Many apartment gardeners hate their outdoor floors. Fortunately there are several options for the balcony container gardener when it comes to spicing up the floors of their flower gardens and vegetable gardens.
1. Decking. Decking squares that latch together are probably the best option for apartment balcony gardeners. These decking squares can be placed on any sized apartment balcony. Purchase a set and latch them together according to instructions to cover as much floor space as you’d like. The decking is raised off the balcony floor slightly, which will preserve the integrity of the material below it (that will make your landlord happy!). The decking squares will also make the balcony feel more like a cozy, homey deck than a sterile apartment balcony.
2. Fake grass. You may think that fake grass would look odd on a balcony, but fake (or real) grass can be popular, especially with dog owners. Make sure that the grass is up off the ground. Never let your dog urinate on a patch of grass not above a dog “potty patch,” "porch potty" or something created specifically for pet dogs to eliminate on. You don’t want water, urine or other waste leaking through to your balcony floor.
Fake grass dog potty patches are easy to clean, and some even clean themselves by rinsing themselves with water that then drains off the side of the balcony. These potty patch systems provide an attractive solution for apartment residents. The potty patch will allow you to let your dog out without having to take him or her for a walk every time. It will also help you train your dog to use only grassy areas for elimination. For those of you without dogs, if you choose to put down grass, make sure the material is not directly on the balcony floor. If the balcony gets wet, it will compromise the floor material, whether it is concrete or something else. When any material stays wet on the apartment balcony floor for long periods of time, it will invite pest insects, molds and smells. Install grass correctly so you don’t have a headache later on.
3. Paint. If your apartment management allows you to paint the balcony floor surface, you may want a bright, bold color, or you can get paints that imitate the look of stone or other natural materials.
If you do decide to paint, make sure the paint is appropriate for outdoor floor areas and for the material you're painting on. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions and be careful to not inhale toxic paint fumes.
4. Outdoor rugs. Outdoor rugs can be expensive, and, unfortunately, they can compromise the floor of your apartment balcony. If the balcony floor stays wet for any period of time, it can damage the floor (this is also why you should keep plant containers off the floor). If your floor is concrete, it may crack if it stays wet during periods of temperature fluctuation (freezing and warmer temperatures). Never glue a carpet to the floor. You may get in trouble with your apartment management for damaging the floor (you do want your deposit back, don’t you?). Outdoor rugs can be appropriate on apartment balconies with awnings. These rugs shouldn’t get wet with rain or snow. Just make sure you don’t spill too much water on them while watering any container plants you may have in your balcony garden (and definitely don’t put plant containers on top of your expensive rug!).
You can choose to leave your apartment balcony floor as-is or choose one of these four options to spice up your home. No matter your choice, you can create a beautiful apartment garden. Just check with management to make sure you are not violating any rules and choose your flooring wisely.