For those of us who love gardening but don't have a yard (or access to a community garden - which Toronto needs more of, in my opinion), balcony gardens are usually the way to go. If you don't have a balcony, but have natural light coming through a window, you can probably grow something! Below we share a few tips on putting together a balcony aka container garden.
Just a head's up that you might want to check with your building's management to see what's allowed (and what's not) on balconies!
STEP 1: Sketch it out
Chances are your balcony will also be used for lounging so you'll want to plan how much greenery you can actually fit. Take measurements of the space, and on graph paper, sketch a rough plan. This will allow you to figure out what kind of planters you can use.
large clay pots
thrifted plastic pots
Include space to store your gardening tools, etc. Also, ensure your balcony can handle the weight of everything!
STEP 2: Decide what you want to grow
Flowers? Veggies? Just green leaves? Climbing plants? All of the above? This is the fun part! There are excellent resources online for choosing plants that grow well in your part of the country, those that grow best in shade or sun, etc. Is your balcony East or West facing? These are all things to consider!
Here are a few we rounded up:
If you still don't know what would flourish the best in your space, a great option is to head to the nursery and ask the professionals.
STEP 3: Plant + care for your new babies
Now comes the fun part! Time to get your hands dirty! Make sure you have all the tools necessary (including a folded up towel or blanket for your knees if you'll be kneeling to do the work).
If you're looking for a natural, chemical-free fertilizer, we recommend Jocelyn's Soil Booster (natural worm manure for indoor and outdoor plants). And for maintenance, the Soil-Aid Teabags. These two are probiotics for your soil! How cool is that? You can mix the Soil Booster with your potting soil... and the teabags are steeped in hot water and then poured over plants (in addition to regular watering).