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Sky Dwellers - Any Apartment Patio/Balcony Gardeners Here? [View All]

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Dover Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-21-08 08:26 AM
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Sky Dwellers - Any Apartment Patio/Balcony Gardeners Here?
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I had an exchange with kentauros in another thread (Energy/Env. Forum) about apt. gardens that got me wondering about that. Maybe there are even books on this subject...sort of a niche of gardens that few get to see since many are way up in the sky.

Anyway, hope to see some pics of inspirational apartment garden projects. Instead of square foot gardening, maybe we need to have some 8' X 10' apartment balcony garden books. Would love to see the transformation (both vegetable and decorative types) within such a limited space.
I think space and weight restrictions might make a good argument in favor of using the green wall technique and containers (like from ELT Living Walls / ) depending on the growing medium used.

Our empty panels weigh 5lbs and the planted panels range from 35-45 lbs (13 to 16lbs per sq ft) depending on the type of growth medium used. The panels with extensions weigh 10 lbs empty and 45-55 lbs (16-20lbs per sq ft) planted depending on the soil used.

And for small plants another type of vertical container: /

All Kinds of Railing & Fence Planters:

Teak Planter Boxes:

A comfortable, inviting place to sit would be important for me.
Either a cafe table and chair, or better of these hammock chairs (and stand)
particularly the ones that are full enough to also allow you to pull your feet up and then stretch them out with the hammock stetching the length of your legs -

Connect with other apartment dwellers who are avid or closet gardeners by starting a Meetup Group in your area around this topic: /


Turn Your Patio Into A Voluminous Vegetable Garden
by: Jill Homer

My first apartment was a second-story condo in an urban complex, far displaced from the groomed suburban landscapes and sprawling gardens I had grown up with. My only connection to the outdoors was a small porch, surrounded by brown siding and a fading carpet of artificial turf.

To add a little color to the patio, I adopted a few small tomato plants from a friend who had started his garden indoors, and planted them in large pots near my railing. To my surprise, they started to grow. Soon I had filled the 5 x 10 space with more than a dozen ceramic pots, plastic containers, and beach pails filled with peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce and pole beans. Before I knew it, my porch was a curtain of green and my meals regularly featured home-grown vegetables.



My husband and I recently moved to an apartment. I am seeking ideas for inexpensive vegetable patio gardening. There isn't much direct sunlight on our patio.
Hardiness Zone: 8a

Michelle from Dallas, TX


Growing vegetables on your patio certainly doesn't need to be expensive. The lack of sunlight, however, could prove to be a problem. For successful growth, most vegetables will need a minimum of 5 hours of direct sunlight a day. Some will need even more. "Leafy" vegetables (cabbage, lettuce) will tolerate the least amount of light, but vegetables like tomatoes, cucumbers and carrots will need more sun. You'll have to experiment to see what grows best. To maximize the light you have, use strategically placed shiny materials and light colored rocks around your containers to reflect light back onto the plants.

The most inexpensive way to start vegetables is from seed. Varieties labeled "patio, bush, or dwarf" are often bred specifically for container gardening. Saving seeds from year to year will cut down on expenses even further, but you'll need to start with heirloom seeds and avoid hybrids if you want offspring true to the parent plants.

Just about anything that can hold a soil can be fashioned into a container: pails, trashcans, dishpans, plastic detergent or cat litter containers (cut down), wooden or wicker baskets, or even old leather or rubber boots. I like containers made from plastic materials, even though they tend to deteriorate over time with repeated sun exposure. They don't dry out as fast a terra cotta, transfer heat or rust like metal, and you can usually recycle them when you're done using them. If you use plastic containers, try not to spend much on them. Crops with shallow roots, like radishes, beets and onions, will grow just fine in old cake pans. Provide cages or trellises for climbers like beans, peas and cucumbers to save space, or plant them in hanging baskets and let their vines trail downward. If you don't have anything suitable on hand, shop around at flea markets, rummage sales or dollar stores. Make sure your containers have adequate drainage holes on the bottom.

In regards to a growing medium, plan on using a very light soil or a soil-less mix-something that will drain rapidly, yet hold nutrients and keep the plant's roots consistently moist. You'll need to water your vegetables daily and feed them frequently with a 1/2 strength liquid fertilizer like fish emulsion.


About The Author: Ellen Brown is our Green Living and Gardening Expert. Click here to ask Ellen a question! Ellen Brown is an environmental writer and photographer and the owner of Sustainable Media, an environmental media company that specializes in helping businesses and organizations promote eco-friendly products and services. Contact her on the web at


A great little balcony garden blog
by someone who has made a hobby of
finding interesting spaces around the world


Balcony Gardens bring another dimension to your life!

Being an apartment dweller shouldn't keep you from having a garden. Many types of gardens can be created on balconies. With the addition of floral color, a balcony becomes an entertainment center just right for relaxing. Turf, small shrubs, and dwarf trees can be used to create a suburban landscape in miniature above the ground. Balconies even offer the opportunity for food production, with flowering fruit trees and container-grown herbs and vegetables.

Whether transforming a high-rise penthouse or a simple second-floor terrace into a garden, a set of guidelines will aid in creating your "garden on high." First, consider how you wish to use the area. Are you looking for a colorful relaxation area or just privacy from an adjacent high-rise?

Second, evaluate the microclimate. Toward which direction does the balcony face? Note how much sun the area receives and for how long. If the balcony is recessed, does direct sunlight reach it at all? If the situation is very open, will you and your plantings be subjected to buffeting winds and scorching sunlight? Look at the area with a very critical eye before putting a lot of money in to the project. Some minor remodeling may need to be done to make the area inviting to both people and plants.

Safety considerations are another important factor to think about. Most balconies are required by building safety codes to support 60 pounds per square foot. Be sure to use a lightweight growing media which can reduce weight by up to 60% over standard garden soil. Avoid using heavy containers; plastics and cedar wood are recommended for low-weight situations....cont'd



Bed of Grass (looks like some 'green wall' panels behind the grass bed as well).


Rooftop Garden site with Balcony Garden section:

Apartment Balcony Decorating Ideas (Oh My Apartment:


Living On The Edge - Balcony Rooftop Designers Guild /

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