The days are getting longer, the birds are singing and the first pollens are on their way. No doubt, spring is here, even if the sun remains shy. It’s time to prepare your balcony for the beautiful season.
Neglected during the cold and wet winter months, the balcony often looks sad at the end of March. A little spring cleaning is in order: it’s time to clean, remove dust, repot and refresh the decor.
Good to know: gardening and planting outdoors is considered to be resumed when temperatures no longer drop below freezing at night.
Here are 5 tips to bring your balcony back to life and wake up its vegetation from its winter sleep.
1. Prepare the flower boxes
Before planting anything, it is essential to clean your flowerpots thoroughly. This prevents old disease germs from reaching newly planted plants.
The quality of the soil is the basis of the growth of your plants, it is preferable to replace the old soil of the flower boxes and containers by new soil. You will get beautiful flowers and abundant greenery.
Also check the drainage of your flower boxes to avoid water stagnation. If necessary, re-drill the holes in the flowerpots. Since it often rains in the spring, it is important to ensure that the water runs off because spring flowering plants do not like to have their feet in water.
2. Pruning, trimming and potting
Spring is the right time to prune plants: most shrubs and perennials should be pruned before they come to life and the first fresh shoots appear. Why prune? To revive growth and obtain a more abundant bloom or to simplify the structure of a shrub by cutting branches that grow in all directions.
You will of course remove moss and weeds that have colonized the planters and pots. Be sure to pull them out by the root, rather than just cutting them off at the surface.
If necessary, repot plants that are cramped in larger pots. This is also the time to take out the plants stored in the basement or garage for the winter.
3. Planting the spring messengers
Spring is the season of colors. Choose plants and shrubs that bloom early and colorfully. The forsythia, for example, is one of the classic precursors to the New Year in the balcony. Broom and some ornamental cherry trees are also early bloomers.
Typical spring messengers, such as crocuses, daffodils, hyacinths, tulips and clustered mini-jacinths, are also planted in March. Forced bulbs purchased from nurserymen will bloom before their fall planted counterparts (bulbs).
In principle, early flowering plants combine very well with each other. However, make sure to respect the planting distances (min. 5 cm) in order to give each plant enough room to grow and not to interfere with each other.
4. Welcoming animals
The breeding season for many bird species begins in March-April. With nest boxes, you can provide them with a suitable place to build their nests. These should be placed in well-protected areas that are not too crowded. And to prevent predators from approaching the brood, place them at a minimum height of two and a half meters. Don’t forget that nesting boxes must be cleaned every winter!
You can also attract insects (ladybugs, lacewings, bees, etc.) by installing insect hotels, preferably in a sunny location and protected from wind and rain.
5. Decorate your green oasis
Soon, outdoor relaxation breaks and socializing will be back. Beyond the essential chairs, tables and seats, what will make these moments magical will be all the little decorative details that you will add and the atmosphere that you will manage to create.
Generally speaking, window boxes attract attention mainly because of the plants that grow in them. But decorative elements can also be eye-catching. Let your imagination run wild!
Don’t forget the string lights, lanterns, candles and candle holders to light up your long evenings outside.
Is everything settled? Then spring can come!