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Having limited outdoor space shouldn’t be an issue when it comes to growing vegetables! Some vegetable crops can produce abundant yields in small spaces, making them perfect for balconies, terraces, and small yards. Let’s take a look at some of the best vegetables to grow on your balcony.

1. Tomatoes

green and red tomatoes
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Tomato plants will thrive on a sunny balcony, providing regular harvests of delicious sun-kissed fruits all summer long. Choose tomato varieties that suit the space you have available – cherry tomatoes for hanging baskets, bush tomatoes for containers, and taller indeterminate varieties for growbags. Make sure to use good-quality organic compost to provide all the nutrients your tomato plants need for vigorous growth and fruit development.

2. Lettuce

growing lettuce
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Did you know that some lettuce varieties can be grown all year round? That’s right – with some clever use of container gardening on your balcony, you may never need to buy another tasteless wilted lettuce from the grocery store again! The best way to grow a continuous supply of lettuce is to sow ‘cut and come again’ varieties or by picking the outer leaves of larger lettuces as and when required.

3. Swiss Chard

Ruby red or pink swiss chard with bright green leaves as a leafy vegetable growing in a home organic garden as a gardening hobby in a raised bed with healthy soil.
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The rainbow-like effect of different types of Swiss chard is guaranteed to add a splash of color to your balcony! Like lettuce, Swiss chard is a vegetable crop that just goes on producing all year round – simply pick the larger leaves as needed and leave the smaller ones to continue growing. Swiss chard is remarkably cold tolerant and is best grown in the shade in hotter climates to prevent it from bolting. 

4. Chili

Chili peppers (also chile, chile pepper, chilli pepper, or chilli, Latin: Capsicum annuum) in the green garden. Red color peppers. Close up photo.
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Chili peppers are heat-loving plants and often do better on a sunny balcony than in cooler yards or gardens. Plant chilies in nutrient-rich compost and feed them regularly with organic fertilizer during the summer months. Chili plants are normally grown as annuals but can be overwintered on a sunny balcony if protected from frost.

5. Mini Cucumbers

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Mini cucumbers are great fun to grow on a balcony. They produce perfect snack-sized crisp, fresh, and delicious fruits. Mini cucumber plants can be trained to grow vertically up a trellis or canes placed against a sunny wall or railings. Remember to pick cucumbers as soon as they are large enough, as they quickly become oversized and inedible.

6. Peas

A large handful of ripe raw peas in the palms of man's hands. Concept of proper healthy nutrition, agriculture.
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Peas are the ideal crop to fill the ‘hungry gap’ in your balcony garden – the lull that occurs in spring when the winter crops end their life cycle and we’re waiting for summer veg to start producing.  Pick pea pods as soon as they are ready and your plants will go on producing a good yield for several weeks.

7. Bell Peppers

bell peppers red and green
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Bell peppers are a summer crop that will relish the extra heat of a sheltered sunny balcony. These plants are heavy feeders, so use a good-quality growing medium that provides plenty of nutrients. Bell pepper plants can be slow to reach maturity, so they may need to be started indoors a few weeks before the last expected frost date.

8. Radishes

Fresh radishes on old wooden table
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No vegetable crop grows faster than radishes – you’ll pick the first crisp little radishes just a few weeks after sowing! Radishes grow best in the shade, particularly during the summer heat, and appreciate regular watering. Remember to sow radish seeds every few weeks for a continuous harvest.

9. Zucchini (climbing or bush varieties)

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Zucchini plants are notorious for taking up a lot of space, but climbing or bush varieties are surprisingly compact and can be grown in containers on a balcony. For added interest, choose zucchinis in a range of colors and shapes to create a stunning visual display on your balcony. The plants will also provide plenty of leafy shade during the summer months.

10. Eggplant

Two raw organic eggplant on old rustic wooden background
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Eggplants simply love the heat – the more, the better! So, if you’ve got a sunny corner of your balcony, try growing a few eggplants in small containers or pots. South or west-facing balconies are the best option as they remain warm through the night. Eggplants grow very slowly and should be started indoors in early spring.

11. Carrots

Fresh carrots. Harvest fresh organic carrots on the ground.
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Carrots can be sown quite densely in containers, making them a good crop to grow when space is limited. Once the seeds have germinated, thin them out to the recommended spacing – carrot thinnings are a delicious addition to summer salads. Carrots grown on balconies are rarely bothered by carrot flies as these tiny insects stay closer to ground level.

12. Rosemary

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No balcony garden is complete without an array of fragrant herbs like Rosemary. Not only do herbs make a flavorsome addition to your food, but many also repel biting insects and attract beneficial pollinators. When growing herbs in containers, it is a good idea to group specific herb types that share similar preferences in terms of soil type and water requirements.

13. Green Onions

fresh green onions (scallion) and green lettuce on a cutting board isolated.
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Green onions are a great place to start if you want to grow one completely foolproof vegetable crop. Green onions are grown from bulbs (also known as sets) planted in good-quality compost about 3” apart. Water these bulbs regularly, and within a few months, you’ll be rewarded with a crop of deliciously crisp green onions, perfect for summer salads, pickles, and sandwiches.

14. Kale

A healthy fresh curly kale.
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Kale is the perfect winter crop for your balcony vegetable garden – this leafy green thrives in cooler temperatures. It will produce a continuous supply of delicious leaves from fall to spring. Kale can withstand frost, hail, snow, and icy winds, making it one of the most robust balcony crops you can grow.

15. Beets

Beets in a row stacked in outdoor market
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Beets are as easy to grow as radishes but just take slightly longer to mature. When growing beets in a container, it is a good idea to sow three or four seeds closely together – a technique called ‘multisowing’. When the largest beet is ready to harvest, it can be gently twisted from the ground, leaving space for the remainder to grow.

16. Thyme

potted thyme plants with green leaves
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Thyme is a fantastic herb to grow on a balcony, much like rosemary. No balcony garden should be without a selection of fragrant herbs, which add flavor to your dishes and repel biting insects and attract helpful pollinators. Thyme, in particular, is effective at repelling mosquitoes, thanks to the oil released from its crushed leaves. When planting herbs in containers, it’s beneficial to group herbs that have similar soil and water needs.

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17. Basil

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Like rosemary, basil is a perfect herb for cooking and is efficient at repelling mosquitoes. Place this mosquito-repelling plant near the balcony, patio, deck, or any other outdoor space where you spend the most time. Basil makes an excellent addition to many cuisines.

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cinnamon on houseplant
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oversized planters
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hammock in backyard
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Different aromatic potted herbs in wooden crate, closeup
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Growing something as simple as our own herbs is a huge step towards sustainability. You can begin the process in a small space in the kitchen or backyard with some of your favorite herbs. Here are some simple but practical steps to get you started on your own herb garden.

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