How to maintain potted plants in apartment balcony

Create Your Own Lovely Private Garden on your Balcony or Deck!

Container gardening is easy and practical. You can grow veggies, herbs and annuals with very little space or effort.

Sunlight: Most plants need at least six hours of sunlight a day, so a southern, eastern are best, but a western exposure will work too. .

Soil: Organic potting soil is best. You can get it online or at your local nursery. You can reuse it from year to year if you amend it with compost and rotate the crops.

Water: Rain takes care of the watering, but you can collect rainwater for dry spells. Cover your rain barrel to prevent mosquitoes, or all a teaspoon of cooking oil, which keeps them from breeding.

Fertilizer: I use an earth-friendly fertilizer called 'Worm Poop' that is perfect for all plants. it's a liquid, de-smelled, form of worm excrement that is extremely high in nutrients and totally earth friendly. A light application of Epsom Salts also boosts your plants.

Drainage: A layer of drainage is important in the bottom of the pot. Although broken shards from old pots or gravel is good - consider using those packing peanuts for drainage. They certainly won't break down and they are much lighter, so you can move your pots around without breaking your back. The lighter weight is also a consideration on patios that may not have been built with gardening in mind.

Veggies:

Patio, cherry and grape tomatoes are perfect for growing in containers. The best container is a clay pot at least 12" in diameter and about 18" tall. Tomatoes have deep roots, so need deep pots. Use organic potting soil.

Cucumbers: A 10" pot will support one cucumber plant. Be sure to add a small take or trellis for it to climb.

Peppers: A deck-railing planter box works well for this. I plant three peppers in a 18" planter with great results.

Herbs: Basil, cilantro, parsley, oregano, thyme and rosemary all grow very well in pots about 10" in diameter. You can also put them in with your tomatoes (basil and tomatoes love each other).

Greens: Salad planter bowls work very well, You can purchase them already filled with a variety of greens in many garden centers, or start your own with seeds or small plants of your choice. Butter crunch, Spinach, red leaf lettuce grow well together.

Onions/shallots: Planter boxes are great for onions and shallots.

Berries:

Strawberries do well in containers. You can also grow Blueberries by planting one bush in a large pot or five-gallon bucket.

Flowers:

Annuals, such as petunias, Gerbera daisies, geraniums, zinnias, do well in sunny areas in pots. Spikes, ornamental sweet potatoes, various forms of ivy, caladiums and salvia combined or in separate pots are great for decorating your balcony.

Marigolds and Nasturtiums planted among the veggies will deter pests.


Good soil creates Great plants!:

Veggies, Herbs, Florwers and Foliage all thrive in pots!

Gerbera Daisies a perfect flowering plants for a deck or balcony.
Gerbera Daisies a perfect flowering plants for a deck or balcony.
Just about any kind of sweet or hot pepper will do well in a pot in a sunny location.  Choose a pot that it is at least 10" in diameter.
Just about any kind of sweet or hot pepper will do well in a pot in a sunny location. Choose a pot that it is at least 10" in diameter.
Colorful flowers in pots cheer up a stairway - just ask George, our Beagle!
Colorful flowers in pots cheer up a stairway - just ask George, our Beagle!

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Comments 13 comments

Webofusion profile image

Webofusion 7 years ago

Thanks a lot Pat. I am sure it's gonna help me create a great garden in my Balcony.


newsworthy 7 years ago

I have several empty pots that could use the Gerbera Daisies - Love them.

If those are your home-grown peppers, you did a great green job!


pat merewether 7 years ago

Thanks everyone! I wish you a green and 'fruitful' season!


fortunerep profile image

fortunerep 7 years ago from North Carolina

Beautiful flowers!! Great advice as well!

dori


Maggie W 7 years ago

Hi Pat,

Very interesting reading. I have recently started growing vegetables in various pots, some are the self watering kind with a reservoir in the bottom (I travel a lot). So far I have not noticed mosquitoes in the water, but I have a lot of problems with them settling on the damp soil inside the pots. Any idea of how I can get rid of them?

Maggie W


Pat Merewether profile image

Pat Merewether 7 years ago from Michigan Author

I know this sounds weird, but I sprinkle garlic powder around my plants just before I pull weeds there and it keeps the mosquitoes and flies away from me. the powder works well because it 'smells' again when it gets wet from the rain, etc.


Avni Kalltani 7 years ago

Dear All,

Please, send me some ideas on how to arrange my 2 balconies: one faces the north east, and the other eastern direction. There is nothing that may block sunlight. However sun lits the balcony until 11-11.30 a.m. while the other balcony may receive the late afternoon sun in summers.

i will appreciate if you may kindly send at gamgara2@gmail.com


Pat Merewether profile image

Pat Merewether 7 years ago from Michigan Author

A northern exposure is low light - so impatiens, caladiums, and ferns in pots will be happy there.

Northeast gets a little more light and the above mentioned plants will do well and you can also add coleus, begonias, and normamental grasses in pots.

Send pictures if you do this!


wjames profile image

wjames 6 years ago

These are beautiful flowers. I will definitely adding these to my balcony. Thanks a lot.


Liu 23 months ago

hello,I just wished to write to say how much I've enjyeod reading your site. I am part cherokee on my mother's side and my sister is half blackfoot on her father's side. we are half sisters actually as you can see. but anyways I love anything and everything to do with the Native American culture. I also have a friend who is always looking for new info on this as well and I am having a problem with finding information about her birth totem. Her birthday is September 13 If you could help me I'd be grateful as I say she loves Native American stuff as I do. Also I noticed you do crafts. I do too and am looking for a crochet pattern for a native american girl dress to do for a project I'm working on. If you may have any ideas or could help in any way I'd be grateful. Sorry if I've rambled I take medication due to a serious ailment which has left me bedbound. Thanks again for any and all help!!!!


patsarts 23 months ago

Thank you So much for your kind words. I'm not Native American, but I was born in Oklahoma near the Creek Nation and have always loved anything they do! I'm on fb if you want to send a friend request - I have a site on their called Cheap and Easy Gardening. I should post some of these articles there - since I no longer make any money from anything I've written for Hub pages, I'm not sure what happened - but I haven't even had a comment for YEARS from anyone here - but I got one yesterday and now yours! so GREAT!


patsarts 23 months ago

Thank you So much for your kind words. I'm not Native American, but I was born in Oklahoma near the Creek Nation and have always loved anything they do! I'm on fb if you want to send a friend request - I have a site on their called Cheap and Easy Gardening. I should post some of these articles there - since I no longer make any money from anything I've written for Hub pages, I'm not sure what happened - but I haven't even had a comment for YEARS from anyone here - but I got one yesterday and now yours! so GREAT!


Janice 23 months ago

Hello Mam, Some years ago I had a VERY vivid dream that I was flying very high above the earth on the back of a White Eagle. I felt ver calm and safe and peeuafcl. Out perched on its wing to my right as we were soaring was a Black Vulture calmly sitting there. Can you shed light on any meaning to me? I have had dreams a few more times over the years similar to this and wonder if this should mean something to me ..Thank You for any Help .Jeff

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