The Q&A Archives: Vegetables

Question: I live in an apartment, with only a balcony for a yard. I would like to know what vegetables and herbs grow particularly well in pots. Additionally, our balcony only gets limited, indirect sunlight. Do I have any hope for a vegetable garden? Michelle Wiegand Virginia Beach, VA

Answer: A lot of people have successful container vegetable gardens. The important thing to remember is to keep them watered well and be sure you have good drainage in your pots (and be sure your downstairs neighbors don't mind occasional dripping!). With indirect sun, vegetables such as lettuces, spinach, kale and other greens will do well. Vegetables really do need a fair amount of sunlight so, depending on just how shady your balcony is, you could venture into some other types. There are tomato varieties (our 'Tumbler' is a perfect "patio" tomato) that do quite well in containers with at least 6 hours of direct sun. Again, my concern there would be the limited sunlight, but I think it would be worth a try. If you like fresh herbs there are some like chervil, rosemary,c atnip, chamomille, and lemon balm that will tolerate shady conditions. Experiment!

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