Stuck in a high-rise apartment building? With the warmer months upon us, why not take advantage of your (limited) outdoor space and fill your little balcony with beautiful ganja plants?
You may not be fortunate enough to be a homeowner, or able to enjoy a lush, rolling lawn or fertile vegetable patch. If you, like many, are stuck in a suburban (or worse, downtown) location and hungering for your own outdoor weed plants, don’t despair. A tiny balcony can perfectly suit your purposes.
Of course outdoor cultivation is more difficult for some, especially with the patchwork progress currently being made across the country with regards to legalization. However, all the plants need to thrive are a good location (plenty of sun and wind; good soil), water and organic plant nutrition.
Small plastic collapsible greenhouses are often available at home improvement stores, traditionally sold to protect gardeners tender shoots in the colder months. These are perfect to squeeze into your square meter of outdoor growing space, and can help to prevent infestation, protect against cold snaps and shield the plants from the whipping wind.
Of course, if the summer sun gets too hot, the greenhouse may need to be removed to prevent heat stress. While the plants love a well-lit, south-facing spot, too much sun can burn the leaves and decimate seedlings. The wind may be too strong on higher floors, but don’t spoil or protect the plants: the wind naturally ventilates the plants (helping them to breathe) and strengthens the plant’s stalk by stimulating cellulose production, leading to nice, thick stems. Wind can even pop those nasty predators off of the leaves and branches.
Balcony plants tend to be on the smaller side (think of a fish tank), perfect for those attempting to avoid detection – and the lazy! Since the plants are smaller, be careful that you don’t overfeed – especially if you’re used to growing indoors or large patches outdoors. In addition to the usual adjustment of nutrients per strain you may find that the plants simply don’t eat or drink as much due to their stunted size and pampered life. Conversely, a warm spell can double their water demands.
The equipment necessary for balcony growing makes it a preferred method for those with not only limited space, but also limited funds. All you need are a few different-sized flower pots (the smallest for seedlings; transplant to slightly larger pots every few weeks, only during veg), some good organic soil and nutes for the seedlings and plants, and clean water (pH 5.8-6.8). Treat these plants as you would your prized tomatoes.
It’s not easy to keep outdoor grows clean. However, as long as you sterilize the space beforehand and attempt to maintain basic cleaning routines, you should anticipate few problems. Occasionally there is an infestation in a particular neighborhood, such as spider mites or aphids, and the plants cannot be saved. However, you have the benefit of both rain and wind on your balcony, which will help to keep the plants clean.
In addition, you should sterilize your pots and other equipment between grows. If you end up with bugs, always shower and wash your gardening clothes immediately to prevent cross-contamination.
With little space and limited effort, your balcony could be a sea of green!