Vegetable garden on the balcony kit
To create your own home garden it is possible to use pre-packaged elements that help to set up your own green corner; one of the fundamental elements for obtaining good results is represented by the choice of the most suitable pots and containers.
There are different types of vases on the market: from the classic terracotta ones to the lighter and more manageable ones in plastic. Usually, the former are to be preferred, as terracotta allows the oxygenation of the soil and roots, which is important for the life of many plants. Plastic, on the other hand, is a waterproof material, and does not have this function: however, plastic pots are recommended for vegetables and plants that need to be moved very often. For example, plastic containers are indispensable for growing salads or currants and, in general, vegetables that need a varied exposure between sun and shade. When placing seeds or seedlings in pots, keep in mind that each plant does not need to have a separate pot. Indeed, it is advisable to optimize the space by using, if possible, rectangular pots, in which even more plants can be placed all together. Only for aromatic plants it is recommended to use a single pot, as these are perennials and need to have their own space: in this case, prefer round pots with a large diameter, so that the plants have space for develop roots better.
Do not forget the saucers: when the plants are watered, the water will come out of the holes in the bottom of the pots and will eventually run down the balcony. To avoid this, keep the saucers and empty them as soon as they are full, to prevent them from being used by mosquitoes to lay their eggs.
The soil and fertilizer for the garden
Plenty of universal potting soil should never be missing from your kit. Not only is it necessary every time you want to sow a new vegetable, but it is also essential for tamping (the operation with which the earth is compacted around the vegetables that sprout out of the ground) and repotting, necessary for the plants. perennials (such as aromatic plants, which should be repotted at least every two years).
Many vegetables kept on the balcony also need fairly frequent fertilization. This is because potted soil has a limited amount of nutrients compared to those that can be found in open fields. It is therefore necessary to proceed carefully with the fertilization of plants, and it would be better to have both organic fertilizer (such as manure, excellent for preparing pots before sowing) and mineral fertilizer (very effective as it is quickly absorbed by the roots). uses liquid to be diluted in irrigation water).
Fertilizers, both organic and mineral, can be purchased in shops specializing in gardening items (but they are also found in well-stocked supermarkets). Prefer the specific ones for the plants you have on the balcony, and be very careful to respect the dosage explained on the package.
To properly grow our plants, it is necessary to complete our kit with the indispensable tools. First of all, a small shovel, which we will need to easily dig the holes in the soil, where we will arrange the plants and seeds. The irrigation of the garden on the balcony is effective if done with the watering can: other methods would cause a waste of water, and would be too invasive for the plants. It would be better to have more than one watering can, of different capacities: on the market there are small plastic watering cans, light even when they are full of water. Buy one that allows you to water the plants by wetting only the soil. If you also grow climbing plants (such as tomatoes and aubergines), provide for the possibility of using special supports, which must become part of your kit: you can buy them in specialized stores, or use sticks or canes. Also get some raffia, the most suitable material for tying plants to the supports. When the colder months approach, you will need some straw, which you can use to protect the roots of plants from frost, simply by placing it on the ground in pots. A pair of gardening gloves and a hat will be indispensable to protect the head during the hottest hours of the day. If you have the opportunity, we recommend installing an outdoor awning: in this way, you will have the opportunity to create a shaded area to protect the plants from too much sun.
To optimize space
There are many ways to make the most of limited balcony space. First of all, you can equip yourself with a wooden ladder, of those normally used in the kitchen to reach the highest shelves: placed in a corner of the balcony, it will allow you to arrange the vases on several levels.
Another trick to save space is to use the cloth holders, which are usually used to contain bathroom products: they have a limited cost and, hung on the balcony wall, they can be used to contain some vases. Also get the supports for the pots to hang on the railing: they save a lot of space, and are also suitable for heavier terracotta pots: in addition to allowing you to increase the number of vegetables on your balcony, they will also allow you to have a terrace flowery and colorful.
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