How To Grow Vegetables On Your Balcony On A Budget

You don't need a lot of space to grow some of your own vegetables, and you have control over what does and doesn't get sprayed on food you grow yourself. Several kinds of vegetables can be grown in pots on your balcony, and growing your own doesn't have to break the bank. Here's a guide to creating your own balcony vegetable garden on a budget:

Preparing Your Pots

You can purchase cheap garden pots online and should choose a variety of sizes to accommodate the growth of your vegetables. Small pots are ideal for young plants, but you'll want to transplant them into larger pots once they're established to ensure they have access to enough nutrients and moisture.

Combine equal parts topsoil and compost for a rich growing medium that will keep your vegetable plants happy as they grow. Topsoil isn't particularly expensive, but before you purchase a bag check if any of your green-fingered friends of family members have topsoil they're looking to get rid of. When gardeners dig raised beds they're often left with a pile of topsoil to discard, so they may be pleased to find someone willing to take it off their hands.

Any compost will do the job, but you may be able to get free or inexpensive composted horse manure from your local stables. Vegetables need nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium to grow, and composted horse manure is packed full of these nutrients.

Seeds And Cuttings

Do you need 500 tomato seeds for your balcony garden? Probably not, but seeds tend to be sold in packs of several hundred. You can save some money on seeds by buying a few varieties and swapping some with those green-fingered friends and family members. This will give you a wide variety of vegetable seeds without much of an initial outlay.

Some vegetables can also be grown from cuttings, so you can turn one plant into several just by removing a few healthy stems from an existing plant. Choose well-established stems that are growing around halfway up the plant and dip the cut end of the stem in rooting powder before planting it in a pot.

Woody, fibrous plants grow well from cuttings, so give it a go with sweet peppers, basil and tomatoes. The root end of onions can be replanted in a large pot and harvested as green onions or left to grow to maturity.

Vegetables That Grow Well In Pots

Here are a few examples of vegetable that grow well in pots:

Cucumbers - Easy to grow and can be trained to grow up a bamboo cane to save space. One plant will give you several cucumbers.

Green beans - These are high-yielding and easy to grow, but they do require lots of water.

Carrots - You can grow several carrots in one deep pot. You can also eat carrot greens, which are delicious sautéed in garlic butter.

Sweetcorn - Requires full sun and deep pots, but there's nothing quite like freshly picked corn.

Sweet peppers - Grow these plants one per pot, and use a cane to support each plant as the peppers can weigh them down and cause them to break.

Radishes - You can sow several radish seeds in one pot and they have shallow roots, so the pot doesn't need to be deep. They are delicious in salads and can be harvested a couple of weeks after sowing.

Lettuce - Choose loose leaf varieties of lettuce that continue to grow as you pick the leaves as these varieties give you the best value for money. Lettuce likes partial shade and room to grow.

Turnips - Choose a sunny spot on your balcony for growing turnips and don't forget you can eat turnip greens, too.

Growing vegetables on your balcony doesn't have to be expensive, and you might find it fun and rewarding. If you find yourself with more veggie plants than your balcony can handle, give some away as budget-friendly gifts. For more information on planting and cheap garden pots, contact a business such as Wentworth Falls Pots.