No yard? You are not alone. The vast majority of condos and townhomes in the Seattle area only have a small balcony. But this doesn’t mean you should let the urban jungle of cement and steel get the best of you. A vertical garden allows you to turn your small patio into a lush oasis.
When planting out is not an option, planting up is the go-to solution. This is why vertical, gardens are so beautiful. They don’t require you to sacrifice the functional square footage of your balcony to just pots. You can often still have a comfortable lounge chair and some growing goodness without moving to the suburbs.
5 Vertical Gardening Tips for Beginners
1. Use Pots
Not all plants play well together. Meaning, some plants are invasive and can quickly take over a space, killing their neighbors. Pots offer a really simple way to grow a wide variety of plants without worrying about how each one will stand up to the next.
Brittany from By Brittany Goldwyn uses a combination of salvaged wood, common pine boards, and standard terracotta pots to create a DIY vertical balcony garden. This simple addition leaves space on the balcony for a table and chairs, while giving the small outdoor space room to grow a wide variety of herbs.
2. Create Vertical Pocket Planters
Especially when you are dealing with smaller plants that don’t need a ton of space, you can utilize felt pockets as planters. You might want to just use a few or you could use a whole lot, as shown here. This allows you to turn your plain-Jane wall into a living wall!
3. Go All-Wood
Similar to pots, Apartment Therapy’s recommendation for a vertical garden uses wood to create a tiered series of vertically positioned planter boxes. To add even more intrigue to this design, the planter boxes were built of varying sizes. And, small candle mounts were added at varying heights throughout the planter.
The result is an eye-catching piece that offers a fun way to grow both edible and decretive plants in a small space.
4. Stack Up
The stackable planters from GreenStalk Vertical Gardening System aren’t ideal for deep-rooted plants – like potatoes, carrots or trees. However, most vertical planters aren’t. Vertical planting is ideal for vegetables, fruits, and flowers which have a relatively small root base.
Utilizing a unique drip method, these planters don’t require quite as much attention as a typical vertical planter. They are also ideal for those who are less mobile, as they keep plants at an easy-to-reach level.
5. Hang Your Pots
One of the best ways to garden up, is to literally move the planters up and off the ground. Hanging your pots from the ceiling is a great vertical gardening tactic you can use both inside the home (pictured here) and on your balcony.
A hanging pot delivers a bit more intrigue to the space without taking up your valuable real estate. Keep in mind though, watering hanging pots when they are positioned over key pieces of furniture can be tricky. You will want to be careful not to let them overflow.
Why Vertical Gardens are Great for Gardening in the City
Vertical gardens are not only aesthetically pleasing, they can be extremely economical and space saving – two essentials when you are looking for practical small balcony ideas.
Vertical gardening allows you to grow more of your own food in areas where you might not otherwise have this option. Vegetables and fruit (like lettuce and tomatoes) are often mass produced. Many among us worry about the pesticides and fertilizers being used. By using a vertical garden to grow your own, you can have a lot more control over the quality of your food.
Furthermore, small patios in the city are a luxury. Unfortunately, they often go unused because it can be difficult to create a space that feels personalized and inviting. A small balcony garden is a great way to break up the monotony of traditional city life. Whether you are growing decorative flowers or edibles, introducing a living element to your outdoor retreat can help make it a destination you look forward to enjoying.
Select Comfortable Furniture to Maximize Your Small Patio
In addition to a vertical garden, it’s important to remember that comfortable furniture is essential to creating an enjoyable and functional outdoor space. On a small patio, we typically recommend pieces with slimmer frames and sling seats. This delivers the maximum in support and softness while taking up the least amount of space.