In this article, we marry container growing with balcony farming to give you the ultimate guide to vegetable growth in pots on a balcony.
Balcony gardening has a few important considerations. Besides the limited space available, balconies usually have limited sun hours.
This will, of course, depend on the orientation of your balcony, but unless it is facing the south and is unobstructed by walls, you won’t have many hours of sunlight.
With this in mind, we’ve divided this article into two parts: A full sun
Best vegetables to grow in containers on balconies
When researching and choosing the best vegetables to grow in your balcony pots, we considered 3 factors: How easy they are to grow, particularly in terms of hours of light per day required, how evasive the plant is, and how much space is needed to grow it.
After much discussion, our four recommendations are eggplants, carrots, tomatoes, and cucumbers.
Full sun vegetables- At least 8 hours of sun per day
Growing eggplants in balcony containers
Eggplants are a delicious vegetable to grow. There are many varieties, including the long and thin asian varieties, and the more common round european ones, but they all require roughly the same conditions: Plenty of sun, daily watering, and a soil rich in NPK.
These are annual plants so they will die out after harvesting. Make sure you take advantage of the soil though, as the roots will liberate plenty of minerals that will make the soil super fertile.
Growing peppers in balcony containers
Pepper farming is a world in its own and can include sweet peppers, spicy peppers, and “normal” peppers.
Also known as capsicum, these are perhaps the most challenging, together with tomatoes, to grow, as they require plenty of light.
In addition, if yield is your concern, you will have to closely measure the ph and nutrients in your soil, keeping ph between 5.5 and 6.5, and making sure that you feed a fertilizer regularly.
Growing tomatoes in balcony pots
Much like peppers, tomatoes come in thousands of varieties. There is a whole community dedicated to growing these and they can a joy to plant.
Once again, these will need full sun, at least 8 hours per day, and daily watering. The ph and nutrient requirements are similar to peppers, requiring a ph of between 5.5 and 6.5.
Growing cucumbers in balcony pots
Cucumbers are more similar to vines, expanding more horizontally than vertically. For that reason, containers are more appropriate than pots.
In any case, these can be grown in pots, but will result in lower yields.
They are annual plants, and will produce the vegetable in the fall.
Partial sun vegetables- At least 3 to 4 hours of sun per day
Vegetables that are root or leaf based, will generally require much less sun than fruiting vegetables.
Below are some of our favourite vegetables to grow.
Growing Lettuce in your balcony pots
As a leaf vegetable, lettuce is much easier to grow. You can germinate the seeds directly into the soil during spring and expect nice yield in late summer/fall.
They only need about 4 hours of sun per day and can be watered every two to three days, depending on how warm the temperature is.
Growing carrots in your balcony
Carrots grow underground, requiring very little vertical space. They can be sown directly to the ground a 3 or 4 inches apart, keeping the soil moist until the seedling pops out.
Once there is a small plant, you can reduce the frequency of watering.
This plant requires very few hours of sun per day as its growth is concentrated underground.
Growing peas in your container balcony garden
Peas are one of the easiest plants to grow. They have a very fast growth rate and can survive with little light and water.
This plant also has one of the fastest fruit producing rates, with some varieties giving edible peas in 5 to 6 weeks.
They can be sown directly to the grown in late spring.
These are just a few examples that we enjoy growing. As a general rule of thumb, leaf and root vegetables require few hours of light per day, and as such are always a safe bet. Leaf vegetables, such as rocket, lettuce, and arugula are the perfect fit for balcony gardens as they won’t need much space, unlike root vegetables, that require underground space