Container gardening in downtown high rise

(Question)

I live in a high rise downtown and have a few containers with soil on a small balcony with full sun. I would like to plan anything, preferably colourful. Ordinarily, I would visit a gardening store like Sheridan on Yonge Street and browse. I’d appreciate advice on what plants to get and where to find or order them.

(Answer)

E

When planting in containers on a balcony you need to consider the physical environment your plants will be growing in, for example the amount of sun, wind conditions, and source of water ie is it convenient? Although you have good sun light, how high up is your balcony? There is more wind at the higher levels that will affect taller plants and also dry out the containers more quickly. The first link below outlines some basic consideration when planning to plant in containers on a balcony. The second link has a list of annual plants that are good for dry conditions.

https://www.torontomastergardeners.ca/askagardener/balcony-gardening-2/

https://www.torontomastergardeners.ca/gardeningguides/drought-tolerant-annuals-a-toronto-master-gardeners-guide/

Where to get plants now that we are trying to keep isolated is a new problem. There are many seed companies that you can order both seeds and plants from by logging onto their web sites on the internet. You can look through their online catalogues that have good descriptions and photos of the various plants. Some plants are very easy to grow from seed like marigolds, cosmos, calendula, morning glories (a climber), poppies and nasturtiums to name a few. They are all colourful and a range of heights. In addition some are also edible. In fact some vegetables are also very decorative, like bright lights Swiss Card with their showy leaves and garden peas with lovely flowers. Using a climber like morning glory  or peas will also add a dimension to your balcony garden. Many of the catalogues also indicate which seeds are easy to grow.  Here is a source that list most of the seed suppliers in Canada, what types of seeds they specialize in and where they are located.

https://seeds.ca/sw8/web/diversity/seed-catalogue-index

I can personally attest to the satisfaction and ease of growing plants in containers, so have fun growing.