Tony O’Neill, gardener and author of the popular “Composting Masterclass” and “Your First Vegetable Garden,” combines lifelong passion and expert knowledge to simplify the art of gardening. His mission? Helping you cultivate a thriving garden. More on Tony O’Neill
You know, gardening can be made very easy. You don’t always have to go outside your house to enjoy the benefits of gardening. Almost any vegetable plant you can think of to grow in a backyard garden will also thrive in your balcony vegetable garden under the right conditions. So, you really should consider vegetable gardening.
Examples of vegetables you could grow on the balcony are the following: Tomatoes, Basil, Beans, Cucumbers, Squash, Radish, and Zucchini, among others. These are recommended because they are easier to care for, and the yield you get is more than enough reward for the work and care you give.
This post shows how to go about planting vegetables on your balcony and taking care of your vegetables and gives tips on making the best of your balcony garden. You will find it interesting and full of information. Just make sure you put your mind to setting up your balcony garden and be sure to get the best out of it.
Tomatoes are possibly the most popular vegetable for any size garden. You can grow tomatoes in hanging baskets or other containers or anywhere they’ll get lots of sun and have support for their stalks.
You can easily grow tomatoes in just about any sized container, depending on the variety of tomatoes you want to grow. The container should be large enough to handle the plant, and you can begin with seeds or starter plants, whichever you prefer. To aid you with this process, I have written a free ebook on tomatoes on the care, growing process, and even the diseases to look out for that may attack these plants.
As an added tip, add a cage to the outside container, giving extra support as the plant gets taller.
For Basil, you’ll need a six-inch planter and fresh potting soil.
Unlike most other plants and vegetables, remember to avoid getting the leaves and stems wet when you water basil.
It’s best to pour water directly onto the soil. They also need to be provided with a bit of direct sunlight every day.
You can grow them on your balcony or rooftop garden near a wall. Beans require lots of sunlight, so be sure to place them appropriately.
A pot minimum of 12 inches deep and a trellis-like structure for support will be adequate.
Growing lettuce on your balcony in pots is easy. It grows up quickly, and you will have the opportunity to harvest repeatedly. Lettuce is a cool-season crop; you must decide the right time for its growth according to your climate. Usually, seeds are started in spring.
In warmer climates, lettuce should be grown in winter.
Many types of lettuce can be grown. You can grow leaf lettuce which is great for a mixed green salad. You can also grow head lettuce such as Romaine or Iceberg. Leaf lettuce refers to varieties that don’t produce any lettuce heads. For growing lettuce, choose a wide planter rather than a deep one. 6″ deep is enough.
Cucumbers are also one of the easy container vegetables. They, however, require regular watering, lots of sun, a warm temperature, and a good fertilizer. A complete growing process is covered in this article of mine on cucumbers that are easy to grow. It also covers other ways of growing cucumbers, plants you can grow with, and harvest them.
To add, be sure to use compost when planting them as well. They are a warm-weather crop that should be planted after the last spring frost.
Growing cucumbers and soil needs
Cucumbers should be planted in well-drained soil and given ample sunlight. Do not let the soil dry out. Cucumbers are about 95 percent water and require regular water for fast, even growth. Too little or inconsistent watering can give cucumbers an odd shape or bitter taste.
After tomatoes, peppers and chilies are the easiest to grow in containers and are highly productive. Bell peppers not only produce heat, but they also love the heat. So be sure to give them adequate sunlight and place them in direct sunlight to get the most sun all day.
Peppers should get 8 hours of sun each day.
Do not plant them until after all threat of frost has passed. If you keep the pot in a sunny spot and provide the right soil and fertilizer at the time, it will give you plenty of harvests. Plant peppers in a large and deep pot that is at least 12 inches deep
Carrots are also easy vegetables to grow, and they can provide lots of yields, given the right conditions and if you choose the right variety.
They regularly require full sun to partial sun and water to moisten the soil. Be careful not to overwater, as this can negatively affect the soil.
Radishes take 24-60 days to harvest, depending on the variety.
For radishes, you need a planter that is 6 inches deep.
If you are growing larger varieties, use 10 inches deep pot. Plant radishes closely, with 2 inches of space between each plant in a wide container.
9. Squash and zucchini
Summer squash is another one of the easiest vegetables to grow. All types of squash grow well in containers, particularly summer squash.
It would be best to start your squash seeds indoors or buy squash seedlings for a quicker harvest. Water your squash regularly and fertilize once a month or so; your squash should do just fine.
Peas require cool to moderate weather with moist soil to thrive. You can grow any variety of peas in a container on your balcony.
However, dwarf bushier varieties are better to grow on your balcony.
A pot that is 6-12 inches deep is enough. The size should depend on the variety you decide to grow. You can grow 4-6 plants in a 12 inches wide container. The plants should receive partial to full sunlight.
Eggplants require sufficient growth space, so choose a 12 inches deep and wide pot. Eggplant is a very productive vegetable if you provide it with the right things.
It requires at least 6-8 hours of direct sun daily. Also, it is a heavy feeder like tomatoes, thus requiring regular fertilizing. You should also provide support to plants through staking or caging.
Growing beetroots in containers on a balcony or terrace are easy. It is a fast-growing crop, so that you can get lots of harvests.
A medium-sized container 8-10 inches deep is sufficient for beetroots.
The soil you use must be permeable and rich in compost.
