Fruit and Vegetables

Vegetable garden in the balcony

Vases and containers

In the presence of a balcony, the use of pots is essential for the different types of vegetables that you want to grow.
It is recommended to choose terracotta pots, which facilitate the oxygenation of the soil in which the plant was planted. Since the space is reduced, some types of vegetables can be grown in the same pot (choose, for this use, the rectangular pots, which allow the optimization of space). The single round pots are very useful for cultivating perennial aromatic plants (such as rosemary): in this way it will not be necessary to unnecessarily stress the plant every time a new vegetable is placed next to it.
There are also more and more common plastic pots on the market: although they do not favor soil oxygenation, they are lighter than terracotta containers. Their use is therefore recommended in case plants are grown that need to be moved several times over the course of a day.
The pots must be filled with soil, after having taken care to ensure drainage with the appropriate clay balls (or with gravel), which must be placed on the bottom of the pot itself.
Once the different vegetables are planted, it is also important that watering is done without wetting the plants: the water must be poured directly onto the ground. It is also preferable that the plants, in the summer months, are watered early in the morning: this will prevent the water in the pot from warming up and evaporating.

What to cultivate

Due to the limited space, it is recommended to grow vegetables that do not need a large environment to develop. There are plants of all kinds, to be cultivated at any time of the year. In winter you can plant garlic, onions, salad, spinach, radishes, peas, rocket, chillies and cabbage. With the arrival of spring, space can be given to aromatic plants (rosemary, sage, lavender and basil), wild berries (for which plastic pots will be needed), carrots, tomatoes, courgettes and peppers. In summer (starting in September) you can sow leeks, endive, turnip tops, beets. In the autumn period you can instead give space to fennel, broccoli, valerian, chicory.
As you can see, a vegetable garden created on its own terrace guarantees the presence throughout the year of a large variety of vegetables that are always fresh.

Respect the needs of each plant

What can be difficult to guarantee, in a restricted environment such as a balcony, is that the growth needs of each vegetable are respected. By setting up a vegetable garden on a balcony you will in fact be in close contact with vegetables that need sun with those that prefer shade; vegetables that need a lot of water with those who prefer drought, and more. It is enough, however, to take care to respect the different needs of the various vegetables as much as possible. First of all, we support plants that need supports (such as tomatoes or peas) on the wall: this will make it easier to guarantee their growth. Essential is that the support is also supplied through a stick planted in the vase, to which the plant must be tied. An outdoor tent can keep a part of the terrace in shadow, creating the shaded environment that certain types of plants need. Another part of the terrace should instead remain exposed to the sun: this will also allow you to have the ideal environment for plants that need exposure to the sun.

There are many different ways to make the most of the available space. you can equip yourself with containers that allow you to hang vases from the railing, thus allowing the cultivation of a greater number of plants (a method recommended especially for aromatic plants, which are not afraid of too much sun). Another method, very exploited, to optimize the available space as much as possible is to place an old wooden staircase on the terrace: in this way it will be possible to arrange the vases on the different steps, creating a sort of "vertical" garden and decorating the environment in an original way (the use of a ladder with wheels is recommended, which will make it easier to move).
Keep in mind also the use of cloth pockets: these are supports that can be fixed to the wall and are usually used in the bathroom, to place the bottles of shampoo and shower gel. Each pocket is spacious, and allows the insertion of a jar, in which a vegetable will have been planted.
If you enjoy DIY, you can also attach wooden vases to the face: there are special vases on the market, and with the use of a simple drill you can create a real hanging garden.