GROWING VEGETABLES IN POTS ON BALCONY

Have you ever imagined how fun and beneficial growing vegetables in posts on balcony can me? With our current way of living where we have buildings and houses all over makes it hard to have your own spacious garden to grow your vegetables of choice. Does not having a garden mean that you should not enjoy as much as the person who has it? I’m sure that you have been thinking or have started thinking of how you can make better use of your unutilized balcony. Well, it’s time you started growing vegetables in pots on your balcony. What I’m about to share in this post are very simple tips about everything you need to know on how you can make use of your balcony growing vegetables. Following through to the end will give you all the information at one place that could have taken you so much time gathering small bits of it elsewhere.

with the ideal soil preparation and the timely planting of vegetables , glowing vegetables in pots in balcony can be effective and productive.

Why is growing vegetables in pots on balcony becoming necessary?

Due to increased population and urbanization, more and more people are moving into condominiums or apartments. The one important thing that most of this people seem to be missing is land for gardening. Yet, growing a vegetable garden on a balcony is not all that difficult, and you can simply have a useful and fruitful balcony vegetable garden. Vegetable gardens aren’t just for homeowners with yards anymore, as you can plant a wide range of vegetables on your apartment patio or balcony.

Benefits of growing vegetables in pots on balcony

  1. Eating healthy: Every time the doctors are talking about eating right and getting in shape. Some say we are what we eat. You will have fresh vegetables every time. The vegetables you will consume will be free from chemicals used to grow vegetables in large scale farming. They will also be free from pesticides, preservatives, and many more chemicals used in the vegetables we buy from food stores. Additionally, vegetables from your balcony will always have very high nutrition value. This is because they are grown in small scale hence absorbing max nutrients from the soil.
  2. Saves you money: Growing vegetables in pots on balcony will save you a trip to the grocery store. What does a trip to the grocery store mean? Spending money of course. In this day and age we always take any opportunity we get that saves us some money. This is a good way to add an extra coin to your savings. Making use of your balcony will reduce the amount of vegetables you get from the store. How fun can that be?
  3. Useful and beautiful balcony: In most cases a balcony is an empty place we use to relax as we enjoy a cool breeze. I want you to think of it in a different way. What if you had some tomatoes growing in pots on it? What a brilliant way to bring your balcony back to life – you will have a very beautifully colored balcony and at the same time making use of the space that was initially not so useful to you.

Best container for growing vegetables on balcony

Generally, the containers be it pots, trays or planters, that is intended to hold fruit or vegetable plants should be at least 40 cm deep. This applies to fruit and vegetables such as tomatoes, eggplants, peppers and so on.

When it comes to shallow-rooted or even fast-growing vegetable varieties such as lettuce and radishes, 20 cm of potting soil is generally enough. It’s important to line your pot or planter with soil specially designed for vegetables, as normal potting soil usually does not contain enough nutrients.

Note: Fruiting shrubs will require a container measuring at least 50 cm in both depth and width.

How do I prepare my balcony vegetable garden?

The first step in growing vegetables in pots on balcony or patio is to put a large container on your balcony. Fill the container with soil that is rich with nutrients to make sure you harvest highly nutritious vegetables. Make sure you put a few holes in the bottom of the container for drainage of excess water. You will also need something under the container to catch the excess water that flows out.

Considerations for growing vegetables in pots on balcony

These are some of the things you will want to consider before you plant anything on your balcony. Some of them might sound so obvious but are very important in order to avoid getting frustrated latter.

  • Rules: Some landlords or housing agents have specific rules about planting on the balcony like what you can and can’t grow on your balcony. Always make sure to check the rules and guidelines before you begin planting. There’s no point of working so hard to create a beautiful garden only for it to be removed because it’s against the rules.
  • Weight: Clusters of containers can get heavy. It’s very important to consider how much weight your balcony can support. If you are in doubt choose lighter plastic pots over heavier terracotta or stone alternatives. Make sure that the heaviest pots are positioned closer to load-bearing walls or over supporting joists.
  • Wind: The higher your balcony is, the stronger the wind is likely to be. Not all plants do well in exposed windy conditions. So it’s important to choose accordingly. Never the less, windbreaks like netting or reed screens are very effective in reducing the strength of the wind and will also create an attractive backdrop. You could also decide to use wind-tolerant plants like most grasses and bamboo to create a natural windbreak for the plants that are sensitive to strong wind.
  • Light: Like any other garden, the balcony garden is not in exception when it comes to light. It’s important to consider how much direct sunshine your balcony gets each day. Most of these vegetables that you will plant will require at least 6-8 hours of direct sunlight a day. It is easy to overlook this, so take the time to record exactly where sunlight falls and at what time of day. Even if your balcony is predominantly shady, you don’t have to worry because you also have options: try salad leaves, spinach, kale, carrots and well-behaved soft fruits such as strawberries or compact varieties of raspberry.
  • Exposure: Cold temperatures can be an issue for plants on exposed balconies, while on the flipside; sun-warmed walls will slowly release their heat over night to create something of a protective microclimate. Nevertheless, it’s safest to work on the assumption that a balcony will be a few degrees colder than ground level. Ensure good drainage so that pots don’t become waterlogged then freeze solid.
  • Water: Equally, be on hand to water frequently in hot, dry weather conditions. The combination of sun and wind can dry out pots with very high speed after watering. I know you could have less time to water frequently. You don’t have to worry about that because you can install a drip irrigation system. This will ensure that your plants have just the right amount of water they need.