Spinach grows well in containers. It would help if you planted spinach in an 8-inch container for each plant. Spinach is a bit heat sensitive, so keep it away from direct sunlight to prevent the leaves from wilting.
Take extra precautions during the summer as the pots get warmer, so choose a nice, shady spot to place them on your balcony.
Kale can be planted with limited space and is great for container gardening.
A 20-inch pot will grow about five kale plants. You can freely move them about into the shade or inside out of the cold during winter.
These are not vegetables, but let’s give you this as a bonus. You need herbs when making vegetables anyway.
You can grow many herbs in containers, and rosemary does very well within containers.
Choose potting soil that has peat moss. Put a bit of sand in the bottom of the container for drainage and allow the surface to dry out just a bit between watering intervals. Please don’t allow it to get scorched, however.
Mushrooms are not so popular to grow, but they can be the right choice if you want the extra flavor to add to your food.
Mushrooms are one of the easiest to grow in a container, and you can keep the planter on the porch or balcony.
Many mushrooms will thrive in containers, so you can decide what you want to plant, if you like one or like them all.
17. Collard greens
Collard greens do very well in containers. They require full sunlight, so make sure they get enough during the day. Give them at least six hours of sunlight during the spring and fall. Be careful with the summer sun, though.
Moving the containers from indoors to somewhere slightly shaded during the afternoon would be best.
If you grow collard greens in winter, provide them with artificial sunlight.
Many people might not know, but potatoes do well in containers. They do very well in five-gallon buckets.
You should drill a few holes into the bottom of the bucket before planting so that your potatoes don’t get overwatered.
You can expect to get between one and two pounds of potatoes per bucket, so you may only need to plant a few buckets per growing season.
19. Cole crops
Examples of cole crops include cauliflower, broccoli, and cabbage. These crops are among the easiest vegetables to grow and do very well in containers. It would help to avoid planting many different types in one container.
Ensure your container is at least eight inches deep and about eighteen inches wide.
Choose a container for each cole crop so that they will thrive. Give your cole crops plenty of sunlight every day and ensure that you allow for adequate drainage.
Root plants like turnips are great for growing indoors on the balcony or deck. Ensure your planters are deep enough to allow room for the roots to grow. At least eight inches deep will be good enough.
You also want to ensure enough holes in the bottom of the container for adequate drainage for the turnips.
This is because overwatering will cause plants not to grow properly, so make three or four drainage holes and add gravel to the bottom of the planter to help with drainage.
Onions also grow very well in containers, but they require adequate space.
Choose a planter at least five inches deep, allowing the onion to grow to full bulb size. Allow an inch or so between for growth.
Asparagus may be expensive to get, so why not grow them yourself? You can do so easily in containers on your balcony.
Asparagus is a hardy plant and is low maintenance.
The major thing to handle is that your container is large enough to accommodate the plant as it grows, which will be up as opposed to root plants. Width is more important than length for asparagus, so you can use a shallow planter but ensure the diameter is relatively large. These do very well indoors, so you can sit the planters out on the balcony for a little sunlight daily.
Artichoke hearts are expensive to get. So instead of buying them, you could grow your own on a balcony.
Artichokes grow very well in containers and are low maintenance. Give them just a little water and sunlight regularly, and they should thrive.
A five-gallon bucket will do, but drill holes in the bottom to allow for drainage for the parsnips.
You can fill each container with seeds, provided the planter is wide enough to allow them room to grow. If you plant a lot in one container, weed them out after a few weeks.
Tips for vegetable gardening
Ensure your plants get plenty of moisture and sunlight, which will help your balcony vegetable gardening yield many vegetables.
To get the best-tasting vegetables from your balcony vegetable garden, harvest them when they are at their peak of ripeness.
For more tips, check this list below:
- Start small: No matter how committed you plan to be to your garden, it’s smart to start small. That way, you can improve your care of the garden. Maintenance won’t become overwhelming, and you can enjoy your gardening better. Tend to a small garden before you devote too much money or energy to a bigger one.
- Get pots appropriately sized for the amount of root space the plants will need (this post has shown some of the right-sized pots for some of the plants)
- Ceramic pots are heavy, so that you might need rice pots, plastic or fiberglass containers, or fabric grows bags combined with lightweight soil mixes.
- Be aware of any extreme conditions. The higher up you are, the more wind you are likely to have, and hot drying winds can quickly parch your plants.
- Get materials for vines to climb.
- Hanging baskets or troughs can help utilize and maximize your space since they won’t be on the floor.
- You should arrange your containers so you can still walk around and water them easily.
- Another tip is to layer your plants with the tallest toward the back, near a wall, with the shorter ones in front. This way, you can water them easily.
- Make sure to mulch. Mulch the surface of your potted vegetables with organic matter. This will reduce evaporation, and the organic mulch will provide plant nutrition after the decomposition.
Growing vegetables should also be considered because it is more financially and environmentally wise to do this than keep buying vegetables, but only if you have the time and space to grow them. I have written an article on why you should grow your vegetables and how they are cheaper this way. It covers statistics on how much you can save from growing your vegetables and its benefits.
Conclusion on 24 Vegetables you can look into growing on a balcony
Growing a vegetable garden on a balcony is not difficult. It could be more convenient as you can observe your garden more closely, and gardening becomes less of a chore.
Do the same things you would do in your backyard, but follow the soil condition and container rules listed above. Ensure your plants get just the right amounts of water and sunlight and that your pots are the right size for the seed you want to put in them.
If you liked this article, subscribe to the form below to be notified about future content and releases!