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Hi all! Balcony garden, complete beginner!

Hi all!

First of all it is fantastic to meet you all. We moved into a lovely flat with a gorgeous sizeable balcony in the summer and I would like to have a lovely little balcony garden all ready for next summer! Problem is, I am a complete beginner!

When we first moved in I got some seedlings to come up and out of all of them I have a nice little rosemary plant and a basil plant come up, but I almost killed a new little lavender bush (How, I have no idea) and had to cut it right down, thank goodness it's got some little bits of growth and seems to be on the mend.

The balcony gets a lot of sunlight but is quite exposed to the elements, especially wind. I would like to have a garden that both looks nice but I really want to grow herbs and things like peppers and tomatoes since I love cooking. I love wildflowers like cornflowers and sweetpeas as well. I also just want to plant some of your average pretty flowers of course!

What would you guys suggest? I want to get some planning done ready for planting during the winter, are there any calenders available?

Again, thank you very much guys and I really look forward to talking to some of you!

 

Posts

  • TonksTonks Posts: 54

    Hi BitterKnitter,

    Before I moved, I lived in a flat with a south facing balcony.  My two bits of advice are that if you are growing tomatoes go for a bush (not corden) variety.  You can start these from seed easily enough in March.  Secondly, get on good terms with your neighbour - as everything will be in pots it will need watering when you go away and there's nothing worse than coming back from a holiday to a bunch of dead plants!

  • Thanks Tonks, I can't remember if the garden is south facing or not but I strongly suspect is is, as the heat that comes through our windows during the summer heats up the front room to an unbearable level.

    And thank you! I've been watching the growing garlic videos and am all inspired to go to the garden store to get some bulbs and get growing! When would you plant a bush tomato plant?

  • TonksTonks Posts: 54

    It depends on what part of the country you live in but if you raise it from seed on a sunny window sill it can go outside in May or after the last frosts.  I

    t will need hardening off before then (technical term for acclimatising it to the outdoors) but as long as the nasty cold or windy weather is over it can go out....the advantage of a balcony is that it's easy to bring plants in again if you have to!

  • 4thPanda4thPanda Posts: 4,145

    Hi BK image

    My sister has a flat in Manchester and has a fab balcony that faces South, and is on the second floor. She grows the following: 

    Acer Azalea (snow hill), Wild flowers (grown from seed bombs), Rosemary, Those little white ones you might remember the name ofDwarf pear tree Dwarf peach tree Blueberry bush (blueberry blue gold) Mint Fushia Freesia  Lots of ivy She had spring bulbs in the wooden planter, but next year is going to try growing peas.   And here are some pics she let me put on here:

    image

     

    image

    Hope these help and give you some inspiration image 

  • 4thPanda4thPanda Posts: 4,145

    Sorry for the lack of punctuation in the list of plants - they were a proper up and down list before I posted! image

  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 19,173

    Strawberries grow well in pots and are quite attractive and if you like runner beans there is a dwarf one to grow in pots which has very pretty red and white flowers, called Hestia.

    Dordogne and Norfolk
  • Thank you so much for the suggestions and inspiration, guys, what a fantastic bunch of ideas! And thanks for making me feel so welcome image

     

     

  • WateryWatery Posts: 388

    I liked this book http://www.permaculture.co.uk/book-reviews/permaculture-pots-how-grow-food-small-urban-spaces which I got from my local library.  It has a calendar and lots of ideas for urban gardening.  I used her idea of making a wick for my tomato plants to keep the soil moist (although I used two buckets from Wickes) and it worked pretty well.

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