on planting!

XO Lauren

P.S. Here are my tips for starting a vegetable garden.

Photo: Lauren Conrad via Instagram