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Gardening Tips for Downsizers
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Just because you’ve downsized to a condo or apartment doesn’t mean you have to give up your gardening - balconies can be beautiful! But before you start, ask your property manager if there are any restrictions regarding what can be placed on your balcony or rooftop.
Turn to pots: While large, glazed ceramic pots can look impressive, they’re also very heavy when filled. Consider using lighter weight containers, so you can move your plants to take advantage of the sun or rearrange them throughout the season. Drainage is essential, so check there is at least one hole in the bottom, and use a pan or saucer to catch any water overflow. Your downstairs neighbours may not appreciate receiving a shower from above!
Fill ‘em up: Be sure to use potting soil rather than earth designed for ground plants. If your containers and tubs are large, place a few plastic milk cartons or empty pop cans in the bottom to economize on soil.
Choose your plants: A well-designed container follows the “tall, medium, small” rule. Start with a tall focal plant, such as an ornamental grass. Next, fill in with medium-sized plants like petunias or impatiens, depending on sun/shade conditions. Finish off with small cascading plants, such as ivy, that spill over the edge in a lively waterfall.
Don’t forget herbs and vegetables: The trend is to mix them together, so try growing a tomato plant alongside basil, oregano and parsley. Container plants often need daily watering, so invest in an automated watering system if you’re leaving for more than a few days. Early morning is the best time for a good drenching.