To help you on your way, we have compiled a list of tips and tricks to get you started:
1) Use your vertical space – There are many plants and vegetables that are suited to vertical growing. Varieties of squash, cucumbers, tomatoes and beans are adapted to growing upwards on trellises, and can even grow above other plants. Hanging baskets are a time honoured way of showcasing your flowers.
2) Feed your plants regularly – Supplement your soil regularly with compost and other organic nutrients. The limited soil in a container won’t provide nutrients forever, so adding a bit of bone meal or kelp meal will certainly help to replenish nutrient levels.
3) Choose plants suited to small spaces – Obvious we know, but it is no use planting an oak tree on a balcony! Dwarf varieties of many plants are available, and growing herbs can be a fruitful and tasty alternative.
4) Maximise sunlight hours – Watch your space closely over the course of the day, and pinpoint which areas receive the most sunlight, and which areas are shady, choose your plants accordingly. Tomatoes and peppers need at least 6 hours sunlight to grow, whereas ferns and many perennials love a bit of shade.
5) Plant in succession – Keep your garden working. As soon as you harvest, get planting again. This way you will get the greatest yield.
6) Don’t over water – Over watering will leave your plants vulnerable to root rot and mould. Be aware that containers dry out in a different way to ground soil. The edge of the container will dry out a lot quicker than the middle. The best way to keep on top of moisture is to do the finger test. Simply dig your index finger into the soil you should know straight away if your plant needs watering.
7) Plants to avoid – Sunflowers, corn and artichokes simply take up way too much space, and can have a detrimental effect on other plants in your garden by blocking out the sun. Mint is a herb to avoid as it can be very aggressive and hard to get rid of.
Making the most of your space constraints can be a rewarding garden activity – why not give it a try?