Balcony Garden Guide: The Top 5 Plants for Your Patio Garden

Snap Peas growing on white trellis - Home for the Harvest Gardening Blog

Many veggie and herb plants thrive on the balcony. Because the plants are in containers rather than in the garden, the soil warms up very quickly and is most often warmer than the soil in the ground. Some plants love this cozy environment! Others aren’t quite as enthused. Check out the list below for my 5 top picks for edible crops to grow in balcony gardens.

The 5 Best Edible Plants for a Balcony Garden

Alpine Strawberries | Home for the Harvest Gardening Blog

Strawberries

Strawberries do well in containers because they thrive in warm, well-drained soil. The heat from the sun on your patio will warm up the soil in the container and speed up plant growth. Strawberries will be one of the first crops that are ready to eat from your balcony garden. Some varieties produce fruit in June only, while others produce a second crop in late summer. I keep my strawberries outside all summer, and move the varieties without runners indoors when the frost hits to enjoy berries all year long.

Check out these instructions for growing strawberries in containers.

Kale Growing on the Balcony Garden | Home for the Harvest

Leafy Greens

Leafy greens just might be the most reliable patio crop. You can grow new plants throughout the growing season so you’ll always have delicious, fresh produce for your smoothies and salad. Fortunately, greens are quite easy to grow, even if your balcony isn’t in the sun all day. Compared to most other veggies, eafy greens don’t need as much light to grow. They’re also relatively easy to tend and harvest. One of my favourites to grow is kale. Check out these instructions for growing your own organic kale!

Enjoying Fresh Heirloom Tomatoes on the Balcony Garden | Home for the Harvest

Tomatoes

Like strawberries, tomatoes love warm soil. They thrive in warm, sunny environments. You’ll need a bigger container for your tomatoes, as they need to develop strong roots to produce a good crop of tomatoes. The tomato plant will grow to be at least 4′ tall, so be sure to put it in a large corner of the patio. A 5-gallon pail is the smallest bucket you’ll want to use for tomatoes…and a half-barrel works very well! Even though they do take up a bit of space, growing your own tomatoes is well worth it. There truly is nothing tastier than a fresh homegrown tomato!

Tomatoes can be a bit tricky to grow for the first time, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll love it! If you’re new to gardening come on over to the Organic Gardening group on Facebook and we will help you learn how to grow delicious tomatoes. The group is completely free, and everyone is very welcome to join!

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Culinary Herbs

Culinary herbs make wonderful container plants for the balcony garden. Most gardeners who have large backyard gardens tend to grow herbs in containers rather than directly in the soil because some herbs can take over the rest of the garden. It’s also really nice to have them right outside the patio door for easy access while cooking. It’s easy to find organic herb garden kits to help you get started right away.

Leafy green herbs like basil, sage, thyme, rosemary, oregano, mint, and chives are all lovely balcony garden herbs. If your patio is hot and sunny, these herbs will survive the heat so long as you keep them well watered. Some other leafy greens like cilantro prefer a lower-heat environment. Consider the conditions on your patio and do a bit of research before picking which herbs to grow. Learn more about growing herbs in containers here :)

Snap Peas growing on white trellis

Peas

Peas are one of the hardiest crops that can be grown outdoors on your balcony garden. When you grow them vertically, they don’t take up much space at all. They also look lovely trailing up a trellis! Peas can be grown through a frosty shoulder season and produce edible veggies within several months of planting.

Pea shoots are also edible, and can be snipped off and added to salads or smoothies. They’re fun to grow and lovely to look at. Seeds for organic peas are also easy to find online. Who could want more?!

5 Best Edible Plants for a Balcony Garden | Home for the Harvest

Planning Your Balcony Garden

Are you thinking about growing some produce on your balcony this year? I’ve put together a Garden Planner to help you through the process of planning out your garden. It starts right at the beginning of the planning process and takes you through each necessary step of garden planning. Grab your copy using the form below, or read more about the planner here.

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What are your favourite balcony garden crops? What else do you grow in your kitchen garden? Share your stories in the comments below or post photos on Instagram!

5 Best Edible Plants for a Balcony Garden | Home for the Harvest

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