The balcony vegetable garden is our oasis from Spring to Fall. It feeds us and makes me so happy. I think I love my balcony veggie garden most of all because so many people were skeptical I could work with the space. Even I didn’t think I’d be able to make it as productive as it ended up being. And now, on the first day of Spring I will share with you what I have grown in prior years, and a little bit of my plan for this year.
I have had great success with Nantes carrots, Detroit Red beets, Red Robin Cherry Tomatoes and mixed-species Lettuce. Last year I used a mixture of bottom-watering (also known as self-watering) containers as well as regular planters. I found that my veggie plants absolutely thrived in the bottom-watering containers and so for 2017 my entire balcony will be those type.
I was most nervous about the tomatoes because of the windy conditions. I live 30+ storeys up (or 450ft+) and the wind can be chaotic and destructive. I was so, so relieved when they thrived! Their stalks were nice and thick and even in crazy summer storm weather they held up just fine. I will be expanding to a couple different types of tomatoes this coming summer, which I will document down the line.
I planted my lettuce mix into little window boxes last year because I know these plants don’t need much root depth. They thrived – but weren’t very resilient when conditions were extremely hot and I wasn’t watering enough. This year they will also be in bottom-watering containers as they only need to be filled every 5-7 days, even in 30+ degree heat.
And of course, for the cats in my life I planted some catnip. It also helped to distract them from messing with the rest of my garden!
This year I also plan to introduce two new veggies into the mix: eggplant and green beans. I’m quite sure the eggplant will do fine as it needs very similar conditions to tomato plants, but the green beans are a whole new project and experiment for 2017, which I will definitely document on here. Another huge part of my balcony gardening is the flowers – but that is for another post!