Author Topic: What can I grow on my balcony?  (Read 2311 times)

Pippa

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What can I grow on my balcony?
« on: June 04, 2011, 09:10:06 pm »
I'd like to try and grow some edible goods on my balcony. I probably have room for about 3 of those rectangular window type boxes and a couple of circular pots. The balcony gets direct sun in the morning and then is in shade in the afternoon.

I'm a gardening novice so don't know what might be appropriate for the space/sun that I have. I spend a lot of money on bagged salad goods like rocket and watercress - might those work?

TIA 

corshamjim

Re: What can I grow on my balcony?
« Reply #1 on: June 04, 2011, 09:24:09 pm »
Last year we grew carrots, lettuce and perpetual spinach in a tiny part of our garden that gets very little sun.  If you like it then I definitely recommend perpetual spinach - you can just take some leaves off whenever you need some and they go on for ages.

I heard recently you can grow potatoes in a bucket - google it for lots of advice on that.

I've not tried either rocket or watercress myself yet - I believe watercress can be very picky but I doubt rocket would be a problem.

RJ

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Re: What can I grow on my balcony?
« Reply #2 on: June 04, 2011, 09:26:27 pm »
Rocket and lettuce are easy to grow from seed (or get some small plants from a garden centre/nursery).  Rocket is expensive to buy compared with growing your own.  Try to get loose leaf lettuces and harvest just the leaves you need and let the plants keep on growing.    Watercress is a non-starter, as (commercially) it's grown in special shallowly flooded beds.  You could try other leaves like mizuna - but with limited space I'd go for herbs that go well in salad like chives and parsley.  Supermarket plants will do for these - just put them in a bigger pot with some decent compost.  Keep an eye on the plants and keep them watered, but don't drown them.  Some liquid feed will probably be a good idea.

PS:  maybe save a pot for some flowers:  calendula (pot marigold) petals and nasturtiums (leaves and flowers) are edible - and they look nice.

Tim Hall

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Re: What can I grow on my balcony?
« Reply #3 on: June 04, 2011, 09:39:40 pm »
My gardening expert friend says:

Mangetout, lettuce (cheap packs from Lidl), baby turnips, beetroot.

She now says she's not an expert either.
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Basil

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Re: What can I grow on my balcony?
« Reply #4 on: June 04, 2011, 10:09:09 pm »
Dwarf French beans grow well in pots.  Yummy.  Plant two or three now and two or three more in 2 to 3 weeks.
Rocket is very easy to grow, but don't make the mistake of sowing all of it at the same time or you'll only get a very large amount of rocket for a very short time.  Slowly work along your box planting a little every weekend.
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Re: What can I grow on my balcony?
« Reply #5 on: June 04, 2011, 10:23:37 pm »
It is a good idea to go for plants that normally cost you most when you do the shopping.

I haven't grown Rocket in a container, but it's a good thing to grow if you like it - you can pull a few leaves at a time and even save seeds for the following year. The flowers can also be eaten and have an interesting, slightly differently peppery flavour to the leaves. You can keep the plants growing right through to winter - chop a couple of leaves finely and sprinkle on the top of soups.

You can get mixed salad leaf seed assortments which may be good. Sow thinly and offten - pick young.

If you use fresh herbs, such as basil, corriander or parsley they are worth growing - I used to have a couple of parsley plants in each of the hanging baskets outside the door - easy to grab a sprig when needed.

Peppers would be a good candidate, but are not always successful. French beans are easy 1/2 a doz in a big pot should be OK - once again pick young and frequently to keep them cropping.

Remember that, in containers, they need frequent watering - you may lose plants if you go away for a few days when it is hot.
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Re: What can I grow on my balcony?
« Reply #6 on: June 05, 2011, 09:35:19 am »
Oregano. Easy peasy, it's invasive and tastes a million miles different to the (expensive) stuff in plastic bags.

And, as has already been said, rocket.

You need to exercise some caution when you're watering your plants  :P.

Tim Hall

  • I want to eat the fleeting shade of your lashes
Re: What can I grow on my balcony?
« Reply #7 on: June 05, 2011, 10:21:25 am »
I find it rather disappointing no one's done the "it's not rocket salad" line yet.

Anyway, what about some kind of tumbler tomato? Probably a bit late for this year though.
There are two ways you can get exercise out of a bicycle: you can
"overhaul" it, or you can ride it.  (Jerome K Jerome)

Re: What can I grow on my balcony?
« Reply #8 on: June 05, 2011, 01:39:51 pm »
Chillies , tomatoes if its sunny , herbs and salad leaves or even potatoes in sack type containers.

 ;D
Rich

RJ

  • Droll rat
Re: What can I grow on my balcony?
« Reply #9 on: June 05, 2011, 02:37:22 pm »
Potatoes are easy - but probably not great in terms of money-saved per unit-area.  Here (Embra) it's easy to buy good local potatoes for a large chunk of the year.

Lemon balm does OK in containers and the leaves make a nice infusion.

hellymedic

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Re: What can I grow on my balcony?
« Reply #10 on: June 05, 2011, 04:45:42 pm »
Strawberries, next year.

Biggsy

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Re: What can I grow on my balcony?
« Reply #11 on: June 05, 2011, 05:17:32 pm »
Mint as well.  Homemade mint sauce is far nicer than the shop stuff (if made with water as well as vinegar, and sugar).
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Eccentrica Gallumbits

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Re: What can I grow on my balcony?
« Reply #12 on: June 07, 2011, 09:25:06 pm »
Strawberries, innit.
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Re: What can I grow on my balcony?
« Reply #13 on: June 13, 2011, 03:52:29 pm »
Courgettes grow well in pots but will spread at least 2' across.
Cut and come again lettuce is good. Try one red and one green.
Mixed salads dissapointing in my experience as the different seeds germinate at different rates and one type ends up dominant.
Some veg taste much the same home grown or shop bought, others are so much better fresh. Dwarf green beans fall into the latter category as do carrots which do well in pots and have nice frond like leaves.
We have a fair sized garden but always grow parsley and sage in pots - if you use them for cooking you will appreciate being able to grab a handful whenever and you save money.
Don't forget it really isn't natural cultivation and for something like courgettes with lots of growth you will need to think about feeding the plant as the season goes on.
Good luck and don't be put off if you have a failure - trial and error will show what works for you.

Riggers

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Re: What can I grow on my balcony?
« Reply #14 on: June 13, 2011, 03:56:09 pm »
Garlic. But you need to sow them around the shortest day of the year. So you're gonna have a bit of a wait.
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