Now that you have completed these steps of preparing and setting up your balcony garden, you are now ready to start planting.

But which are the best kinds of vegetables to plant in your new balcony garden? Here are some plants that are easy to grow and will thrive in your patio garden.

Which vegetables can I grow in pots on my balcony?

Growing vegetables in pots on balcony can be very simple. What you need to understand before planting is the different options you have, how to plant and the conditions they need to grow well. Below is a list of 13 of the easy and fast growing vegetables you can grow in pots on your balcony.

  1. Tomatoes. Definitely, tomatoes are the easiest to grow. If your balcony receives ample sun of at least 5-6 hours, you can grow tomatoes. For tomatoes, you will want to choose a large pot that is at least 12 inches deep. On a limited space, you could also try cherry tomatoes for higher harvest.
  2. Eggplant. For growing eggplant, choose a pot that is 12 inches deep and wide to provide sufficient space. Eggplant is a very productive vegetable and can fruit heavily if you provide it with at least 6-8 hours of direct sunlight daily.

Similarly, it is a heavy feeder just like tomatoes, therefore requires regular fertilizing. You have to provide support to plant by means of staking or caging. Simply poke a stick in the pot to help the plant when it starts to look lean.

  1. Radishes. Radishes are some of the fastest growing vegetables. They are also very suitable for container vegetable gardening as you can also grow them in small pots. A pot that is 6 inches deep is enough. But for larger varieties, use 10 inches deep pots. You can plant radishes closely, allow 2 inches of space between each plant in a wide container. In 24-60 days, radishes are ready for the harvest, depending on the variety you planted.
  2. Beans. Most of the beans varieties are climbers and are really simple to grow. You can grow them on your balcony near a wall and within weeks, you will get a green wall of a climber running up through soft tendrils over the trellis.

For growing beans you will need a spot that receives the sun in plenty, a pot that is at least 12 inches deep and a trellis like structure for support. Since beans fix the nitrogen most of the vegetables that require more nitrogen are good to grow with them.

  1. Lettuce. Growing lettuce in pots is easy. They grow very fast and you can harvest repeatedly. Lettuce is a cool season vegetable and you must decide what is the right time to plant according to your climate, usually, seeds are started in spring. But if you live in a warm climate, you can grow lettuce in winter. For growing lettuce, choose a wide planter rather than a deep one. Leave space of 4-7 inches between each plant. Also note that leaf lettuces can be grown more closely than head lettuces. Use well-draining soil and do low and frequent watering to keep the soil slightly moist always.
  2. Cucumber. Cucumbers are some of the easy container vegetables to grow.  They require regular watering, full sun, warm temperature, and fertilizer. If you have enough space, instead of growing short and bushier varieties, grow tall climbing varieties for higher harvest.
  3. Peppers and Chilies. After tomatoes, peppers and chilies are other easiest to grow in containers and they are very productive too. If you keep the pot in a sunny spot and provide right soil and fertilizer, pepper and chilies will fruit regularly. The pot should be 12 inches deep.
  4. Carrots. Choose carrot varieties that are short rather than the standard ones as they require more room to grow their roots. Choose containers that are deep enough to provide room to roots. Carrots are easy to grow in pots if you choose a right variety. Keep the plants in full sun and water them regularly to keep the soil slightly moist, avoid overwatering.
  5. Peas. Peas require moist soil and cool to moderate weather to do well. All varieties are suitable for container gardening. A pot that is 6-12 inches deep is enough. You can grow 4-6 plants in a 12 inches wide container. Keep the potted plants in the partial sun if reach to full sunlight is not possible.
  6. Beets. Growing beetroots in containers on a balcony is easy. It is a very fast growing crop and you don’t need a large container for planting it. Just a medium sized container that is 8-10 inches deep is enough. The soil you use must be permeable and rich in compost.
  7. Spinach. The rich, hearty flavor of crispy young spinach leaves lends well to salads, both cooked and raw. And the best part, growing spinach in pots is one of the easiest things. It is certainly one of the best Green Leafy Vegetables you can grow.
  8. Celery. This popular low-calorie vegetable is good to go in your salads. It’s good for weight watchers and helps improve digestion; celery is a member of the same family that includes carrots, parsnips, and parsley. Like other green vegetables, celery is also not difficult to grow. Choose a pot or a planter that is at least 8 inches deep. Keep the soil moist and regularly feed with liquid fertilizer.
  9. Kales. It’s the most beloved leafy green. Kale, adds color, texture, and nutrition to meals. Its thick, dark-green leaves are fortified with vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber. The best part is it’s effortless to grow in your balcony or patio. You can plant up to 2 kale plants in a standard 12 inches pot. Actually, growing kales in your balcony is a great way to ensure a fresh and constant supply of this delicious green all year long.

Conclusion

As you have seen in the steps of preparation to options of what to plant, growing vegetables in pots on balcony is no rocket science. This is something you can do at your free time at home and have fun doing it – the end result will be a happy you consuming fresh vegetables from your balcony garden.