Gardening: Expert gives advice on caring for plants in a heatwave
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The lockdown has encouraged many housebound Brits to crave a little bit of the great outdoors. But what if you live in a block of flats with no garden? Don’t despair, Express.co.uk has pulled together a guide to the best plants to grow on your balcony this summer.
Balconies may be small but don’t let size limit your gardening dreams.
You can use even the tightest corners to create your own inner-city Eden.
What factors should I take into account for the perfect balcony plant out?
If you are planning on putting plants out onto your balcony, there are a few things you should consider.
The weight of your garden essentials can be too heavy for the conventional balcony.
Compost and terracotta pots can be heavy. It is always a good idea to find out how much weight your balcony can take.
If you are unsure, stick to lighter options such as lighter plastic pots.
For suitable soil, try to buy compost that is specifically formulated to be lightweight.
If your balcony is high up and not very sheltered, it may be too blustery for some plants to thrive.
You will need to put in some kind of shelter or create windbreaks.
A final factor you will need to consider is how much sunlight hits your balcony.
If your balcony is quite shady, choose shade-loving plants such as Chrysanthemums, Fuchsias and Farmers hydrangeas.
So, what kind of plants will suit balcony life?
Consider popping your houseplants out on your balcony over the summer.
The collection of succulents you’ve collected over the lockdown will love the heat this summer.
If you fancy growing your own fruit, why not try growing strawberries?
These can be easily grown in pots and hanging baskets. Balconies can be the perfect spot for them as they are less likely to be attacked by ground loving slugs and snails.
If veg are more your thing, tomatoes are a great choice. These can grow in a variety of different containers from hanging baskets to window boxes.
Tomatoes do need plenty of sunlight and warmth to flourish so are best suited to sunny balconies.
To truly create a miniature Eden, jasmine could make your balcony heavenly.
These beautifully scented plants can also be used to provide privacy and screening on your balcony as they are climbers.
Flowers such as daffodils and tulips in the spring can provide a pop of colour to your balcony. Why not try snowdrops or hyacinths too?
Bulbs do not need deep beds to flourish so they will be able to thrive in flower pots on your balcony.
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