Design: Balcony Garden Joy

Small space gardening is our specialty here at Gardenerd. We like making the most of tiny gardens, and our latest project was no exception. Using pre-fab products, we turned a plain old balcony into a farm-for-one in Hermosa Beach, CA. You can do this too. Here’s how:

The Balcony

The client’s balcony was tiny, to say the least. 2 outdoor seats and some pots with succulents took up much of the space. The client was so excited about growing some food though, she was willing to empty a couple of pots filled with what we called, “sad grass.” These decorative grasses were not happy in their pots, so the promise of tomatoes made it easy to discard the old grasses in favor of new edible crops.

A cherry tomato (which grows well along the coast) occupies former "sad grass" pot.

A cherry tomato (which grows well along the coast) occupies former “sad grass” pot.

With the addition of biodynamic soil, a MiniFarmBox Rolling Balcony Box and some Woolly Pocket wall planters, we had our garden sorted out.

Growing up

Vertical gardening is key in small spaces, so crops like pole beans and cucumbers play a major roll here. We brought in a short trellis to extend our growing space upward and situated some wall planters for herbs above that.

Rosemary in a smaller pot, our MiniFarmBox and Woolly Pocket Wall Planters

Rosemary in a smaller pot, our MiniFarmBox and Woolly Pocket Wall Planters

We were able to fit two more Wall Planters above the tomato pot, giving the client a total of 6 pockets for growing herbs and strawberries. The cedar trough planter holds summer crops like peppers, eggplant, okra (a stretch for space, but worth a try, right?), pole beans and cucumbers.

She'll guide cucumbers and pole beans up the trellis this summer.

She’ll guide cucumbers and pole beans up the trellis this summer.

For the herb planters we chose oregano, thyme, cilantro, parsley, basil & dill. Some will spill over the edge to cover the planters.

Thyme is great for spilling over containers.

Thyme is great for spilling over containers.

The client plans to add more herbs to each wall planter. Her new plot gets afternoon sunlight and reflected morning light from the building next door. She’ll water by hand (the wall planters have a reservoir) and pick her produce in a couple months.

In the fall we’ll plant salad greens and brassicas, peas, and more. It’s a great starter garden for one person, and it proves that you can grow food in just about any space!

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2 Responses to Design: Balcony Garden Joy

  1. Ella Herrick says:

    Nice small garden! It’s so tidy. I just moved in a new place and my balcony is perfect for a small vegetable garden. There are great ideas and some of them seem to work perfectly good at my garden. Thank you for sharing!

  2. Balcony gardening is also a good idea if you have squirrels in your yard. I am growing tomatoes, peppers, beans and zucchini on the balcony off of our bedroom. It gets sun most of the day. I am growing several varieties of tomatoes including Sungold and Sweet 100s. The scarlet runner beans have been attracting hummingbirds.

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