Outdoor gardens on condo and apartment balconies have their unique challenges and characteristics. First are the sun conditions. The ideal direction is to have a South-facing balcony without many or any other tall building to obstruct the sun as it typically receives sun for the majority of the day.
A West-facing location is second best, typically receiving direct sun from the early afternoon onwards into the evening. An East-facing location can still grow a variety of greens and herbs, but often sun and heat-loving plants don’t grow as well.
Balcony walls and railings can also work to limit the sun that reaches your plants. If you have an opaque wall or railing, we recommend raising the height of the plants/planters to give them as much time in the sun as you can. If this is your situation, consider propping your planters up on a stand or using a vertical garden for your balcony.
In addition, the higher up you live, the more wind and temperature fluctuations your garden will experience. This causes them to dry out faster, require more water, and become more easily stressed, leading to dead, weak, or low yielding plants. That’s why we’ve listed almost exclusively self-watering planters that come with a built in reservoir to allow the plants to go for longer periods of time between watering. This means less frequent watering, faster plant growth, more yields, and less work. It’s really a winning combination and why we love self-watering planters.
We’ve also put together two blog posts on 5 Things You Must Consider Before Starting An Edible Garden and 5 More Things You Must Consider Before Starting and Edible Garden to help get you started as well.