Saturday, June 11, 2022
Growing your own fruits and vegetables has gained popularity in recent years. The quest for greater sustainability is leading to a rethinking of where the food we consume every day comes from. Self-sufficiency has grown from a small movement into a trend that is increasingly spreading to people living in the city. Many types of herbs, vegetables and fruits can be grown on a balcony or terrace, even if there is no garden.
Many people would like to grow their own vegetables and fruits, but do not have a garden. Many varieties can now be grown on a balcony or terrace without any problems, even in small areas, with the right technology and the right seeds. A garden on a balcony or terrace is beautiful not only visually. It can also be a real oasis of calm in the city.
Sunny or rather shady?
In addition to the size of the balcony or terrace, the location in relation to the sun plays an important role in the design of the improvised garden. North orientation provides shade and coolness. In the east, the morning sun is predominant, and the plants are in the shade during the day. If the balcony or terrace faces south, you can expect midday sun and therefore a warm and sunny place to grow. With a western orientation, you can also expect more sun, but also a little more wind. Depending on the orientation, different types of plants are suitable for growing on a balcony or terrace. While tomatoes or other plants prefer the sun on a fairly hot south-facing balcony, some plants also need shade. On a south-facing balcony, you can also create shade, for example with an awning or sun umbrella, adapting the location to the needs of the plants to ensure the best development.
Vegetables and fruits are suitable
Numerous balconies and terraces face south and are therefore designed for heat-loving plants. These include tomatoes, eggplants, cucumbers, peppers and hot peppers.
Lettuce belongs to the group of flat root crops and is therefore especially suitable for growing in bowls and window boxes. However, lettuce usually does not tolerate strong heat. Therefore, it is better to plant it on balconies facing west or east. Lettuce should be chosen for multiple harvests, as it does not form a head and can be harvested again and again. For growing on balconies and terraces, such types of lettuce as arugula, arugula, lettuce (Lollo Rosso, Lollo Biondo), red and green oak leaf lettuce, American brown, Venetian brown, Australian yellow and cutlet are especially suitable.
Most types of fruit require much more space than usual on a balcony or terrace. Nevertheless, growing fruit plants in a small space should not bother anyone. Especially strawberries are very popular with balcony gardeners, because they can be planted in balcony boxes or in so-called hanging baskets. Lattice fruit is also suitable for growing on balconies and terraces. Lattice fruits also have a number of advantages.
Branches of fruit trees can be grown only to the left and right in the wall wallpaper. Therefore, wallpaper fruits are ideal for terraces with a small space and unused walls of the house. Fruits grown on trellises are often of better quality because they do not cover each other. In principle, all types of fruits that grow in the climate of the region are suitable for trellis. There are several ways to grow trellis fruits. This is especially easy to do with pre-cultivated trellis fruit trees that can be purchased at garden stores. Depending on the available conditions, you can use apples, pears, apricots, plums, peaches, cherries or even grapes.
Smart use of the smallest spaces
Depending on the location, design or condition, balconies as well as terraces can often be limited horizontally. The solution to this is the construction of a so-called “vertical garden”. The height of the balcony or terrace is used. Hanging baskets are good for herbs like B. Oregano is very good.
Plant stands are useful for upright herbs such as rosemary or basil. Climbing aids are suitable for climbing vegetables such as cucumbers and courgettes. However, they must be firmly anchored to support the weight of the late fruits. Tall tomatoes are difficult to support because the spiral rods do not have enough support in the root ball. Therefore, bushy varieties without a continuous central shoot are suitable for the balcony. You can find them in the form of bush or balcony tomatoes in specialized garden stores. Salads and other beds are especially recommended for larger window boxes or a special bed for balconies and terraces. This not only makes maintenance easier, but also makes better use of available space. If you have the dexterity, you can also build a flower bed yourself. Lining the plant boxes with a pond liner is important. In addition, such types of wood as larch or Douglas fir should be used. They are more durable and also cheaper than spruce wood. Another cheap and creative way of growing can be done using juice or milk packaging (tetrapax). They are cheap, waterproof and can be used as planters for one more season before they are thrown away. For a tetrapak hanging basket, turn the container upside down, cut off the bottom and drill a hole in the center of the side wall, an inch below the edge, and thread the strings through for hanging. Then the package is filled with earth, the plant is inserted and hung in the right place. The twist lock located on the underside can now be used to drain excess water to avoid waterlogging.
Breeders have also adapted to this trend by producing special, compact varieties of balcony vegetables. Plants are especially suitable for growing in pots, tubs and window boxes. Even potatoes are great for growing on a balcony or patio. They can be grown in a plant bag that is gradually filled with soil to save a lot of space. But they also grow very well in tall containers.
Correct vessels and sizes
Sufficient root space is especially important for good plant growth and abundant harvest. The smaller the container, the more often you need to water the plants and the less they remain. In addition, such balcony vegetables as tomatoes or cucumbers, which are consumed intensively, need sufficient nutrients. Therefore, it must be supplied with liquid fertilizer at least every two weeks. It is introduced together with irrigation water. Pots for tomatoes and cucumbers should have a diameter and depth of at least 35 centimeters and a volume of about 20-40 liters. For zucchini or pumpkin, the pots should be much larger. Pots with a volume of 40 to 60 liters are recommended. A capacity of 10 liters is quite enough for pepper and chili. Herbs can easily be grown in smaller pots or boxes with a diameter of 15 centimeters. In general, there are no too large pots and containers. The larger the vessel, the better the root system can spread, which benefits the plants and their fruits. It is also important to fill the growing containers with good, humus-rich soil. Balcony boxes are recommended not only to save space. Its long rectangular shape is particularly suitable for growing several smaller crops next to each other. In addition to pots and boxes, you can also use more creative and practical planters. This also includes bags in which, for example, potting soil is delivered. All you have to do is cut a slit in the flat top of the bag with a knife and plant the plant directly into the soil through that hole. The plastic cover also has a protective effect, so water does not evaporate and is not lost by the plant.
There are also plant bags on the market made of strong fabric or felt. They are filled with soil and can be stacked to save space when not in season. Potato planter bags often also have a closable flap at the bottom that makes it easy to collect the tubers. If there is enough space on the balcony or terrace, plants can, of course, be grown on special beds.