Not easy to satisfy your passion for gardening when you live in the city or you only have a small balcony or window sill! However, even in a small space, it is possible to grow flowers, vegetables and herbs with a little imagination.
Why grow a micro-garden?
The good news is that the many benefits of gardening also apply to micro-gardens! Apart from the physical expense that will obviously be less in a small space, cultivating a small corner of greenery will do you as much good as if you had a large lot.
Gardening is taking the time to relax. It is also learning patience and observation, activities that reduce stress, calm tensions and soothe the mind. Cultivating also allows you to keep in touch with nature, even in an urban context. Touching the land, sowing and then picking vegetables or herbs, is keeping the link with our environment, keeping pace with the seasons and becoming aware of the time that passes.
Creating and maintaining a micro-garden is also a perfect family activity. Everyone can participate in his measure, even small ones, and it’s a great way to empower the older ones by entrusting them with daily tasks like watering or weeding. We all know that the best tomatoes are the ones we grow ourselves and that we harvest freshly picked! This is perhaps the solution to bring the taste of raw vegetables to children, or to gradually involve them in the preparation of meals.
Gardening, even on a small scale, means taking an active part in safeguarding biodiversity. This helps to educate children about nature conservation, cultivating without pesticides and giving pollinating insects and butterflies new flowers to visit. This is especially important in cities, bees and other insects have few plants to forage at their ease.If you’re trying to bring green practices to your home, growing a small garden is a great way to recycle the rinsing and cooking water for watering the plants on your balcony.
Finally, as small as it is, a garden will bring you the immense aesthetic pleasure of beautifying your balcony or your windows, to hide a little vis-à-vis unsightly or to protect you from prying eyes. Successful plantations will even allow you to decorate your home with fresh flowers or fragrant eucalyptus.
What to plant on a small balcony?
We can (almost) all grow on a balcony! If you opt for plants and varieties that require little space, do not have excessive roots and have limited water needs, you can adapt almost anything to the scale of the space you have.Go ahead without hesitation on aromatics and edible flowers that are content with a small pot and will pleasantly complement your dishes.
Think about fast-growing radishes, salads and spinach, beans and peas, strawberries and cherry tomatoes that will delight kids. Flowers, the choice is vast: thoughts, bulbs, heather, primroses, buttercups, carnations, daisies … Choose the varieties according to the orientation of your balcony!
Some ideas for setting up a micro-garden on the balcony
Ideas are not lacking to create a pocket garden in a small area!
You can of course buy planters or pots, but do not hesitate to recycle or divert the most varied containers: buckets made of plastic or metal provided you pierce the bottom, old suitcases lined with plastic and clay balls or potsherds to absorb excess water, crates, crates of wine etc.Your balcony will be more personal and more beautiful!
Use space at height by recycling a ladder, an old bookcase or a small stool filled with pots. So you can grow more without taking up too much space on the ground. Be careful, however, to fix everything to prevent falls from your vertical garden in case of wind!
There are also columns of geotextile pockets that allow you to exploit the height without encroaching on the balcony. Suspensions are also a good solution, and will also protect your crops from potential children or cats too curious! Pots with hooks exist in gardening stores, but nothing prevents you to divert and suspend everyday objects (colanders, vintage pots …)
Another solution for a versatile mini-garden, divert a cart like those often found in kitchens or bathrooms.By filling the shelves with pots or by directly lining the bottom of plastic bag, you can cultivate strawberries and aromatics and even move them to enjoy a maximum of sunshine or, on the contrary, protect them from a wind or a sun too violent.
Do you have the option of picking up jute bags or synthetic woven rice bags? Simply pierce the bottom to make perfect containers! You can even grow potatoes: bury the tubers a few inches deep in the soil and cover the base of the stems as the plants grow.
A micro-garden in the street!
And planting in the streets, have you ever thought about it? More and more cities (Paris, Lyon etc.)) set up “greening permits” and allow city dwellers to flower and green the city. Around trees, on bare spaces or even along the walls in cuttings of bitumen, everyone can contribute to beautify his neighborhood and quench his thirst for greenery! Some bulbs, larkspur, hollyhocks, shrub sage or campanulas, and there’s a bit more green in the city, and another place to land for bees and butterflies. />
Also think of the “seed bombs”, those balls of clay, earth and seeds that can be thrown or deposited on vacant lots or along roadsides, and which will release their seeds when the ideal conditions of temperature and hygrometry will be met.