Easy Edible Container Plants For Balconies & Small Gardens

Easy Edible Container Plants For Balconies & Small Gardens

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Even if you only have a balcony or courtyard, you can still grow and harvest your own edible container plants. All it takes is a few pots and planters and regular nurturing. You will find that pot plants tend to dry out much faster than plants growing in a conventional garden so you need to ensure that you give your plants a regular watering every couple of days or so in the hot weather. As a general rule of thumb, water when the soil at the top is dry.

You don’t need to limit your potted plants to one variety per pot as many vegetables and herbs grow quite happily together in the same pot. For example, tomatoes and basil make very good companion plants and they also taste fantastic when used together. If you have a nice large pot, why not put a tomato plant in the middle, then plant some basil around the tomato and finally fill the edges with different varieties of leaf lettuce? Remember to also put a stake in to give support to the tomato plant as they get quite heavy when fruiting.

Placement Of Your Container Plants Is Important

As most vegetables prefer full sun place them where they will get the most sunlight preferably against a wall to protect from strong winds and group them together to assist with evaporation loss.

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Another very important thing to remember is the quality of the potting mix as this will provide both nutrients and support for your growing plants. Use the absolute best quality you can afford, some high-quality potting mixes even contain water retention crystals so see what’s available at your local garden center. You may also like to consider using saucers under your pots to stop the water running all over your balcony plus the established roots of your plants will draw the moisture from the saucer as well.

Use A Variety Of Containers

With a little imagination and use of different shapes and sizes of pots, you can set up a great growing area on your balcony. This can be both attractive and very productive. Use shallow wide planters for things like lettuce, spinach, onions and other greens and deeper pots for things like tomatoes, carrots, capsicum and other root vegetables. For smaller pots of herbs, you can purchase a tiered display stand. This will make even better use of the space available. You can even purchase small freestanding greenhouses which will help to create a micro-environment for seed germination. However, remember to open the front flap or even remove the cover once the plants start growing. This prevents them from getting get burnt once the weather warms up.

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Even hanging planters, if you have space for them, can be used to grow things like cherry tomatoes and strawberries. You can also purchase dwarf fruit trees such as peach, nectarine and apple. These would make an attractive feature in your balcony garden.

Remember To Feed You Container Plants

Just remember that the only nutrients that your plants will get are from the potting mix you use. Therefore, its necessary to apply a good fertilizer once the plants are established. Whether you use liquid seaweed or slow-release pellets make sure you get the nitrogen-phosphorus-potassium mix right for the type of plants you are growing. As a general rule, nitrogen is for leaf growth, phosphorous for root growth and potassium for flower and fruit production.

Frequently Asked Questions

What plants grow best in a container?

You can grow many plants like vegetables, herbs, flowers and even fruits in containers. Just remember that the size of the container will determine the size of the plant. This is because when the roots are restricted, the top growth will also be restricted.

What do you fill a large planter with?

The only thing you should ever fill your planters with is a premium potting mix. Avoid using garden soil, rocks or any types of materials.

What is the most common mistake made with container plants?

Most container-growing mistakes have to do with either underwatering or overwatering. To avoid this happening, make sure all your containers have drainage holes and water your plants when the top of the soil feels dry.

Final Thoughts

Growing plants in containers is easier than you might think. As long as you understand the basics, you can create a gorgeous garden with a range of different plants in pots.

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