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March 4, 2014 at 12:40 pm #49255
Im living in a small apartment building near my college and wanted to grow food on my balcony. I was wondering what the best and most productive plants to grow in this area would be, I’m living in Dublin, Ireland so sunny weather is not abound.
Would it be worth my while buying a small greenhouse type structure? Building a small raised be with a cloche or are there plants I could grow in this climate that are high yield and low maintenance?
any advice would be much appreciated
thank you :)March 4, 2014 at 1:41 pm #49256
There’s loads of choice, depending on what you like and how much space you have. Salad leaves (mixed baby leaves) are quick and easy, and a few radish too. If you can build a fairly deep bed, say 10-12″ or 25-30 cms, then I love to grow carrots. You can sow them fairly close in a raised bed and get lots in a small area. There are compact types of courgette plants (Zuchini) if you like them, although probably not the best use of space. You could try mange tout peas, or maybe french beans which can produce a good crop from a few plants. 1 or 2 small bush tomatoes in large pots or tubs. Have a look at seeds and try whatever you fancy :)March 4, 2014 at 2:17 pm #49259
you could also make a potato cube.But i had an idea to see if like your land lord or the person who owns the apartment would let grow a green house on thee roof or top of the building but as Marc uk said there are many things you can grow but in his word “whatever you fancy” this was probably not a big help so i am sorry
Wild Man.March 5, 2014 at 10:14 am #49267
Yea I’ve been told to plant quick radish by a friend, I must try it as I’ve never grown it before and I love it roasted.
Anymore suggestions would be great the space is about 4ft by 5ft, building a small raised bed is a possibility so carrots will also be on my to do list.
Has anyone experience with vertical bottle growing and if it is effective or not? I’ve seen people do it but just wondering efficiency wise or plant quality it seems lettuce would be the only manageable thing to grow in 2L bottles that I have seen, might be better for propagating rather than growing.March 5, 2014 at 10:15 am #49268
Can I also ask Marc UK what is the turnover time on mange tout and french beans?March 5, 2014 at 1:37 pm #49269
Dwarf French beans can be very quick. You need to wait until it’s a bit warmer before sowing them, but if you get a quick variety you could get some to eat in less than 60 days from sowing. Mange tout may take a little longer. Look on the packets in a shop, or at a seed catalogue online. Many of them will tell you how long they take from sowing to harvest, and some named varieties are quicker than others so check that before buying.. Carrots can be grown in a large pot. I’ve not tried growing in bottles, but look on the web and you’ll find lots of information about it. Here’s one link I found.March 6, 2014 at 4:12 am #49275
Oh thanks very much. That link is great, love the idea of recycling to grow rather than buying pots and planters and much cheaper too. I am going to use a recycled barrell rather than a pot for carrots I think as I got one for free, I’ve been told though that they are different when it comes to temperature and moisture control? Any suggestions for companion plants for carrots?
Might do the bottles for lettuce and kale in the windows, I’ve also been told quick radishes grow in 30 days so will give them a go too but maybe limit the bottle growing to herbs and salad greens.
@wildman what is a potato cube?March 6, 2014 at 4:39 am #49277
cherry or grape tomatoes grown in a hanging planter inside a sunny window are good to eat and good for your appartments air. common garden peas sprout and grow in cool weather, they dont like it hot or overly sunny, a good choice for you. you can plant any longer season items inside and let them get a few weeks headstart before you move them outside and grow a lot of things you cant grow otherwise. like peppers and eggplant or some small squash
beans also transplant quite well and do make nice housseplants :)
in your small space id recommend a vertical garden and a little experimentation to find out what works best for you.
be creative, youll grow as your veggies do :)March 6, 2014 at 5:04 am #49282
Thanks for the tips. Yea vertical gardening is very appealing to me especially because I have two long windows I could do the bottles in and the balcony space could be utilized to great effect with vertical planting. I’m not sure if peppers could grow in the (lack of) Irish sun but squash beans and other types of beans I will try. Can’t wait to have some tomatoes for salads that are fresh and home grown.
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