Balcony DIY on the cheap + some balcony gardening tips

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There is something about balconies…oh, wait I already had a rant on balconies. Remember?

Only that now I do have my own balcony. And believe it or not, a small garden too. Me, who once killed a cactus has her soon to be cherry tomatoes. And chillies.

look,

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How amazing is that? Call is a mid-twenties crisis but growing something is magical. And easier as I would have anticipated. And it feels great and rewarding and someone once said that the cheapest therapy one could get is gardening and DAMN right he/she was right.

But enough on ranting because what I am trying to say here is that if I could do it, you can do it too. And if you do really wanna control what’s going on your plate, grab some soil and some seeds and get going on growing your own vegetables. As much as you can.

I am lucky enough to live on the last floor and have an open balcony with enough sun and wind but with a little care any can grow some tomatoes. To make sure you do get your fruits is to water the plant whenever needed (mine required water almost daily since it is outside and quite hot and windy) but if you grow it inside, make sure you keep the soil moist at all times so you’ll avoid killing your plant. Also make sure you’re not over watering your plant because that kills it too. Constant moist is all you need. And a little bit of patience.

Once your flowers are blossomed you need to make sure you hand pollinate it. Normally, the wind should do the job (or the bees) but if you don’t wanna leave anything to chance, you have few options on hand pollinating:

  1. encourage the flower on releasing the pollen by gently tapping it or by using any device that vibrates (ahem) and imitates the bees;
  2. take a cotton swab and gently move it from one flower to another

or,

  • if you have a lot of flowers, just gently tap them and the pollen will just fall on the flowers underneath.

I would strongly recommend you to do the hand pollinating (keep in mind, you’re still growing them on a balcony, in a pot and not in a real garden) since it’s a 5 min job, if not even less and it will give you back guaranteed results. If you have chillies or paprika growing, do the same to them.

And that’s pretty much it, really.

As for how I arranged my balcony (don’t have a before photo unfortunately), I decided to go for the sitting area in the further end of the balcony, facing West and for the balcony table on the other end, facing East. The whole apartment is facing South so before you take out your compass you have to know that an apartment facing South has light all the time. When there is Sun, of course. Which is a good thing but also quite annoying if you’re not a fan of strong Sun. So setting is easy: table facing East for breakfast so the Sun is gentleĀ on my ginger face and sitting area facing West for cozy, beautiful sunsets. Makes sense now?

For the sitting area I went for a small EUR-pallet I have found on the street, with some big cushions I had it handed over by my former flatmate on which I threw a blanket. I use the blanket in the evenings or as an ‘umbrella’ during the day if the Sun is too strong (my actually umbrella flew away, btw).

let me show you,

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the sitting area set up

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and the sunflower plant next to it

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the sunset view I was talking about

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and the balcony table

Behind the table I did plant some other greens but half of them didn’t come out so I replaced it with some fresh herbs from the supermarket,

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Rosemary and blossomed chives

As for the lights I have hanging, I have two sets: one is solar powered, left behind by the girl living here before me (from IKEA) and the other one is battery powered on the cheap from Flying Tiger Copenhagen.

And that would be it on my balcony. Let me know how you like it!

I will also keep you updated on how the fruits and veggies will turn out.

 

Have a peaceful one,

V.

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