What is best practice, when planting on the balcony?
Written for Balcony Living Cph by Boe Sallingboe from
Altan-alferne.dk. Illustration has been kindly been provided by: Boe Sallingboe.
Let's first clarify that plants can thrive in a modest amount of soil as long as they don't dry out or the plants roots are swamped with too much water around the root ball.
Apart from some individual plants that require a special acidic soil or also rhododendron soil, you can, for most of your flowers, trees, bushes, vegetables and herbs, use a good potting soil, preferably organic, with mini-leca balls and clay granules mixed into the soil. The most important thing is that the soil does not turn over too quickly, therefore it is recomended to add mini-leca balls which ensures a certain airiness in the soil and the clay granules which ensure that minerals are secreted into the soil and the plant's root network over a longer period of time.
Self-watering or capillary water system is most important when planting larger plants that you want to grow continously from year to year. If you are more into planting vegetables and summer flowers, you can leave the capillary system out and instead spend more time in your vegetable garden, to water and cares your plants.
I, myself plant everything in large self-watering pots, or balcony boxes with a water reservoir at the bottom. This way, I ensure that my plants do not get thirsty or start to rot because they either get too little or too much water. We make our own pots at Altan alferne, some are also sold here at Balcony Living Cph.They are called Urbangaarden Climate Flower Pot and there are other good models on the market fromother brands as well: Lechuza, Elho and Emsa. Below is an illustration of how the self-watering pot / capillary water system works:
The pictures above show the beautiful Climate Flower Pot from Urbangaarden, it is available in different sizes and is made from 100% recycled materials and is produced in Denmark.
I hope you enjoy, creating your new green balcony!
If you want to know even more about green urban city life, you can find more information at altan-alferne.dk and urbangarden.dk, as well as facebook/altan-alferne. Boe Sallingboe has published the following books: ”Naturen ind i byen” at Gyldendal, 2016 and ”Naturen forkæler din hjerne” at Mellemgaard, 2018.