More people than ever are now living in urban areas with no place to put a vegetable garden but don’t let that stop you. Growing in containers can produce more food than you think as long as you follow a few simple guidelines.
First you should take stock of your available sunlight. Depending on your situation you may not be able to have large fruiting plants like tomatoes or peppers that require full sun. Many vegetables particularly the leafy ones such as lettuce, spinach, kale and other greens can be grown in most outdoor light conditions including heavy shade. Peas, Beans, Broccoli, and cauliflower are all great shade tolerant vegetables that are perfect for the balcony container garden.
Choice of containers can make or break your urban garden. In order to have good production you need your plants to be able to develop a quality root structure. Some things like herbs or even peas or beans don’t require much in the way of real estate and can be grown well in a standard flower box. But other things like carrots, tomatoes, or peppers need much more container space.
The next critical point is how to best utilize your available space. When working on a balcony for example you can build a tiered system starting with hanging baskets for herbs, railing flower boxes with peas or beans, and pots or buckets at floor level with broccoli, cauliflower, and your leafy vegetables.
If you are lucky enough to have an area with full sun you can go for some strawberries in hanging baskets or even tomatoes and peppers can do very well in larger pots or 5 gallon buckets. Carrots are also a great candidate for growing in containers when you have full sun and in fact I prefer growing them this way instead of in a raised bed.
One more final consideration is what soil to use. A homemade mix of peat, compost and vermiculite is going to be the best.
So now you’re ready, get your supplies together and get ready to have fantastic home grown veggies straight from your patio or balcony.