Balcony Garden

(Question)

I have a balcony facing east, there is no roof on the balcony. I would like colourful flowers and perhaps grow some vegetables. Is this possible with morning sun and afternoon brightness and some indirect sun?

(Answer)

You can certainly have an attractive and productive garden on your east facing balcony. You’ll need to determine more specifically how much sun you receive in order to make the best plant selections. Vegetables require at least 6 hours of direct sun a day. There are flowers that thrive in full sun (6 hours per day), partial sun (4-6 hours) and partial shade (2-4 hours) so you’ll have lots to choose from once you know your specific conditions.

Some other considerations for balcony gardening are:

  • Consult with your building management for legal, safety, and weight considerations.
  • Hardiness zones for plants (look for this in descriptions of plants and on plant labels) are a few levels lower the higher up you are located.
  • If you select perennials and plan to overwinter them, the containers you choose will have to be large and insulated. Also make sure the containers have adequate drainage.
  • If you are in a windy area your plants will require more water.

For more information and inspiration on balcony gardening, the following website provides links to many resources.

Toronto Balconies Bloom

You might also be interested in attending ‘Balcony and Terrace Container Gardening’ a Master Gardener led presentation offered through the Toronto Public Library at various branches around the city. For information on dates, times and location, click here.