General Gardening

Starting a Garden

New Orleans balcony gardensBefore you get started on planning what garden supplies you need to buy and what you want to plant in your balcony container garden, think about what you ultimately want from your balcony garden. Determine what you really want, and then decide if it’s do-able with your balcony conditions. You may love to grow food and want a kitchen garden, but other people have flower gardens, modern topiary gardens, Asian-themed gardens or whatever other styles and themes the imagination allows.


How to Harvest Calla Lily Bulbs

Calla lily flowerMost calla lily flowers have waxy-white flowers that gracefully twist and curl, ending in a delicate point. Other calla lily flower varieties are pink, orange or red, dark green or variegated with white spots. Calla lily plants are native to marshlands of South Africa but have gained popularity in gardens in the United States as marginal pond plants and potted plants. It is a popular flower for weddings and Easter, and cut calla lily flowers last a long time in floral displays.


Cactus Candy Recipe

Cactus Candy Amazon.comCactus candy is a delicious and unique candy that you can easily make in your kitchen. Odds are that you won’t have enough room in a container garden on your balcony to grow paddle cactus (aka prickly pear or nopal cactus), but you can harvest the cactus’ fruits if you live in the Southwest.


How to Repot Plants

Repot root-bound plantsWhen a plant outgrows its plant container, it is "pot-bound" or "root-bound." It no longer grows, and its roots begin to come up out of the dirt, as well as emerge from the drainage holes on the bottom of the plant container. The roots have become cramped and packed tightly into the container, like the roots of the bush lily in the picture on the right.


Protecting Your Plant Pots in Winter

Plant Pots in WinterIf you live in a colder area, some of your garden's plant containers may not make it through the cold winter. Some containers will do fine outside on the balcony, but many materials will absorb water, which will freeze and expand. Then the plant container will become brittle and crack, break or flake. Keep your brittle plant containers indoors or purchase containers that will overwinter well without any extra precautions. If you live in an area that doesn’t drop below freezing (or below 40 degrees for a long period of time), you won’t have to worry about overwintering your plant containers. 


Additional information