Pests: Garden Snails and Slugs

Garden snail Helix aspertaThe garden snail (Helix asperta), as well as slugs, can even affect balcony container plants. Snails and slugs can climb from a garden below up the wall and onto your balcony. Once slugs and snails get into your garden, deal with them immediately.

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How to Attract American Goldfinches and Lesser Goldfinches

American goldfinch

Intro: The American goldfinch may be one of the first wild birds you see in your balcony garden. These birds are common and easy to attract, and the males display a beautiful clear and bright yellow color (they are also called the wild canary). Male American goldfinches also have a black cap and black wings with a horizontal white stripe. Although they are a breathtaking yellow in the summer, they turn a dull yellow-brown during the winter months (due to a full molt). Females are a dull yellow-brown all year and have black wings but no black on the head. Both males and females are white on the rump.

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Identifying and Treating Rust Fungus

Rust fungus sunflowerRust fungus appears as a brown rusty coating or spotting on plant leaves and stems, and the spores will be orange-brown raised bumps on the undersides of the plant leaves. If you check your container plants often, you will be able to spot rust early on and treat it before it becomes too serious in your balcony garden.

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How to Attract Monarch Butterflies to the Garden

Monarch butterfly

Intro: It is always exciting to spot a monarch butterfly among the container plants in a balcony garden. These butterflies lead interesting migratory lives, are conspicuous and beautiful, and will always make an interesting addition to a balcony garden. To help support your local wildlife, set up a butterfly garden where butterflies can come rest and grab some nectar. A butterfly garden will be especially helpful in the late summer months when they need to consume enough nectar to give them energy for their annual migration south.

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Keeping Rats Out of the Garden

Roof ratSometimes rats and mice can discover paradise near humans. Container gardens, especially those with birdfeeders, can invite these little rodents. Our job as balcony container gardeners is to be stewards to nature, so natural remedies for ridding ourselves of unwanted creatures are always better than traps and poisons. Here are some hints that you may have a rat neighbor and some ways to drive that neighbor away.

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