21 answers

Can I Grow Vegetables on My Balcony?

Hi Moms
I want to start planting my own vegetables but I do not have a backyard. Can I grow my vegetable on my balcony. Can someone help me get started?

4 moms found this helpful

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Featured Answers

Hi T.-

I planted tomatoes and cucumbers in a pot for the first time this year. They are doing great. As long as you have a sunny spot to put the pot in , they should do great. There are a few things that you have to do to the pot to get good drainage, you can google all sorts of information about that. Happy Gardening!!

Lots of good advice here. There is also the EarthBox. We were given one as a gift and have tomatoes growing this summer. It is not completely organic, however; it requires fertilizer. Comes with everything you need except plants and has excellent directions. You can use it for planting almost anything. I have a friend who has several on a balcony.

http://www.earthbox.com

J.

More Answers

You've gotten a lot of great advise already.....I just wanted to add that the Topsy Turvy way of planting reequires a very very strong hook. I tried two of them this year and I'll be buy more next year, they work great!!

Yes, I am doing so for the second year in a row. I have had a lot of luck with fresh herbs - fresh cilantro, parsley, chives & mint grown from seeds. Found I had better luck this year buying green peppers and tomato plants that were already seeded in a little pot at the store - just transferred them to bigger pots & they're doing great. You also have to be sure to put stakes in & tie with twisty ties as they get bigger...

It's too late in the season for tomatoes, but you could do basil right now - try to buy it big - and chives - chives are hardy all year. You might even do zucchini and cucumbers if you get them in right away. I've grown zucchini in a planter and it did very well.

In September, you can plant beets, lettuce, radishes, spinach and chard - they are all cold weather vegetables. if you put them in the first week of September, they will be fine into October, even November. Then you can plant them again in March. You can buy bush tomatoes or cherry tomatoes for a planter next year - these are hybrid specifically for container gardening or small gardens. You can put a cherry tomato in a hanging planter and it will vine. Now they have hanging upside down planters for tomatoes - my neighbor has one - I haven't seen how his tomato is doing, but I'm going to check it out.

Kind of late in the year to get started planting veggies but yes you can plant veggies in pots or tomatoes, pepper and cucumbers can be grown upside down in a Topsy Turvy or one you make yourself. http://honestinfomercialreviews.com/home/plant-and-garden...
I plant both patio tomatoes in pots and up side down. I use to do cucumbers in pots. There are seeds you can by to grown cucumbers to pots. the vines are not as spread out but the cucumbers are the same size. Green and hot peppers I do in pots. You can grow lettuce in pots also. The one thing you need to remember when planting veggies in pots is they need regular watering and need to be fertilized. I use miracle grow. Also make sure to mix good soil with peat moss and some sand to get good drainage in each pot.
I saw they still had some patio tomatoes for sale at Walmart but most other veggies needed to be started in the Spring. Start planning for next year. There is lots of information on line.
Good Luck.

Do you have sun? Then yes you can grow veggies & herbs on your balcony. There are books available on container gardening. It helps to know things like how much sun plants need or how large of a container they need.

You can also use an Earth box (www.earthbox.com) Our local park district uses Earth boxes in the children's garden.

Good luck!

T.,
Yes! you can grow vegetables from your balcony. Depending on the size you are working with, you can either plant them in individual terracotta pots or larger planter box. I would avoid using plastic containers due the potential of BPA being in them. You want to use a container that can drain (holes in bottom)

Easiest to grow are tomatoes, bell peppers (though it is getting late to plant as they take a few months to mature). Cucumber bush plants that are made for containers. Any herb will grow great.. basil, cilantro, sage..

Any plant that grow vines (likes squash, eggplant, etc, don't usually do well because they run out of room to grow).
You need to water daily and make sure the plants get a lot of sunlight. Also, make sure you start with actual plants instead of seeds, unless you plant in early summer. Ideally, start your garden in June so it has many monthes of warm weather to grow and enjoy!

