We all love the fresh fruits and vegetables from the local farmer’s market, so why not grow your own?  Even if you live in a space that has no yard like an apartment it’s still possible to grow some of your fresh fruits and vegetables.  You simply can’t get fresher food than going out to your balcony and picking an apple off of the tree.

Miniature apple trees are among a number of miniature trees that can thrive in large pots.  Ceramic pots are a popular choice for these trees because of their decorative nature, but lighter weight pots are more practical since many of these trees have to be moved inside during the winter.  Many of the ceramic pots are hard to lift before you fill them with dirt and trees and can be almost impossible to lift once you’ve filled them up.

Vertical gardening is your best option for growing food on a balcony.  You can buy vertical gardening pockets and tubes on the internet, but they can get pretty pricey.  A better option is to make your own.  You can do this by buying a section of PVC pipe and cutting half-holes in it in regular intervals.  If you’ve got the equipment you can even warm the area above the hole and push it in so it keep the weight of the dirt above the plant from putting pressure on it.  You will have to cap the bottom if you want to hang it vertically, so it’s a good idea to put a few inches of rock in the bottom of the pipe.

Tomatoes and strawberries thrive in these pipes.  Remember to put any pipe with strawberries inside for the winter because strawberries are perennial and will grow even better the next year.  Most crops that grow close to the ground or vine out will do alright in your vertical garden.  Things like corn and sunflowers won’t though!  Try to avoid plants that will grow up tall.

 

Why stick to gardening?  If your landlord will allow it then your balcony could be a perfect place for two chickens.  You can find small pre-made coops at many farm stores.  A good chicken will produce two eggs a day, but like most animals hens are happier in pairs than alone.  If you aren’t a fan of eggs then aquaponics could always be another option.

In aquaponics you cycle water from a fish tank to the gardening beds above it.  The dirty waters the plants while the plants filter the water clean for the fish.  There are both elaborate and simple systems available online.  Tilapia are a popular fish used in aquaponic systems, but you could choose whichever type you like most.  Just make sure it’s allowed by your landlord and by your local fish and game department if you choose a non-local type of fish.

Creativity is key when raising food in small spaces.  You can grow a variety of food on even a small balcony and enjoy fresh fruits and vegetables right off the vine.  With the right set-up you can even grow your own protein through chickens and fish.

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