how do u clean the FLOOR of your balcony from dirt, water etc?

Lynn NevinsApril 15, 2012

I just moved to a 4th floor apartment with a balcony and so am new to the world of balcony gardening (before this I had a yard). I have to do all my potting-up on this balcony, and so often I have water on the floor mixed with bits of potting soil etc. I don't have the option of just throwing a bucket of water on the floor and letting it all runoff, because of the neighbors below.

So...I was thinking of getting a handheld wet/dry vac. I don't suppose anyone else here does that and could recommend a model that would work for this purpose? I did already search the itnernet for reviews but it seems the more powerful ones are CANISTER style and they can hold a few gallons of liquid. That's far too big for me.

And when I found reviews for the HANDHELD models, it seemed most people bought them to clean up in their cars, around the baby's highchair etc. But I need to know that a HANDHELD model is capable of picking up small amounts of 'mud'. Any input or other suggestions on how I can tackle this cleanup problem?

Tku!

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squidy(8a)

I just moved into an apartment too. I've just been scooping up most of the gunk with a dustpan and a stiff brush, then waiting for the floor to dry and sweeping whatever remains off the edge.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2012 at 4:55PM
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lindasewandsew(So Cal 9)

Habitat for Humanity Restores and similar salvage stores sell every size of sinks, including very small bar sinks.I don't know how large your balcony is, but you can buy or build a table, potting bench or cabinet of any size and cut a hole in it for a sink. The hardware to hook up a faucet to a hose if you have one and add a drain pipe that empties into a bucket or other container is cheap. That would prevent the grog from hitting the floor in the first place. If there's no room for a small table, you can build a simple frame to support the sink. There are photos and instructions all over the web on how to build them including a lot of them on the GW Garden Junk forum. Anyone with simple carpenter skills can build one.

The link below is my potting shed, built by my son a few years ago to fit on the pad that used to hold the pool filter and pump. Hubby and I added the shelves and sink inside. The sink with the faucet attached cost $10 at Restore. The inside of this shed is 63" wide and 27" deep to give you an idea how small the sink is. These sinks come in porcelain, but the stainless sink probably weighs about 3 pounds, faucet included.

Here is a link that might be useful: My potting shed

    Bookmark   April 18, 2012 at 1:36AM
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rina_

Linda is right & the photos are great help.
(Great looking 'shed' Linda!)

If you don't have water/drain line on the balcony, just leave the drain open & put a bucket under, so anything spilled will fall into a bucket-easy to reuse/dispose off. You can still close drain with a stopper while potting or watering/washing. Even small sink will be very handy.

You can also cut another piece of board to put over the sink after finished, creating additional storage space (when not using), since I am sure space is at premium on the balcony.

I re-used my old laundry tub and piece of old kitchen counter same way; it's great potting space. I have it behind garage, so have more room. Actually I like it so much, I am just about to add second laundry tub - one for water, another for soil. I left drain open, so any spilled soil or water is used in the garden or in the compost bin. I also have a top for it (hinged to the garage wall behind-but that's not necessary), so it looks pretty neat when not in use.

Rina

    Bookmark   April 18, 2012 at 8:10AM
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Lynn Nevins

Thanks for the sink idea but there is no water line out there and my balcony is 3�4" x 11� more or less.

Anyway, I tried looking for a handheld wet/dry vac that would be strong enough to pick up mud, but most reviews implied that handhelds were only good for dry crumbs or pure liquid, but not heavy mud. And a more powerful wet/dry vac would have been too big and so I wouldn�t have the space for it.

So�.my current plan is just to have a second dry mop sponge intended for use just on my balcony. When I want to clean my balcony floor I will just switch off my �indoor dry mop sponge� and screw on my �outdoor sponge� onto my mop handle. That�s what I�ll do to clean up any water/dirt/mud and then I�ll just have to squeeze it out into my bathtub (the nature of living in a small space�I don�t have a floor bucket as that too would take up precious space, so I always just squeeze my mop into the tub, making trips back and forth, and then clean the tub when I�m done! ;-)

And then I ordered an inexpensive goza (tatami) type mat that�s thin and can simply be rolled up when not in use. I�ll lay this on the floor of the balcony whenever I want to be able to just walk out from my apartment in bare feet.

That was the most effective easiest plan I could come up with while ensuring I didn�t add too much �stuff� that would create storage/space issues�.

Here is a link that might be useful: Goza mat

    Bookmark   April 18, 2012 at 12:19PM
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