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Old 10-05-2011, 09:46 AM
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Default Balcony Garden Help

So, on the weekend I'm moving out of my current family house into my own apartment. I've lived there before, and one of the things that threw me about living in a city apartment as opposed to in the suburbs was the lack of a garden (and here I thought myself an anti-gardening person...). While there are lots of trees in the area, and I have a good few of them (unless that's changed), it's not exactly the same. So, I was planing (once I have this thing people call 'money' again) to start a balcony garden, of even just a pot or two.

Trouble is, I haven't got the slightest idea of where to start. So, if anyone has any recs for good websites on balcony gardens (for the record, I'm ACT, Australia), or any good books, or any just plain advice, that'd be WONDERFULLY helpful.

?
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Old 10-05-2011, 10:07 AM
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Well, this is just from my basic knowledge, but if you're making a balcony garden, make sure the area you live in doesn't have much air or water pollution, and you don't have too many insects around. And of course, try and put your plants in the area where they'll get the most sunlight.

Also, it'd probably help to look up any laws or rules concerning balcony gardens.
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Old 10-05-2011, 10:21 AM
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Woah Ashen Key congrats on getting yourself a place to call your own, even if it's most likely a rental property. I'm not too sure on what plants you should grow and all that but since there would be a lack of total sunlight I'd say certain potted vegetables and herbs would be good. Looks like carrots and chives are good. Anyway here's a site I found for you.

Best Fruits, Vegetables and Herbs to Grow for Beginners
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Old 10-05-2011, 10:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Advent View Post
Well, this is just from my basic knowledge, but if you're making a balcony garden, make sure the area you live in doesn't have much air or water pollution, and you don't have too many insects around. And of course, try and put your plants in the area where they'll get the most sunlight.

Also, it'd probably help to look up any laws or rules concerning balcony gardens.
I think the area I'm in is pretty good as far as pollution goes - Canberra still hasn't got the hang of 'cities', and so even in the CBD, you're only ever a block away from some trees. The place is basically a giant park. From memory, sunlight isn't a problem, but I'll be sure to double-check before I get anything.

And you know, I never even thought about laws or rules, thank you for mentioning!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pa'li Makto View Post
Woah Ashen Key congrats on getting yourself a place to call your own, even if it's most likely a rental property. I'm not too sure on what plants you should grow and all that but since there would be a lack of total sunlight I'd say certain potted vegetables and herbs would be good. Looks like carrots and chives are good. Anyway here's a site I found for you.

Best Fruits, Vegetables and Herbs to Grow for Beginners
Yep, it's a rental property, but it's still a place to call my own beyond a bedroom, so I'm beyond pleased with it - and it's within walking distance of shops and buses, so I won't have to use my car NEARLY as much, which'll be awesome.

Oooh, that site looks fantastically helpful, thank you!
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Old 10-05-2011, 10:48 AM
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That's great news, it looks like it will help you out more than your previous place. Is it a 1 bedroom place or a studio apartment?
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Old 10-05-2011, 10:50 AM
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That's great news, it looks like it will help you out more than your previous place. Is it a 1 bedroom place or a studio apartment?
I'll also be able to walk to the National Botanic Gardens, so you lot maaaay get some pictures of that from me in the future And it's a one bedroom place.
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Old 10-05-2011, 11:02 AM
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Oh cool!!! I bet there's nice trees and flowers there. I'm glad you got a 1 bedroom place since studios are pretty small but cost less.
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Old 10-05-2011, 11:13 AM
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Oh cool!!! I bet there's nice trees and flowers there. I'm glad you got a 1 bedroom place since studios are pretty small but cost less.
There are GORGEOUS trees there - I keep meaning to park myself on one of the benches in the rainforest bit and writing Na'vi fanfic there, just to soak up the atmosphere (it's dark, cool, and really primeval). I haven't seen the rest of the Gardens recently, but it's really spectacular.
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Old 10-05-2011, 07:57 PM
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Congratulations

Sounds great, with the location as well.

I'm not particularly knowledgeable about gardening, but I guess it depends on what you are looking to grow - plants for food, decorative or both?
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Old 10-06-2011, 11:19 PM
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I'd say it depends what you want in that garden. Do you want flowers, just green or you want edibles? How large is the balcony? something that almost always works in terms of edibles are tomatoes of course. They go well together with basil in the same pots. If you want to green it especially good, you can try applying some permaculture and do vertical stacking, meaning you set up a low layer of herbs and spices (basil and thyme work well, mint is also good) - also carrots and garlic fit well. Then a layer of tomatoes or physalis on top of that. Salads also go well in that. And then maybe get some vines/climbing plants like beans, grapes, hops or kiwi which could grow all the way up to the roof or hang down over the sides of the balcony. There are tables about which plants go together well and which dont. If it gets really hot, make sure to water them well. An old method is to bury closed unglazed pottery in the big pots and fill them with water and cover it. The water will stay in there and go through the pots wall as it is needed by the soil in the pot (ancient drip irrigation method).

A balcony can become a very green spot with some effort.

Oh and what I did was to build a raised bed. Basically I made a wooden construct that looks a bit like a table without the table - in it I have attached a textile that is used in gardening to keep soil and roots inside an area. It is great - I can put a lot of soil in it and the soil stays in it, water can drip out if it gets too wet and I have one large bed instead of many small pots. If you like I can make a photo.
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Old 10-06-2011, 11:27 PM
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Aurora, that last part about the raised bed sounded really cool. I at least would like to see pictures
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