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