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Posted by knitstuff 6 (My Page) on
Sat, Feb 17, 07 at 11:22

Hi all!

I'm Jen, new to the site and just moved into an apartment with a southeastern facing balcony, 4' x 8', zone 6 (SE Michigan) and I am looking for suggestions for plants, both flowering, vegetable and herb. (I'm a cook so I am looking forwards to fresh veggies!) I do have some hooks that I will be able to hang plants from, so suggestions for that are welcome as well!


Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Newcomer!

Hi Jen and welcome!

I just bought seeds online and am looking forward to trying some new heirloom tomatoes and banana peppers this year on my balcony (I have 4 containers that can be dedicated to the 'maters so it was a tough choice of what to try).

There's plenty that you can grow (including whatever you like to cook with) and your exposure will be good for veggies and herbs with the sun. The limit is the amount of space basically. The only downside might be having to water a bit more due the southern exposure, although SE probably gives you a little break in the hottest part of the afternoon as opposed to South or SW.

For veggies/herbs, last year I grew tomatoes (3 types - 7 plants), habanero peppers, tamatillos, italian and greek oregano, sweet and genovese basil, and lemon thyme. Had a nice amount of basil to make pesto.

You can start slowly and see how things do this summer with your exposure and then add on from there. If you hang around here long enough, you'll probably end up hooking a hose to the nearest sink and watering from your doorway because it'll get so packed out there!!! LOL LOL

RE: Newcomer!

Thanks for the tips!

RE: Newcomer!

Welcome Jen!

I started gardening on my balconies just last year and got lots of inspiration from these boards. I agree with Jenny that watering can be a big chore. Last year I kept thinking about setting up a hose but never did. I just lugged back and forth a lot. I did use, almost exclusively, self-watering containers. I have a southern exposure and knew that things would be drying out all the time, so that's what I went with from the get-go. I have no idea if they are really necessary or better, but I didlove them for my situation.

Last year I grew:
Sweet 100 cherry tomatoes
Banana peppers
Hot peppers
2 kinds of basil (way too much basil!)
A strawberry pot full of: rosemary, thyme, tarragon, sage, chives, parsley

Things I started growing that didn't work out:
radishes, carrots, peas, mint (thought that was impossible to kill!), 2 kinds of oregano
I think I know what I did wrong in most of these situations, so I will try them again. I just listed these to point out that even if something doesn't work out, other things will. Even with those failures I listed, I would still call yast year's garden a resounding success.

Here's my garden last year, but the blog stops before the harvest because for some reason it stopped working for me. But you get the idea.

Some food I made last year was: pesto, taboule with homegrown parsley and tomatoes, chili with hot peppers, dried hot peppers, roasted chicken with thyme, rosemary, omlettes with fresh chives, and on and on. Yummy and fun!

Here is a link that might be useful: My garden last year

RE: Newcomer!

containergirl - you just reminded me about mint! I have peppermint and pineapple mint (the latter is varigated). The mints seem to like more shade, although they will grow in full blazing sun if given lots of water! If you plant them under something, they will be happy.

Your food list has now made me hungry, especially the chicken and omlettes!!!!! LOL

My tomato/tomatillo jungle looked like this by August!

Image Hosting by

Some of my herbs:

Image Hosting by

RE: Newcomer!

Mmm, I'm getting excited for spring!

RE: Newcomer!

wow! Great pictures everyone!! Now I am so excited for spring to get here!

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