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How to Grow Tomatoes in your Balcony using Grocery Sacks and other waste Materials

Updated on May 20, 2012

Sharing a personal experience of Growing Tomatoes in Balcony

Growing something is a lot of fun. Sometimes you may find your plants talking to you in a manner that only you understand. However, in cities we usually do not have enough space to grow plants. No worries. We can still do a lot with proper selection of plants, suitable planning and a continuous effort. In this small article, I am sharing my experience of growing tomatoes in the small balcony I have. I really spent nothing to do this apart from some free time and what I got is a season long satisfaction and some real tomatoes.

Growing vegetables in a small balcony may not meet all your requirements. But still, its a lot of fun to have some of your meals made of home grown vegetables. I could successfully grow tomatoes, green chillies, coriander leaves, cucumber, brinjal and cucumber. I am planning to grow some papayas in my balcony. I shall discuss that later.

It all started with a rotten tomato I was about to throw in November. Instead I tried to remove the seeds and plant them in small used disposable tea cups my husband had already thrown in the dustbin. My flat is on the sixth floor of a building and it was really difficult to bring up soil to my balcony. But I did it gradually and by the time the seeds germinated I had already prepared my pots with soil and the manure from my rabbits. Due to shortage of space I had to kill many plants and got only around a dozen plants transferred into soil and manure filled plastic sacks I collected from the grocery store.

By the end of December I had full grown tomato plants and by the first week of January, the plants had flowers. The plants produced tomatoes till mid May and then they started decaying. I could collect around 25 Kilograms of tomatoes in around 6 months from 12 plants grown in six sacks. I did not put any chemical fertilisers and the fruits were delicious. I made tomato khatei (a typical Oriya dish) , salads, and used them in curries. Apart from tomatoes I also got a lot of other crops from the same balcony. One can get may tips from Internet on growing tomatoes in balcony. A couple of them are;

Timing and Care

It is believed that tomatoes grow well in summer. I tried the same after June also. The crop is ongoing. Since, there are times when I have to go out for a couple of days and have to leave my plants unattended. Watering the plants during this time is important and crucial especially when the plants have flowers and fruits. I used a funny but useful method to overcome this problem. I collected some 1-2 ltr water bottles. Made a couple of needle thin holes in the bottom of the bottles and put one bottle in each planting sacks as shown in the picture. The bottles filled with water and properly capped takes around 10 hours to empty. This local drip irrigation method prevented my plants from drying.

My harvest in 2012

What I harvest almost on a daily basis during Mid March -May 2012. Expect this to continue till Mid July. All from the corner of a 6X10 balcony on the sixth floor.
What I harvest almost on a daily basis during Mid March -May 2012. Expect this to continue till Mid July. All from the corner of a 6X10 balcony on the sixth floor.


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    • purnimamoh1982 profile image

      purnimamoh1982 4 years ago

      Dear Misha

      Thanks a lot for your comment. My apologies for not being able to log in for quite some time. Yes certainly you can plant tomatoes from the seeds you get from inside ripe tomatoes. I have recently written a hub about it. You may find it useful.

    • profile image

      misha 5 years ago

      hey i m misha 17 yrs old i like greeneries nd plantations although i cudnts success doing it. i tried growing coriander it was growing later it was bend in one side nd when i gave it water all was drain :(

      can u please tell me what should i do to stop coriander bending in one side .

      and can i use the seeds of tomato which we get inside tomato will it work ? is yes then please tell me the procedure to use it

    • frogyfish profile image

      frogyfish 5 years ago from Central United States of America

      Useful and creative activity you expressed. And your drip-watering is an excellent idea!

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 5 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Your balcony obviously gets enough sunlight. When my husband & I were first married, I tried growing tomatoes on our 2nd floor balcony but all I succeeded in growing was lots of greenery & few tomatoes. It was too shaded by trees. Voted up, useful, interesting...and you just might encourage more people to grow their own tomatoes + other veggies in confined spaces. Nothing tastes better than homegrown!!!

    • purnimamoh1982 profile image

      purnimamoh1982 5 years ago

      thans a lot jackie

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 5 years ago from The Beautiful South

      Loved this and I am going to try that drip irrigation tomorrow. Thank you, that is a great idea.

    • purnimamoh1982 profile image

      purnimamoh1982 5 years ago

      I am so thankful to audrey, walazoo and angie, that you visited this hub and commented on it. Yes the tomatoes were very tasty and soft as well. For the coming season, I have planted again and I am currently writing a new hub with some more experiences. Shall be able to complete it soon.

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 5 years ago from California

      Great article on container gardening! Hope they were as tasty as they look!

    • profile image

      walazoo 5 years ago

      This hub reminds me that growing your own fruits and vegetables is a great idea. I think when I have the space, I too may emulate and start growing my own tomatoes. I've see seen a number of planters and containers that that allow you to grow tomatoes practically anywhere.

    • Angie Jardine profile image

      Angie Jardine 5 years ago from Cornwall, land of the eternally youthful mind ...

      Wow! I thought I was thrifty, purnimamoh but this beats me hands down.

      I started my first veggie garden this year and have had lots of tomatoes from a couple of bush tomato plants (small, sweet ones) but I have a lot of catching up to do to beat growing plants from one rotten tomato. Respect!

      Here in the UK our timing is different but otherwise all of your ideas are transplantable. Many thanks for an interesting hub.

    • purnimamoh1982 profile image

      purnimamoh1982 5 years ago

      Thanks a lot Gamerelated for sharing this hub. Thanks for finding this hub useful.

    • Gamerelated profile image

      Gamerelated 5 years ago from California

      Good work on this balcony garden and overcoming the limitations of space. The bottle used as drip irrigation is clever. In my area tomato grows year round because the winters are very mild in southern California. This is a very interesting Hub. I will share it with my followers.

    • purnimamoh1982 profile image

      purnimamoh1982 5 years ago

      ShalahChayilJOY, thanks a lot for your comments.

    • ShalahChayilJOY profile image

      Shalah Chayil 5 years ago from Billings, Montana

      This is such a useful and truly beneficial piece of writing and goes to show we can have some fresh produce almost anywhere. Thanks for your tips and the creativity of reusing items.

    • clothespinnedlove profile image

      clothespinnedlove 5 years ago from Wisconsin

      Plastic bags, who'da thunk! You can't even see the bags when they grow! Don't waste your money on those fancy grower kits, you got it made here, chica!

    • purnimamoh1982 profile image

      purnimamoh1982 5 years ago

      The last photograph is of my recent batch of tomatoes that I planted in mid February. Presently, the plants are full with tomatoes and I currently get 4-5 ripe tomatoes (around 300 grams) every day. I can not explain how tasty they are. We usually eat it raw as salads. They are so fleshy and taste like local plums. Even my dog "Snowy" likes to eat one as soon as I pluck those

    • Mardi profile image

      Mardi 5 years ago from Western Canada and Texas

      Tomatoes grown at home are soooo much better than the ones from the store. I have a garden but I still grow the cherry tomatoes in containers on the patio, great for a quick snack at any time in the summer! Wonderful pictures and terrific hub!

    • Patsybell profile image

      Patsy Bell Hobson 5 years ago from zone 6a, SEMO

      I like you devotion to gardening. Is there room on the roof for container gardens?