If you have a big gardening dream - but only a small terrace - we have good news. You can even turn a small outdoor area into a lush leisure place, providing fresh agricultural products, beautiful flowers or any other plants you want to grow. Here's how to plan and grow a small terrace garden in 6 steps so that you can make the most of every square inch of planting space.
1. Check Your Lease or HOA Agreement
Although you want to start turning your yard into an urban jungle immediately, please make sure your Home Owner Association (HOA) or landlord (if you have one) agrees. If you just want to add a pot of flowers or herbs, you can skip this step. If you have a bigger dream, you may still get the green light to start growing, but there may be some warnings, such as weight restriction. Trust us; Before transporting the heavy concrete flowerpot home, it is better to understand the policy or any restrictions on your space.
2. Study the unique growth conditions of the courtyard
The light, wind and temperature on your terrace may be different from those in your area or even your neighbors. Depending on many factors, some courtyards may feel like their own microclimate, such as:
- The direction they face: the south and west faces tend to be the warmest and brightest, while the east and north facing terraces may be cooler and darker.
- Distance from the ground: For example, high-rise balconies may bear more strong wind than second floor balconies.
- Close to trees and other buildings: If you plan to plan your garden in early spring, be sure to consider all trees that may not have leaves.
In addition, different areas of the terrace may be more suitable for certain types of plants. For example, you can plant shady plants such as hairpins in the back corner, and put agricultural products that need sufficient sunlight in the front.
3. Identify your Little Terrace Garden goals
It is important to give priority to what type of plants, containers or even furniture you want to place on the terrace, so that you can use your space most wisely. When you brainstorm ideas for a small terrace or apartment terrace garden, some questions to ask yourself include:
- If so, how many agricultural products do I want to grow? Am I looking for some interesting fresh herbs and vegetables, or more abundant vegetable plots?
- Do I want flowers, lots of leaves or a combination of the two?
- What kind of time do I want to spend here? Do I want a place to have coffee in the morning, relax in the evening, entertain friends and family, or just find a place?
4. Plan Your Patio
Resist the urge to run to the garden center and start throwing things into the shopping cart. Although we fully understand the excitement of starting a new garden, in the long run, you can save time, money and pressure by making a detailed plan.
First, draw or use checkered paper so that each grid is a square foot of your terrace. Determine the location of any containers, raised beds, and furniture and draw them to scale (don't worry, it may not fit in the refrigerator). Make sure you are not blocking any doors and plan how to bring water outside. Once you fill your horizontal surface, don't be afraid to move vertically towards more growth space.
Next, decide what you want to plant. Do you want to buy flowers that can last for one growing season, such as annual plants suitable for container planting, or flowers that will bloom in multiple seasons, such as perennial plants? Maybe you insist on using herbs, fruits and vegetables that are suitable for the unique growth conditions of narrow spaces and courtyards.
Finally, determine how you will plant the plants. Would you try to plant some hot weather peppers and tomatoes from indoor seeds? Do you grow lettuce and pea seeds in containers that are easy to use? Or do you buy some introductory plants, such as annual flowers that can be instantly enhanced?
Now you can shop.
5. Plant Your Small Patio Garden
Once you've gathered everything you need, it's time to make your vision a reality. Plant any seeds indoors. Place your containers, flowerpots, and furniture outdoors. Fill your container or raised bed with a potting mixture designed specifically for the container. Sow seeds according to the instructions on the package, and then put your appetizer in a pot. Now you are ready to give the plants the care they need. No matter what you decide to plant, you can find a planting guide to help you and your new green space.
6. Stay Flexible and Enjoy the Process
Despite your best efforts, you may have to adjust some things throughout the growing season, such as the location of the container, or even the things growing in the container. Place heavy planters on a planter stand with casters so you can easily move them, making it easier to change things. But most importantly, enjoy the process and continue refining until you reach the perfect courtyard.
Through careful planning and appropriate plants, the small terrace garden can be an eye opener. By determining what suits your space, what you want to grow, and how you want to use your yard, you can create a unique garden that suits your needs.