Vegetables on the balcony: varieties, cultivation and tips

These varieties are suitable for growing on the balcony

Radishes or plucked salads with their compact and rather small growth are very suitable. Herbs such as chives, basil, thyme and rosemary also work well and are valuable ingredients in many dishes.

Vegetables that may seem surprising at first are also easy to grow on the balcony. Paprika and chilli succeed if they are protected from wind and thus from kinking. Chard, sugar peas and beans, even carrots, tomatoes, cucumbers, courgettes and potatoes find good conditions on the balcony.

Strawberries and raspberries are considered fruit, but they can be grown in the right containers and in the right location.

Pots, boxes, plant bags but also tetra packs offer space for your vegetables

We will introduce you to various suitable vessels. Since vegetables require a minimum amount of space in the root area, you should generally choose larger containers.

Pots: While there is room for herbs in smaller pots with a diameter of 15cm or more, you should choose pots from 10l for peppers and chilli, 20-40l for tomatoes, 40-60l for courgettes. There are basically no pots that are too large for this, the larger the container, the larger the plant and its fruits can be. But not only pots are suitable for cultivation, a number of other vessels can also be used. These must be filled with nutrient-rich and humus soil, we also recommend adding an organic slow-release fertilizer such as horn shavings.

Tip! When buying the soil, please make sure that it contains sufficient nutrients and, above all, no peat, to protect the bogs!

Balcony boxes: These are also well suited. Due to their length, you can put several smaller cultures next to each other, be it herbs, salads or radishes.

Sacks or bags: Cultures that require more space, such as tomatoes or zucchini, can be placed directly in the bags or bags in which soil can be bought. Just make a slit on the top and put the plant in. In the plastic cover, no water that is not used by the plant evaporates and there is a lot of space in the root space.

Plant bags: There are also plant bags made of a robust fabric in stores. They hold a lot of soil, often have a practical, rectangular shape and can be stowed away to save space outside of the season.

Watering on the balcony

It is best to water your balcony plants in the early morning or in the evening and not in the blazing midday heat. It is better to water directly on the plant and not on top of the leaves. On balconies without a roof, your vegetables should be airy so that rainwater can dry off the leaves well.

Since planters of whatever type have a smaller volume than a raised bed or even a field, they can only store a certain amount of water. Especially when you are on vacation you are therefore mostly dependent on good neighborhood help or irrigation aids.
With irrigation aids * you can easily create a water deposit for your plants. With the help of cones made of clay in combination with standard PET bottles or wine bottles, plants can be supplied with water for up to a week. The water-filled bottles are placed upside down in the cones. The water is then evenly released to the plant through the clay cones.

It’s that easy to grow potatoes yourself on the balcony

  1. Fill a planting sack with a mixture of soil and ripe compost.
  2. From the end of April, put a pre-sprouted potato about 10cm deep into the ground – here you can also use your own potatoes that have formed shoots.
  3. Place the sack in a warm place. With larger bags you can also use several potatoes, there should be about 10cm space on each side between the tubers. (You can also fill the sack with about 10cm of soil, place the potatoes on top and fill up another 10cm of soil and compost.)
  4. When the leaves have grown properly, add more soil so that the tips of the shoots can still see out of the soil. However, this potato tower should not exceed a height of 80 cm. As soon as the leaves have dried, you can harvest your own potatoes from around August.

You can also try carrots on the balcony. However, since these root vegetables require a lot of space downwards – around 40cm is recommended here – buckets as a container are worth a try.

But even more unusual containers are suitable for balcony gardening. Since space is usually in short supply, vertical constructions are ideal. In a small setting, you can use tetrapaks or inverted plastic bottles, e.g. Plant with herbs and hang on top of each other. With a little skill, they can be arranged so that only the upper ones need to be poured and the water automatically runs into the lower ones. There are ready-made vertical plant bags on the market. You can also make a vertical garden from a wooden pallet or wooden boxes. Line this with fleece and staple it from the inside to the wood so that the earth stays in it, but the water can run off and place it vertically. Now you can plant to your heart’s content.

There are also raised beds in stores, but you can also build them yourself. Here it is often a problem to get to the material for the filling, because they should be filled from bottom to top with a layer of coarse clippings such as shredded branches, above a layer of shredded leaves and compost and above that only a layer of soil. We also recommend that you ask the landlord for permission first.

Sun or shade – find the right vegetables for your balcony

Basically, it makes a big difference in which direction the balcony is oriented. If it faces south, it offers a lot of warmth and brightness and is ideal for plants such as tomatoes, chilies or zucchinis. However, you have to keep a closer eye on the water: In summer, daily watering may be necessary!

On the other hand, on west, east or even north balconies, the plants do not dry out as quickly, but they also get less sun. Basically, balconies sometimes offer better protection from wind or rain (for tomatoes that are sensitive to them) than gardens. But even if your balcony only gets a little sun, you can still grow a lot of vegetables and herbs. Wild garlic, which occurs naturally in the forest, even prefers the shade. But herbs such as sorrel, woodruff, various mints, watercress, chives or parsley also thrive if they grow in the shade or partial shade. With vegetables, you have a good chance of success with chard, beetroot, lamb’s lettuce, spinach, lettuce, French beans, radishes, kohlrabi, broccoli or kale if the balcony only gets a little sun for a short time. For the best start, you should first prefer some vegetables in the house before they can be planted in larger boxes.

In any case, we recommend experimenting with the choice of vegetables. Then after a short time you will get a good feeling for which plants are growing on your balcony and which are not.

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