I don't see why you can't. I don't have a balcony but I have a patio, no real yard. I have in hanging baskets, in one cucumbers and I have had three grow and and harvested two of them and more growing. In another hanging basket I have two cherry tomato plants which are producing tons of tomatoes. I have in six different planters, Three snap beans (in one), green peppers, early girl tomatoes, grape tomatoes, big beef tomatoes, and in a big barrel planter I have six broccoli plants. All of them are bearing fruit, I have harvested broccoli, cucumbers, grape tomatoes, early girl tomatoes and snap beans. The hanging baskets are not the topsy turvys they are actual baskets with coconut husk liners. I have in troughs hanging from my fence, basil, oregano, chives, dill, lemon balm and lemon verbena, oh and some bibb lettuce.

I was amazed at how much I could grow and would do well in pots and planters. I have always done peppers and tomatoes. This year I wanted to experiment and so I tried the cukes and tomatoes in the hanging baskets, the snap beans, broccoli and lettuce. It has been fun and well worth the time put into it. My kids love picking the tomatoes from the vines and eating them.

Good luck in whatever you try and keep me posted on your progress. I'd like to know if you try something I haven't and know how it works out for you. I might just try it next year.

Take care,
G.

We grow veggies on our porch. We LOVE the EarthBox. Go to their website and check it out! It is very cool. It is probably too late for you to start this year, but maybe next year.......Good luck!! SAHM of 1 and 2 yr old

Lots of good advice here. There is also the EarthBox. We were given one as a gift and have tomatoes growing this summer. It is not completely organic, however; it requires fertilizer. Comes with everything you need except plants and has excellent directions. You can use it for planting almost anything. I have a friend who has several on a balcony.

http://www.earthbox.com

J.

I have several things in pots this year, and here's a couple things I learned. Potting soil isn't good for adult plants. I left a tomato plant in potting soil in a 10" diameter pot and it grew some but never flowered. My herbs did much better in other pots with a mix of dark dirt from my yard, some cotton bur mulch, potting soil and worm-tailing plant food.
Put an inch or two of gravel in the bottom of the pot and make sure there are drainage holes. Roots want moisture but they don't want to sit in water all summer.

Sure you can! I grew veggies on my apartment balcony for years before we moved to a place where I could have a egular garden. Best luck with tomatoes, sweet peppers and pole beans.

1) Get a few of those big extra deep plastic buckets from someplace like Home Depot (contractors use them for plastering,etc.)

2) Use a mallet and a big screwdriver and poke a hole in the bottom of each one.

3) Use a good quality potting soil - NOT topsoil, which won't retain enough moisture in the bucket. Fill part-way and get bedding plants for your tomatoes and peppers. For the tomatoes,look at the labels. Any kind will grow in a pot, but some work better than others. Cherry tomatoes are great if you don't have much space. Plant them and put them in the sunniest spot you have. Get some tomato cages or poles to stake them up on once they've started to grow.

4) For the pole or bush beans, buy a seed packet and just follow the instructions. If you do pole beans, buy some bamboo poles and when the plants appear, stick them into the bucket, so the beans have something to climb. Ask at a garden center which variety to get - Blue Lake is a good one- as some produce only once a season, but others will keep producing beans all summer, as long as you pick them.

Just make sure to keep the soil soil moist, not soaked and get plenty of sun. You can also get a fertilizer to feed them once in a while. My son is 10 now and we garden together and it is great! Hopefully you and your little one will be out picking beans and tomatoes for a long time to come!

Hey T.:
Good for you for wanting to eat healthier. Sure you can grow potted plants on your balcony, as long as they get half a day of sun. But, the growing season typically is 70 days so most planting should be done by the end of May. You can still grow herbs, even in your home on a sunny windowsill! I've been growing veggies for a long time and it is now a fun tradition for my children who just pick and eat. Tomatoes would be the best but it is late now unless you went to a nursery who had older plants.

