Indoor Garden Tips

Updated on May 16, 2014
F.B. asks from Kew Gardens, NY
11 answers

Mamas & Papas-

We live in a 4th story co-op with limited outdoor space (a small balcony), and poor natural light. This year, I put zinnias in planter boxes on the balcony. Any tips or ideas on what foodstuffs I might be able to grow either in pots in the kitchen, or on the balcony. Could I grow a couple of small pots of lettuce or spinach and get enough leaves for a sandwich? Mint for iced tea?

Thanks for your thoughts.
F. B.

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

Featured Answers



answers from Las Vegas on

Both mint and lettuce grow well in pots. Those are the only two things I am growing right now. My friend has a veggie tower garden. See if you can find a sample online, if not I will ask how she did it, just message me.

1 mom found this helpful

More Answers



answers from Chattanooga on

You could do a strawberry tower. (Pinterest has quite a few tutorials in it, but you basically make a tower out of 4 long pieces of wood, run a PVC pipe with holes down the middle for watering, fill with soil, and plant strawberries in holes you put in the tower walls.) you can make it as tall or short as you want.

A topsy-turvy tomato planter.

Peppers do well in planters, as do lettuces.

A small herb garden.

Also, I know you have a young son... I have a friend who bought a used fish tank, and planted carrots around the edges so that you could watch them grow. It was pretty neat, and her kids loved it.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

Yes yes and yes! Put it in a pot and watch it grow. Anything that grows up can grow in a pot indoors.
You may want to get a light for them if you have limited natural light, any gardening store, home depot type store will have one.
I grow all kinds of herbs, lettuce, chives, and more indoors. My friend even plants potatoes in his living room in a barrel! I know crazy right? Another does tomatoes in one of those Topsy Turvy things from the TV...

I say try anything, have fun with it. It doesn't hurt to play and try!


2 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

It you don't get full sun, look for things that people typically can only grow in gardens in the spring, because it's too hot for them in the middle of summer. Things I can think of:

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Anchorage on

I live in a condo with only a small upstairs balcony. I have done tomatoes successfully, and was able to get a few baby squash with a vertical growth. Mint should to well, as well as any other herbs you might use.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Honolulu on

Does the balcony get sunlight?

Some ideas that are easy to grow in pots:
Green onions
Any and most herbs
Pole Beans

Don't use small 6" pots.
Get bigger, pots.
ie: like at least 24" round pots or rectangle pots. Rectangle pots can be used around the perimeter of your balcony.
And get soil bags.
And planter bottoms to catch the water.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Milwaukee on

B., for a minute I thought my sister was posting! She & her hubs lived in a 4th floor walk-up condo in Chicago, & had a private balcony, plus shared space on the rooftop.

They were successful in growing tomatoes & peppers in containers, as well as lettuce (used a rubbermaid bin)

Take a look at this site for more information about how to be successful with container gardening for veggies, & happy harvesting! T.

ETA: Regarding the Topsy Turvy, some people have great results, us not so much. They can be pretty cheap at some of the home centers. My suggestion is to try it & see how it goes, but plant the same in a regular container. That way, you have a backup in case it doesn't work. My husband was excited & bought 20 of them last year. We harvested 3 cherry tomatoes. That was it! =-)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Salinas on

Our garden area is a long way from the kitchen so I have a container herb garden on our upper deck. A few different pots in varying sizes with cilantro, basil, mint, catnip, italian parsley, sage, thyme. Throw in some borage and lavender for color and to attract bees. It looks cute and I use the herbs daily.

Cherry tomatoes, strawberries and green onions also do great in pots.

Have fun!



answers from Boise on

If grown for roots and fruits- needs lots of sun, so if indeed the light is poor, carrots like someone mentioned are out. Peas can do ok with part shade, and certainly leafy veggies. Also some herbs, cilantro and parsley come to mind. Someone else mentioned most herbs, well....most herbs like sun, so you have to know which ones like shade.


answers from Washington DC on

the lettuce or spinach will probably work, but the yield will be so tiny that it could be discouraging. seriously only enough for a sandwich here and there. i love the idea of upside down tomato pots but haven't had much luck with 'em myself. they might actually be easier inside, though, as they're difficult to water and that would actually work better for an indoor pot.
your best bet is probably herbs. they're not picky, smell delightful and are useful all summer long. but if you'd really like a few salad plants, it might be worth investing in a small grow light.
happy gardening!
:) khairete


answers from Grand Forks on

I would do a potted cherry tomato plant and some potted herbs (oregano, chives, rosemary, basil and parsley)..

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions