We make even better use of our limited balcony space with railing planters.
One of the things that has really surprised me since starting balcony gardening is that there aren’t that many products out that there that are specifically suited to railings. Sure, there are tons of pots, and you can find windowboxes to sit on ledges or be screwed to a wall but when it comes to chunky metal railings, you’re not quite as lucky.
They’re deep and self-watering, with a reservoir at the bottom, and you can pack plenty of soil in. This isn’t always the case for containers, and it’s a real bonus as it means the plants have more room to put their roots down, and won’t need watering as often. They’ll also have access to more nutrients, and I’ve used a good layer of horse manure in the bottom of these to feed my plants.
They are also thick and strong and their bright colours (and there is a really nice range of different colours, so you could have the brightest balcony in the world, if you fancied) are guaranteed by the manufacturer not to fade.
The planters sit quite securely on the railings. They cannot fall off because each ‘leg’ holds the planter on. I’ve always been slightly wary of coshing my neighbours on the head with an insecure windowbox, so it’s good to have something out there that isn’t able to fall off. They have different notches to fit over thicker and thinner types of railing, too, so they make a pretty snug fit.
And there is an option to drill holes in these planters and tie them to the railings if you’re worried about someone taking them away with your precious plants in. That’s not something we have to worry about when we’re on the top floor, but if you’re putting them along ground level railings, you might want to consider that.
I’ve planted some lovely ranunculus in the big red planter, which really does have a lot of space, and I’ve filled the black round planters with dogwood sticks, ready for purple-podded peas and mangetout which I’m planting this weekend. How very jolly.