Quarantine has made us all take up some pretty unique things that we may not have had time for before, like dyeing our hair pink or making our own face masks, and for every questionable experiment we take, there's an activity we grow to love.
If you've got a balcony, a little rooftop spot, or some outside space, cultivating your own balcony herb garden is a wonderfully fulfilling and mood-boosting trend you could end up keeping for years to come. Even if you haven't always had a super green thumb, these smaller scale and absolutely adorable balcony herb gardens are completely manageable as long as you give your plants a little TLC.
If you're not sure what you want to grow, climate is an important factor that will determine what you can cultivate on your balcony herb garden.
If your climate is pretty much the same year round, you can grow the same things all year, with more attention to your plant friends when the weather is colder, and give them more shade and water for when it's really hot. If your seasons are pretty distinct, it's best to rotate the herbs that you grow by season, such as cilantro and rosemary in the Fall and Winter, and basil, oregano, and thyme in the warmer months.
You may know exactly which herbs you're interested in growing in your balcony herb garden, but just be sure to double check the climates they grow best in, and how much space they typically need to grow before starting this DIY journey. One of the simplest ways to pick out what to put in your balcony herb garden is by thinking of which herbs and spices you enjoy the most in your flavorful meals and refreshing cocktails.
Once you've picked out your herbs and the super cute and size appropriate crates and pots to hold them, either ones you can hang on your balcony or set comfortably in the corner, make sure you have the right soil for them to flourish in. Most herbs grow best in soils that typically used for growing vegetables, but after deciding on what herbs are best for your balcony herb garden, pick your soil accordingly.
If you've got everything down from the placement of your pots to your herbs resting in the right kind of soil, you've made your balcony herb garden look as amazing as you envisioned, it's time to figure out what exactly you're supposed to do with these plants.
If you've grown a million plants or these herbs are your first ever, you probably know the basics of what they require to thrive.
Your herb garden will grow the best when it's basking in the sun or gets to relax under some light shade, and they'll actually be more flavorful when they get the proper amount of sunlight. When watering your balcony herb garden, it's important to note that balcony gardens should be watered more frequently than other plants or gardens because they're more exposed to sun and wind, which will dry out the pots at a faster rate. They should be watered at least once a day, and when it's hot out they may need to be checked up on a couple of times a day.
Herb plants also need a little trim regularly so they can continue to grow efficiently and stay healthy. If you see new seeds or blossoms forming on your herb, delicately cut those out so they don't detract energy from your herb growth.
To fertilize your potted friends on your balcony herb garden, organic fertilizers such as compost, which is another sustainable habit to take up in quarantine, will work best in providing your herbs the nutrients they need. You should use a slow release natural fertilizer once or twice a year for your herbs to gradually take in the fertilizer and grow.
One of the most exciting parts of starting your balcony herb garden is being able to harvest your herbs and taste just how good of a job you did, or maybe figure out what you could do better next time. Different herbs have different standards of being harvested, so be sure to research up on what's best for your herbs.
Now, bring a little balcony herb garden into your quarantine routine and get gardening!