Hope you're eating healthier too by eating plenty of fresh fruits that are in season and veggies too - especially greens! I am a firm believer in probiotics and I can't tell the extra extra benefits for you, especially since you are pregnant! I'd love to share more with you if interested. Take care of yourself and happy planting. Enjoy the summer's best foods.

K.
Wellness Consultant

You got some great advice but one word of caution. If you live in a condo building, check the rules. My friends cousin put a bunch of plants out and got fined. She had too many "per association rules". Also, watch the weight. Once you put in the dirt and water and such, it can weigh things down. This suggestion was in the home section of the paper a few weeks ago.

Hi T.-

I planted tomatoes and cucumbers in a pot for the first time this year. They are doing great. As long as you have a sunny spot to put the pot in , they should do great. There are a few things that you have to do to the pot to get good drainage, you can google all sorts of information about that. Happy Gardening!!

Yes! It's really not that hard. We do have a garden, but we knew we were going to move this summer so we put everything in pots. One of the easiest things to start with is tomatoes, and you can actually plant them in the same pot as herbs, such as basil, oregano or chives (so a nice salad all in one pot!). We also put beets and peppers in pots, and so far, so good. It's important to get sun and not too much water, and if you do tomatoes, putting a cage around them is a good idea (to give them some support as they grow). I'm sure there are some great sites for container gardening, but I just wanted to let you know it's not that hard and you just need enough space for a pot (probably 10-12" in diameter). It might be late in the season to grow a lot, but if you want to experiment, then go for it.
Good luck,

Jen

Yes, we are! We have the hanging upside down tomato plants that are doing great. We are growing green beans, peppers, and zucchini, but those are doing ok. We also have an herb garden of basil, rosemary, thyme and cilantro (just made homemade pesto yesterday!). Herbs are easy and great. Also look to see what kind of shade you get on your balcony. Do you get full shade, partial shade or full sun? That will depend on what will grow in your garden. And plant mums near your herbs and other veggies to keep certain bugs away..natural and prettier!

Good Luck,
J. W. MPH

Hi T.,

My husband bought a hanging cherry tomato plant at the farmer's market, and it seems to be doing pretty well on our balcony (which is covered -- it's hanging on the outside edge). As long as you get enough sunlight, you should be fine.

Best,
R.

a bit too late for this year...but yes you can grow an number of veggies and herbs in containers. I have cabbage, lettuce, peppers, broccoli, zucchini,green beans, peas and tomatoes all in pots. Some are quite productive, some only fair yield. Broccoli likes cool weather, if you can get seedlings (already plants)...a 5 gal pot with drainage will hold 2 to 3 plants and will still produce this year. You are only limited by how many pots, the size fo them and how much attention you are willing to spend as to what to grow. there are plenty of books on container gardening to give you hints. Good luck!

Yes you can! I'm a first timer this year to growing my own on my deck and so far so good. I did loose 2 plants but that's ok I accidently overbought in the first place.
I am growing a variety of tomatoes, cucumbers and red peppers. I am using containers for all of the tomatoes and I also have a couple Topsy Turvey planters that I bought at Home Depot. Each container or planter gets only 1 plant so only buy as many plants as you buy planters. I mixed potting soil with topsoil. Just read the package, some types are only meant for a ground garden while others are for container plants - get the stuff for container plants.

yes. i would just take a digital photo of your balcony & take it to Loewes or Home Depot. The specialist there should be able to help u out.

I gave up growing a "garden" a few years ago. All of my veggies are in containers & doing well. I bought some plants already planted in large containers. I put them along my fence, in full sun. I've already picked a dozen or so tomato's. I've also planted some myself. The key is that they almost all need lots of sun. So, if your balcony is in the sun, you should have no problem. I found a place in the far South Suburbs where they have the plants, all potted with the fruit/veggies already on them!

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