Garden Photo of the Day

Balcony Vegetable Garden

Small space, big plans

Today we’re sharing photos from Katherine Emerson, who has turned her sunny balcony into a container vegetable garden. She writes:

This year I decided to try to grow some vegetables on my balcony: beets, carrots, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, Italian parsley, and Swiss chard. I included pots of marigolds to (hopefully) protect my vegetables against insects that might prey upon them.

I live in the urban village of Port Credit, in the city of Mississauga (first city west of Toronto) on Lake Ontario.

Katherine is taking great advantage of the fact that her balcony faces south, so her veggies get lots of light, and she has combined the practical vegetables with colorful marigolds and a dwarf lilac to add beauty and attract pollinators. The bright, cheerful containers and tables, combined in complementary groups, also add interest and color to the space. That view of Lake Ontario doesn’t hurt either!

Learn more about growing vegetables in containers.

The east end of the balcony.

Closeup of the east end of the balcony, with Brussels sprouts on each side, Swiss chard in the middle, and marigolds in front.

The west end of the balcony.

Closeup of the west end of the balcony, with two pots of broccoli (left), carrots (right), and marigolds (front).

Flowering dwarf Korean lilac (Syringa meyeri, Zones 3–7) in the back, with Italian parsley and marigolds in the front.

Closeup of the lovely lavender blooms on the dwarf Korean lilac. After bloom, the small rounded leaves will continue to look good all summer.

Beets and marigolds. I love how the red in the stems of the beets echoes the red markings on the marigold petals.

Looking straight ahead (south) at Lake Ontario.

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Comments

  1. Maggieat11 06/11/2018

    Best Wishes with your gardening project. Beautiful view, too!

  2. sandyprowse 06/11/2018

    You are very innovative in your pursuit to grow vegetables on your balcony. I really enjoyed the pictures and wish you a great harvest!
    From a Fellow Ontario (Toronto) gardener

  3. mainer59 06/11/2018

    Brussels sprouts get really big. I just checked about containers (mine are in the ground) and you might want to divide them to 1 to a pot. You can get a lot of sprouts from 1 plant but you will have a long wait. They taste best after the first frost. The chard gets big, too, although you probably will be harvesting it as small leaves. You might want to thin them, too. Good luck!

    1. Katherine_8 06/14/2018

      Hi mainer59: Thanks for the tip. Both the Brussels sprouts and broccoli are really getting large. I am going to divide the Brussels sprouts as you suggested. Of course this means more pots, more little tables, and getting more soil delivered and brought up to my balcony (and the cost). Just going to let the broccoli be and see how it does as I have to draw the line (on the budget) somewhere :)

  4. cheryl_c 06/11/2018

    I love your bright pots and happy balcony garden! This is our first year to try tomatoes in very large pots, only because we have run out of areas in our yard that have enough sun! My parents used to grow brussel sprouts and I recall how tasty they were fresh from the garden. Later this summer I'm going to put beets in our flower garden (missed out on getting it done this spring) hope they come up as well as yours have!

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    meander_michaele 06/11/2018

    All your colorful containers and tables give me a happy feeling. Looks like you are fairly high up and I admire your determination to grow harvestable vegetables as well as being able to enjoy that impressive view.

  6. PatinMapleValley 06/11/2018

    Katherine, I love your photos and your balcony! I'm sure you get lots of pleasure spending time out there, and hopefully, enjoying the harvest. I'm imagining the challenges you face, hauling supplies and plants up to your floor, and admire your efforts greatly. Good luck, gardening friend!

  7. BTucker9675 06/11/2018

    Guess you won't have to worry about deer and rabbits getting your veggies! : )

  8. Katherine_8 06/14/2018

    Hi mainer59: Thanks for the tip. Both the Brussels sprouts and broccoli are really getting large. I am going to divide the Brussels sprouts as you suggested. Of course this means more pots, more little tables, and getting more soil delivered and brought up to my balcony (and the cost). Just going to let the broccoli be and see how it does as I have to draw the line (on the budget) somewhere :)

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