Often, space is at a premium on an apartment balcony. But if you want to try apartment gardening, there are plenty of space-saving options for growing plants on a balcony. The key is to get as many plants up off the ground as possible. You want to save this precious floor space for furniture, not have it taken up by a garden.
There are several types of balcony planters that can get your apartment garden up and off the floor. Which one you use will depend on the size of the balcony and the type of railing you might have (and, of course, check with the manager of the apartments first to be sure it doesn’t go against any codes).
Planter boxes attach right to the top of a balcony, deck railing, or wood or chain link fence. Look for a planter box that includes sturdy brackets and a back bar for support. The brackets keep the box from being blown or knocked of the railing, while the back bar provides extra support, which is especially crucial if your railing is narrow (if you have a chain-link fence with a rounded pole across the top, a back bar is absolutely necessary). Consider a planter box with a removable water reservoir tray to catch drips, especially if you have neighbors living below you. Planter boxes look especially lovely with hanging vines dangling over the edge.
Not only are self-watering planters the ideal solution for apartment-dwellers who travel, they’re also a necessity for people who want to have a garden but don’t have a green thumb. Self-watering planters have a built-in reservoir that allows your plants to water themselves for days or even weeks, as needed, by drawing water from below. There are a couple of types of these planters available, including planters that hang from a railing or on a wall. (A wall is an especially attractive option for placing a planter because it creates instant, living, wall art!)
A larger self-watering planter is ideal for tomatoes or larger plants. It takes up some floor space, but it’s a convenient, reliable way to turn your apartment gardening into a food-producing venture!
Raised planters allow space-saving gardening on your balcony. Because they’re on legs, you still have room below for storing items, and the raised level makes your hard work visible over the side of your balcony! They’re also ideal for people who want to garden while seated or can’t bend to reach plants on the ground.
Many raised planters include dividers so you can change out individual plants without disturbing others. Apartment dwellers who favor contemporary décor may choose a brightly colored planter, while those with more traditional tastes can opt for a resin variety. If you are concerned about changes in temperature (for example, if you live in a climate with big temperature drops overnight), opt for a raised planter that has air pockets in the sides to protect plants from heat or cold.
Deep Apartment Garden Planter
These deep garden planters are similar to your basic raised planters, but their extra features mean your apartment gardening can include items you might not have thought you could grow on a balcony. You can grow the basic vegetables and herbs, but the v-shape design of this unique garden planter allows you to grow shallow-rooted vegetables around the outside and deep-rooted vegetables like tomatoes in the center!
Just because you live in an apartment, doesn’t mean you can’t have your very own greenhouse. Look for a generously-sized garden table that’s equipped with a removable greenhouse cover and a removable, protective shade cover for optimum results.