How to Grow a Fruit + Vegetable Garden from Your Balcony
I’ve always wanted to grow my own fruit + veggies, but I never found a good spot to plant them - until we moved into our new apartment. I would have never thought I’d be planting a garden in an apartment, especially in a top floor apartment, but I was actually really excited about it! Once I started thinking about the pros and cons of a balcony garden, the pros totally outweighed the cons!
Growing a garden from a balcony offers convenience, less worry about animals and other critters eating your plants and if you’re apartment balcony is west-facing then you’ll get the perfect amount of sunlight! In the late spring/summer, my garden gets 7-8 hours of sunlight each day. Since starting my balcony garden, the only thing I will say is a pain in the butt is watering. Since I do not have a hose outside, I have to make multiple trips to the sink to fill up my watering can, but this is the only con I can come up with so I can’t complain!
Okay, so what’s growing in my garden you ask? I currently have - yellow squash, zucchini, patio tomatoes, green peppers, strawberries and yellow onions.
My yellow onions are scraps replanted from a nights dinner. I simply cut the bottom part of the onion that has all the hairy-looking guys (the roots) and placed it in some soil + added some water.
The peppers are a mix of seeds that I collected from peppers I made for dinner one night and organic seeds I purchased. I simply cut the peppers like usual, took the core out and shook the seeds off, let them dry a little and planted them in the soil the next day.
I put sunlight first because this is the most important part of planning your garden, and if you’re new to gardening you should study up on your growing zone. You want to make sure you pay attention to how much sun your “garden area” gets before you actually start planting.
Almost all veggies and fruits require 6+ hours of direct sunlight, so you want to make sure your garden is not under a covered balcony that never sees the sun. The midday sunlight is best for food gardens.
If you are looking to start from scratch with organic seeds I suggest going with The Seeds of Change because they are certified organic, sourced from trusted growers in the United States, and certified to be free of GMOs. You can find these at Home Depot or Amazon.
When it comes to figuring out what to plant your seeds in (get your head outta the gutter lol), there are plenty of options. For my squash and zucchini I went with the City Picker Raised Bed Grow Box -
I also used terra-cotta pots, but you can use any type of pot, as long as it allows the plants to breathe and has a drain hole so the plant does not become overwatered.
The best type of soil to use for seeds is a natural organic seed starter soil, such as Jiffy’s Natural Starter Mix found at Home Depot.
For growing vegetables and fruit,I use Ecoscraps Organic Potting Soil found at Target. I LOVE this brand because their soil is truly organic.
Once your seeds turn into plants, its best to start feeding it plant food every two weeks. Just like you + I, plants get hungry and need food to help them grow. Here is my recommendation for organic plant food without the poop and other pestisides or chemicals -
Last but most definitely not least, you MUST make sure your plants soil never gets dry. Fruit + veggies need lots of water to grow and if you have your garden in the proper amount of sunlight each day, you will need to water it daily.
It’s so much fun growing my own food and it’s nice to know that what I’m feeding myself + my family is free from pesticides and GMO’s.
Well, now that you have all the facts, I hope you give your own garden a try + please share your garden pics in the comments below!