A balcony garden is the fastest and easiest way to start growing organic vegetables. You can even sell them later.
If you’re new to gardening, a balcony vegetable garden is a good place for an easy and manageable first experience. If you don’t have enough space for constructing your self-grown food empire, you can try to grow some indoors. See here how to build cheap and easy hydroponics system.
Even if you live in an apartment or don’t have your own garden at all, there are ways for you to succeed with growing vegetables too! First of all, there’s no need to worry about the soil – it’s quite enough to start with container vegetable garden (if you’re not sure if it’s something for you, see this article).
1. What you need to start a balcony garden?
To start your vegetable garden, you basically need four things: a container, seeds, water and sunlight. You can even start growing organic vegetables without soil if you don’t have any or not enough. Just use Rockwool cube.
2. What to grow?
It’s a good idea to study up on the veggies you like before you decide to start with your own balcony garden or home terrace garden . Not all veggies grow well in small containers, or they grow but taste nothing like the veggies you’re used to (due to lack of soil richness). If you like salads, go for Lettuce (if you don’t want to pick leaves one by one), Spinach or Herbs. Potatoes are a good choice if you have enough sunlight and room for a big pot. Tomatoes, Peppers, Cucumbers and Eggplants will do great too.
3. What kind of container?
Containers come in a variety of shapes and sizes – from window boxes that hang on your windows to big pots. If you’re planning on making a large balcony garden, use plastic or ceramic planters. They are lightweight and easy to move around if necessary.
You can make your own window box by simply attaching wooden slats across the top of a wooden frame. The slats should be wide enough to hold the soil in. Then, put several inches of soil at the bottom of the wooden frame and hang it on your window!
If you have a small balcony or even just a balcony railing, you can use pots, baskets or other similar containers. Make sure they have good drainage holes so water won’t accumulate there and rot the roots of your veggies. If you have a railing, you can attach wooden planks to it and then put containers on top.
4. Ideas for containers and plants that will grow well on balconies
If you decide to span several containers on your balcony railing, use larger pots and plant vegetables that produce fruit (like tomatoes and peppers), as they need more room.
For window boxes and small planters: Herbs (parsley, cilantro or basil) – annuals; Lettuce – annual; Spinach – annual; Tomatoes – perennials.
For rail containers: Cucumbers, Eggplants and Peppers are perennial veggies that produce flowers or fruit on long vines. You can use trellis to help your plants grow straight up. Better if the trellis is near a wall so you can attach the vines to it. For same reasons you can use peas too. They are very fast growing annuals, so if you start them early in the spring they will be ready before hot summer begins.
For standard pots: Potatoes are very popular balcony veggies because they don’t need much space and grow even in poor soil; Onions – very hardy and can be harvested as needed. You can plant them once a year and they will come back every time; Herbs – basil, parsley, oregano – annuals.
5. How to take care of your plants?
Water your plants every day and fertilize them once a week. You can do this very easily by mixing liquid or powder plant food into the water you use to water your plants. Good soil is another thing that is important for healthy veggies. If you don’t have enough organic nutrients in the soil, add compost, worm castings or other organic matter.
6. Growing Season
The most important thing to remember about growing veggies is that some of them are annuals (plants that die at the end of one growing season), while others are perennials (plants that live more than one year). As a rule, annual veggies grow much faster and can give you food in less than half a year. Perennial veggies take even up to two years to start bearing good fruit or flower buds.
7. Maintenance tips for keeping your plants healthy and thriving all summer long:
Water your plants every day and fertilize them once a week. Make sure to put some mulch over the soil – it will keep moisture in, prevent weeds and make weeding easier; If you’re using balconies with railings, consider planting vertically (on walls or fences); You can use fabric pots as they allow water to flow through; Use organic plant food; If you notice some insects eating your plants, try to spray them with natural pesticide. You can make one by mixing garlic (which is very safe for humans) with water and soap (dish detergent).
Of course this list looks like a long one, but if you have small balcony or even just a small planter box outside, you can grow lots of your favorite veggies!
Located in Panchkula with a major focus on Chandigarh & Mohali, Air-Grow is a leading Vertical Living Green Walls provider in India. Air-Grow was founded based on the explosive growth of green technology. We have been installing Artificial Grass Landscapes, Vertical Gardens, Living Walls, Green Walls and Hydroponics at homes and commercial facilities since 1997.
Our products are excellent solutions for hard-to-grow areas, small yards & those looking for inventive and appealing landscaping designs ideas. We offer custom Balcony garden and terrace garden designs, project management, budgeting & cost estimating services, scheduling, oversight & installation of these landscapes. We also support clients with long-term direction of their landscapes to insure their lasting beauty.