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Suggestions for Apartment Balcony Garden


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#1 Moonless

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Posted 02 June 2020 - 04:39 PM

In the foreseeable future I am going to be moving to a small apartment that will hopefully have a balcony. I would love to have a balcony garden to grow food crops in 5 gal. buckets. This is going to be a first for me: growing food on a covered balcony and in a very small space. I would love to maximize the space to grow food in but I know that since it is a covered balcony there might not be a lot of light to grow plants that need full sun. I would love to do it cheaply and DIY style. I am currently trying to put together a plan and idea for what to do and was wondering if yall have any first hand experience and tips to share with me.


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#2 Boebs

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Posted 02 June 2020 - 09:22 PM

With a balcony, id get/make hanging containers to save space. That way you can utilize the guard rail.
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#3 Moonless

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Posted 03 June 2020 - 12:31 AM

Hanging baskets are definitely something I want to have for herbs especially, maybe some edible and decorative flowers for the insects and birds too.


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#4 Oneyedraven

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Posted 04 June 2020 - 10:53 AM

Growing potatoes for the first time this year in 5 gal buckets- feel like a kid a Christmas excited to see what’s there when they’re done.

https://youtu.be/ThePQs6kDpo
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#5 August West

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Posted 04 June 2020 - 04:32 PM

...feel like a kid a Christmas excited to see what’s there when they’re done.

 

You'll feel like a kid at an Easter egg hunt when you're harvesting them...


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#6 Juthro

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Posted 04 June 2020 - 05:34 PM

It is also possible to grow a very nice herb garden under cheap T8 hanging shop style fixture, you can also use them as supplemental light if your grow area isn't getting enough natural light for your plants needs.   We've had very good results with them.  Though they must be kept out of weather, so they are more useful for growing inside next to a window, then on a patio.   We grow rosemary, tyme, oregano, and sage year round under one of ours in an upstairs closet.  I very much enjoy fresh herbs, the flavor is so much better then most of what you can get at the store.

 

As far as a small patio garden, I think I would maybe do some pepper plants, and possibly some cherry tomatoes if you can get enough light for them.  I've also grown celery in pots, it doesn't get huge, but it grew well, and tasted wonderful.   Parsley is another herb that grows well in pots, as will basel.

 

I wish you much success with your project, and same goes to Oneyedraven, I hope you get lots of spuds in your buckets :)


Edited by Juthro, 04 June 2020 - 05:36 PM.

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#7 Moonless

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Posted 04 June 2020 - 10:32 PM

Thanks @Juthro That sounds like a great idea and I'll definitely consider it because I love fresh herbs and I think my partner would appreciate having the fresh herbs indoors. The only thing that i'd be worried about is if that type of light is too intense for the kitchen or living room, but a closed space like a closet it is perfect for. Its a sacrifice id be willing to make if the window is covered by a tree, really small, or facing north. Nonetheless, I'm sure that a small grow bulb would be enough supplemental light for a windowsill herb garden in those conditions.

 

I really love peppers and would love to grow Jalepenos and habanero, I'm definitely going to do the potato and sweet potato buckets depending on the season. Can't wait to move and find a new place.


Edited by Moonless, 04 June 2020 - 11:55 PM.

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#8 Juthro

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Posted 05 June 2020 - 01:21 AM

One thing we found that worked for us is to use Rubbermaid (maybe Sterilite I don't remember for sure, but we got them from wally world) under bed storage containers (the cheap ones, not the ones with wheels)  as drip trays for indoor potted plants.  Each one will hold three, 2.5 or 3 gallon pots, and easily catch any dead leaves, water, or dirt mess coming from the plants.  When inside, they protect the floor much better than those little saucer style pot holders.  They hold up good to UV's as well, as we've been using our same set for over 6 years now.   Haven't had a single failure to date, knock on wood :)

 

Though if doing this in a rental, I would also advise putting a tarp under those storage containers.  A $10 tarp could save you a lot of coin from a lost deposit over damaged flooring, or carpet.   It also makes seasonal clean up a lot easier.  I look at'em like cheap insurance.

 

I look forward to hearing about yout growing success.  Good grow vibes to you friend :)



#9 Phungivore

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Posted 05 June 2020 - 06:15 PM

i have used several sterlites for patio raised bed, if it happens to get hot ya might wanna look into SIP



#10 Moonless

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Posted 05 June 2020 - 06:29 PM

i have used several sterlites for patio raised bed, if it happens to get hot ya might wanna look into SIP

Hey man nice picture!

 

That sounds like a great idea! Do you drill holes into the bottom, are they clear or opaque bins??

 

Whats SIP?


Edited by Moonless, 05 June 2020 - 06:31 PM.


#11 Juthro

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Posted 05 June 2020 - 07:45 PM

I went and looked at mine, they are sterilite underbed box's, 28 quart size.  They are clear, and no, I don't put any holes in them.

 

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Edited by Juthro, 05 June 2020 - 07:46 PM.

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#12 Phungivore

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Posted 09 June 2020 - 07:46 AM

a couple video examples of SIP's

 

 

https://www.youtube....h?v=lE8OrdUZQKk

 

[Direct Link]

 

Recently i made one in a 44 gallon tote for my 42" x 22" Bloom cab. (Still like get an HLG-320 move up to the LED lighting) 

 

typically i use opaque tubs by virtue of price that is typically cheapest to obtain

 

i am on bottom floor so i do not worry about containg run off. but if i would have moved into one place i looked they said plants ok long as you contained the water so it did not drip off balcony


Edited by Phungivore, 09 June 2020 - 07:51 AM.

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#13 Moonless

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Posted 04 September 2020 - 02:41 PM

This is what I've got going on

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27gal black tubs with six 1/4in drainage holes. We planted vegetable starters in one, and transplanted out herbs into the other. Now we have also added seed in-between the established plants to produce a fuller look and hopefully create a staggering of crops.

 

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#14 Moonless

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Posted 17 September 2020 - 01:16 PM

These past weeks there has been a lot of growth in the garden. The vegetable bed has had tremendous growth on all plants except for the basil (poor guy). The squash and tomato has had such amazing growth that I've had to put up string for the squash to cling on to, without the string the squash was clinging onto and choking out the small pepper in front of it.

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The herbs container has died back a lot. The lavender, curry and lemon thyme had to be clipped of their dead and dying limbs, the lemon thyme and lavender had to be trimmed down to the stubs, while the curry is still alive but had lost half it's limbs. While that situation is grim, I have hope for the curry and lemon thyme to spring back. Unfortunately I don't think the lavender will make it.

post-159119-0-69614200-1600365682.jpg

 

Thankfully, there are a few seeds that have started to take off in the herb bed. There are basil and carrot seedings that are starting to produce leaves and a pea plant that is still small but getting ready to climb up the railing.

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