Glasgow Property: Top Balcony Gardening Tips For Beginners

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There’s a lot to consider as a beginner balcony gardener, agrees Ellen Mary, gardening influencer and co-host of The Plant Based Podcast. She shares the following balcony gardening tips for beginners…

What are the best balcony plants for beginners?

“The best plants for a beginner are annuals like bedding plants for beauty, just to see how you do, and also herbs. There’s nothing nicer than being able to go out and pick some herbs no matter how big the space you have,” says Mary. “They’re great for wildlife and insects and you can let them bloom. Just having something productive in a small outdoor space gives power.

READ MORE: Top tips for doing wonders in the kitchen in the face of rising prices

Which plants will adapt to shallow containers like planters?

“Calibrachoas (with small petunia-like flowers) are absolutely fantastic for this, blooming for a long season, and do well in any box or hanging basket. Petunias and surfinias, typical bedding plants that you would pick up at a garden center, would all do just fine.

Are there any rules to consider?

“Yes. The most important thing to consider is the weight restrictions. Check if there are rules about what you can have on your balcony and weight restrictions before you start.

Tips for planting in pots?

“The key is not to overfill the jars,” says Mary. “We see a lot of huge hanging baskets, with increasing loads. But if you don’t have a lot of depth in your pots, you may need to plant a little less, so they don’t compete for nutrients and water, but they will fill balcony containers wonderfully.

READ MORE: BBC’s Kate Humble gives advice on vegetables and herbs to grow at home

Which herbs are best on balconies?

“The basil is amazing. You can grow it outdoors in the summer and it will let you know if it needs watering, when it wilts a bit. I also love chives, which can grow in all sizes of pots, although they do need some root room,” Mary adds. “If you harvest them easily, they do well. Parsley will also do very well in a pot with little space. Anything you can direct sow and grow, even cilantro, will do well.”

What is the difference between sun and shade?

“If you put a lot of herbs in pots under constant hot sun, you’ll probably cause them to struggle. Also, in a pot, they’ll dry out very quickly and might need more food as they use up the nutrients and water so quickly.

“Semi-shade can be very beneficial for grasses on a balcony. If you have a very exposed balcony, give your plants some shade by placing a large plant in a pot next to them. I have large planters on my balcony with bamboo in them.

“Bamboo gives nice shade to plants that can’t take full sun all day. Other plants that could help with shade include star jasmine, which trails along balcony railings, providing shade and privacy at the same time.

What types of pots to choose?

“It depends on the look you want. A large pot can look very elegant and simple, containing a large plant like a hydrangea, while a collection of pots gives you the opportunity to mix things up and plant different things in them.

“I personally think if you put a lot into a small space, you bring space and it can feel quite cluttered. But if you like that feeling of being safe in your own small space, then lots of pots might be a good thing for you. It’s a matter of preference. »

How to make your balcony bigger?

“Use props such as mirrors on your vertical space. If you have limited floor space where you may only fit a small table and chairs, consider vertical planting such as coat hangers. herbs, which you can attach to the wall.

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