Instead of having a dull and deserted balcony, use it to create a Balcony Kitchen Garden where you can grow fresh organic food. Read on!
Instead of having a dull and deserted balcony where you usually keep your trash or old, unused items; chairs with faded color, brooms, or vacuum cleaner–you can use it to create a tiny balcony KITCHEN garden. Which, when the time comes will reward you with the HARVEST of aromatic herbs, fresh and organic vegetables, and juicy plump fruits with great flavor that you can never get from store-bought edibles!
Time, Effort and Planning are Required
You’ll need to dedicate some time from your busy urban life to look after the plants you’ve chosen to grow. Since you’re not growing a real garden–15 minutes a day would be enough for the most basic tasks like watering, pinching, pruning, and deadheading the fading flowers.
Minimal effort and the maximum result–for this you’ll need to be consistent! The right amount of watering, avoiding both the overwatering and underwatering, fertilizing plants on time, pruning, transplanting must be done as scheduled.
Planning is the most crucial part here. You have a small garden and that’s the real challenge–how to utilize every inch of space and improve the productivity of crops. Also, choosing the right kind of plants and varieties according to your climate is required.
Take Help of Vertical Gardening
Opt for vertical gardening ideas and you’ll be able to double up the growing space. Not only the simple pots, on your balcony–install railing planters, wall planters, add some stacked planters, and hang a few hanging baskets to create space. Grow more greens, tomatoes, and climbing vegetables that grow vertically. You can also place plant stand like one in the picture above or else DIY a ladder shelf or planter which will provide you more area to arrange your pots.
Basic Requirements Before You Start
These are really basic needs and you might already know about them. For example, use a soilless potting medium as this is light and because it doesn’t thwart the drainage, and very permeable. Take a look at the direction and amount of sunlight you receive in your balcony. For a balcony kitchen garden, it should get at least 6-7 hours of direct sunlight. However, if you live in a warm climate most of the plants will thrive in fewer hours of sunlight too. Always apply organic fertilizers and use large pots instead of smaller ones for plants like tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, and a lemon tree.
1. Start with Herbs
If you’re new to edible gardening, start with herbs! They are the easiest plants to grow and you can grow them anywhere unless your space is very shady. See balcony herb garden ideas for inspiration. Choose your favorite herbs according to the growing conditions and climate. Sow the seeds or buy a few plants from your nearby nursery. Chive, mint, thyme, basil, oregano, parsley, cilantro, whichever you like.
Growing Fruits is Possible
Not only the herbs and vegetables, but growing fruit trees in containers is also possible, even in a limited space like a balcony! Lemon tree, strawberries, apples, pomegranates or watermelon if you like. The list of fruiting plants and trees is big. You can read more about this in detail here.
Also Read: DIY Kitchen Hacks For Garden
Vegetables You Can Grow in a Balcony
You can grow almost any vegetable plant in your balcony kitchen garden if growing conditions are appropriate. For bigger plants like zucchini, tomatoes, eggplants, cucumbers, or other fruiting vegetables like peppers, okras, and beans–choose pots that are large and at least 12-14 inches deep.
Herbs, leafy vegetables, salad greens, radishes, and carrots can be planted in wide shallow pots that are 6-10 inches deep. Cherry tomatoes, green onions, spinach, beans, and lettuce can be very productive there as they don’t need a lot of space.
Also Read: Growing Tomatoes in Hanging Baskets
Vegetable & Herbs According to Sunlight Requirements
Part Sun (Minimum 4-6 Hours)
- Salad Greens
- Green Onions, Onions
- Asian Greens
- Radishes and Carrots
Also Read: How to Start a Salad Garden
Full Sun (More than 6 hours)
- Peppers and Chilies
- Melon and Gourds