Growing Food with a Balcony
If you live somewhere without access to a backyard, such as living in an apartment, you may have thought growing your own food could be slightly difficult. Good news! It's not difficult at all! Container growing is a great way to maintain that green thumb of yours, with only a balcony at your grasp.
There are a variety of plants that grow very well in containers. When using a container to grow your own food, it is best to place the container in a spot that is going to get the most direct sunlight. If you live in a warmer climate and have a paved concrete balcony, it is best to place your container on a dolly or on your balcony railing, as the concrete will heat up and may become too warm for your plants.
When starting container growing, the first step is deciding what you are going to plant. This will help you decide how big or small of a container you will need. Research how deep the plants’ roots will grow and how much space the plants will need to span outward. Once you've decided how big of a container to use, you will need to poke holes in the bottom of the container so water can escape. Try to avoid dark colored containers because these will absorb more heat in the summer, causing the soil to be too warm for your plant to prosper. Plastic containers are economical, durable and lightweight and ideal for leafy greens and herbs. Terracotta containers tend to heat up and absorb a lot of moisture, which is beneficial for sun-loving plants like tomatoes.
When it comes to the soil, a potting mix for containers is the best option. You can choose to transplant into the container or you can directly sow your seeds into the soil. For information on transplants versus direct seed, check out one of our recent blogs! When gardening in containers, please make sure your soil is always moist. Broccoli, spinach, and eggplant are great options for container growing!
If you've ever thought about growing your own food but were unsure about it, container growing is a great start. You'll discover that it’s a lot easier than it seems. And, if you happen to be ready to start your growing journey, our Fresh Start Kits, comprised of an assortment of leafy greens and herbs, are great for beginners, urban dwellers and definitely suitable for container growing!