How Can You Create a Functional Herb Garden on a Small City Balcony Using Vertical Space?

Urban living often implies a trade-off between the conveniences of the city and the luxuries of space, especially when it comes to your garden. But we’re here to tell you that you don’t have to give up your gardening passion simply because you live in a tiny apartment. By using vertical space creatively, you can grow your own lush herb garden right on your city balcony. With a bit of planning, some DIY skills, and the right plants, you can transform a small outdoor space into a green oasis.

The Vertical Approach to Small Space Gardening

The vertical approach cleverly leverages the walls and railings of balconies, allowing you to cultivate a garden in an otherwise small area. This method is not only efficient but also an aesthetic way to showcase your love for plants.

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Selecting the Right Wall Planters

Your choice of planters will have a significant impact on the success of your vertical garden. Wall-mounted planters, hanging baskets, and vertical pouch systems are great options for small spaces. They’re compact, easy to install, and don’t consume much room.

When choosing planters, consider factors such as the size of your balcony, the weight your balcony wall can support, and the type of herbs you plan to grow. A good rule of thumb is to opt for planters with sufficient depth to allow the roots to grow comfortably.

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Materials like terracotta, plastic, and metal are commonly used. Terracotta is a classic choice, offering excellent drainage but is heavy. Plastic planters are lightweight and inexpensive but may not provide as good drainage. Metal planters have a modern look and are lightweight, but they can heat up in direct sunlight, potentially damaging the roots.

Positioning Your Planters

When it comes to positioning your planters, it’s essential to keep in mind the sunlight requirements of your herbs. Some herbs like basil and rosemary thrive in full sunlight, while others like parsley and mint prefer partial shade.

Try to place your planters in a way that allows all your plants to get their required amount of sunlight. You might want to consider a modular system that lets you move individual planters around, or use hanging planters that you can easily reposition.

Choosing and Growing Your Herbs

The thrill of a herb garden is growing your own fresh and flavourful herbs that will transform your cooking. When deciding what herbs to plant, consider what you frequently use in your cooking.

Herb Selection

Herbs like basil, rosemary, thyme, parsley, mint, and oregano are popular choices for an urban herb garden. These herbs not only smell and taste great but are also relatively easy to grow, making them excellent for beginners.

Planting and Care

Once you’ve decided on the herbs, it’s time to start planting. You can either start from seeds or buy young plants from a nursery. If you’re a beginner, starting with young plants is advisable as they’re more likely to survive.

When planting, fill your planters with high-quality potting soil, plant your herbs, and water them thoroughly. Most herbs prefer well-draining soil, so make sure your planters have drainage holes to prevent waterlogging.

Caring for your herbs involves regular watering, occasional feeding with organic fertilizer, and pruning to encourage bushy growth. Remember, each herb has its specific care requirements, so make sure to do your research.

DIY Vertical Garden Ideas

For those of you who love DIY projects, creating your own vertical garden can be a rewarding experience.

Pallet Garden

One of the simplest and most cost-effective ways to create a vertical garden is by using a wooden pallet. Just fill the spaces with soil and plant your herbs in between. Make sure to secure the soil with a landscape fabric to prevent it from spilling out.

Hanging Jars

Another creative idea is to use hanging mason jars as planters. This not only saves space but also adds a unique aesthetic element to your balcony.

Making the Most of Your Vertical Garden

Creating a vertical garden on your city balcony will not only give you a supply of fresh herbs but also provide a calming green space where you can relax. Remember, the key to a flourishing vertical garden is proper planning, careful plant selection, regular care, and a bit of creativity.

Nurturing the Growth of Your Herb Garden

In your quest for vertical gardening, taking the right steps towards nurturing the growth of your herbs is crucial. Unlike typical gardens that spread horizontally, vertical gardens demand a little extra care due to the arrangement of plants and limited space available for their roots to spread.

When watering your herbs, ensure you do it evenly across all plants. Most herbs require watering once the soil is dry to touch. However, it’s crucial to avoid overwatering, which can lead to root rot. The size of your planters and the type of soil used will also affect watering needs.

Fertilizing your herb garden is another essential aspect to ensure your plants flourish. Use an organic fertilizer to feed your plants, as chemical fertilizers can affect the flavour of the herbs. The frequency of feeding can vary depending on the type of herbs, but a monthly routine is often recommended.

Monitoring your plants for pests and diseases is another aspect of nurturing your growing plants. Look out for common signs of infections like discoloration, spots on leaves, or wilting. Use eco-friendly pest control methods to avoid damaging your plants or altering the taste of your herbs.

Remember to prune your herbs regularly to stimulate growth. Pruning not only helps your plants grow bushier but also encourages the production of new leaves that you can harvest.

Reaping the Benefits of Your Herb Garden

Having worked diligently on your balcony garden, it’s rewarding to reap the benefits. Your herb garden is not just a source of fresh, organic, and flavorful herbs for your kitchen, but also a green oasis in your outdoor space.

Regularly harvesting your herbs can stimulate their growth. When harvesting, cut the top leaves, allowing the bottom leaves to receive more sunlight. Most herbs are best when harvested just before flowering, as this is when their flavor is most potent.

But the benefits of a vertical herb garden go beyond cooking. The presence of greenery can improve the air quality, reduce stress, and create a calming environment. Plus, you have the satisfaction of nurturing life and watching it grow from your apartment, despite the limited space.

The vertical garden revolutionizes urban living, proving that lack of space is no barrier to growing your own garden. Whether it be in the form of tower gardens, hanging herb gardens, or a DIY vertical wall, the options are endless for city dwellers passionate about gardening.


Urban living doesn’t have to limit your green thumb ambitions. With vertical gardening, it’s entirely possible to have a flourishing herb garden in your small city balcony. From selecting the right planters and positioning them to choosing your herbs and taking care of them, every step contributes to creating a thriving garden in a limited space.

And the reward? A constant supply of fresh herbs right from your balcony, adding flavor to your meals and a touch of nature to your apartment living. So, why not use that outdoor space to create a green haven that defies the constraints of city living? With a little creativity, planning, and care, you can create a vertical garden that brings the serenity of nature into your urban abode.

Remember, gardening is a journey, not a destination. Whether you’re a seasoned gardener or a novice, creating an urban balcony herb garden is a rewarding and enriching experience, one that nurtures not only plants but also the gardener’s soul. So, roll up your sleeves and let your vertical gardening adventure begin!