If you are new to gardening, here are five vegetables that are easy to grow in pots in a small space such as a balcony. Take this small step towards growing your own food. 

vegetables in container garden

To plant a garden today is to believe in tomorrow.

There are daily reports of pesticides and chemicals seeping into the vegetables we consume. This strengthened my conviction to take baby steps to grow vegetables.

My mother loved gardening. She spent hours and hours tending to the plants. It came to such a point that my brother, all of three years, insisted on having only okra for lunch and dinner every day. We moved cities and countries after three years in that small town, and never got to live in a individual house with a front and back yard.

Years later, I found the same passion for plants in my father-in-law. He grew everything from spinach and mint to radish and broccoli.  We rarely bought vegetables in the winter, and primarily used the produce from the garden.

That’s where my weakness for greens comes from. The limited 8*4 feet balcony space is no deterrent. Last summer, the pots mainly contained flowering plants. This summer, I’m re-potting them with jasmines, and white and orange hibiscus. I’m also adding some vegetables to the mix.

It all depends on choosing the right vegetables – the ones whose roots don’t grow very deep. Get started with me if you want to grow your own vegetable garden.

HOW TO SET UP A CONTAINER VEGETABLE GARDEN

I often get questions from beginners on how to get started with gardening. Like, what are the materials required, where to buy them, how to plant, germinate seeds etc.

The advantage these days is one doesn’t have to step out of home to start a garden. I have compiled a list of required things you can buy online. The only missing item is potting soil that you will have to buy a nursery close to you.
You’ll need containers, cocopeat, seeds, and tools.
  • Containers: The choice of containers is up to you based on how much space you have. For germinating seeds, you can use either of these methods: cotton wool for faster germination or an empty egg shell filled with potting soilI use a combination of grow bags and plastic pots.
  • I grow vegetables in grow bags. The Cocogarden grow bags are what I have been using for the past two years. They are exposed to direct sunlight. They have withstood extreme weather conditions.The bags come with few drainage holes and are light enough to be moved around, unlike pots.
  • You can use clay or cement pots too. The only disadvantage is they can get heavy, so I prefer grow bags.
  • The recommended pot size is 12 inches.
  • Cocopeat: The medium for planting is soil + cocopeat + vermicompost or manure. The advantage of using a cocopeat brick is it is compact and can be easily stored. To use, break the brick, take the required amount and immerse it in a bucket of water. It will grow in size. Mix this mixture with red soil and vermicompost to get the potting mix. Addition of cocopeat makes the red soil less dense for roots to breathe.
  • Tools: Sooner or later, you will have to invest in a set of garden tools to weed, mix the soil, prune the plants. Always wear gloves before you put your hands in soil.

SHOPPING LIST TO SET UP A CONTAINER GARDEN

FIVE VEGETABLES YOU CAN GROW ALL ROUND THE YEAR:

1. CHILLY / PEPPERS/ CAPSICUM

  • Take two or three ripe green peppers. Slit them open and dry them in sun until.
  • Check out how to germinate seeds. It takes about a week for the seeds to sprout. I can see about ten plants now. After you see about 10 leaves, transplant them into a bigger pot/grow bag – one plant per bag or pot.

2. TOMATOES

  • Seeds: Tomatoes come in many varieties from heirloom to exotic. The size varies, too. If you are getting started and don’t have seeds, cut a tomato you like into four pieces. Then, bury it about 1/2 inch into the soil. Wait for 3-4 weeks for the seeds to start sprouting into a plant.
  • Thin the seedlings keeping one seedling per pot. The plant grows taller and needs support to hold it together. The picture below is that of a cherry tomato growing in a small 10″ wide hanging pot. This is the second harvest. I feed it with organic compost once a week.

cherry tomatoes

 

cherry tomatoes

3. CORIANDER

This without doubt is my favorite herb to grow. Less maintenance and quite easy to grow. But many beginners find it hard. The trick is to use soil that is not too dense.

  • Seeds: the seeds come from the kitchen.
  • How to plant coriander or cilantro:  recycle used cans or tins and fill it up with soil. If you can’t make a drain hole at the bottom of the can, fill it up with gravels for about 2 inches and then put the soil on top. Once you have the container ready, take a handful of coriander seeds and rub them with your footwear. Pour the crushed seeds into the can, cover it a layer of soil, water it and forget it. Ensure it gets enough sunlight.
  • Harvest: You should have a bunch of coriander leaves within a month.

This video should help you get started:

 

4. MINT

Mint needs a small container like coriander/cilantro. Alternatively, you can grow the herbs together in a big container. Mint grows like a weed.

  • How to plant mint: To get started, buy stalks of mint form the market. Remove the lower leaves. Place the stalk in a pot in a sunny spot and see it grow like a weed.

5. BEANS

  • Seeds: buy the seeds. Sow the seeds directly in pots a few inches apart.
  • The plant grows into a vine so train them on the grill or a tall pole. You will need at least seven pots to grow seven plants to feed a family of three. If you grow just one plant, the harvest will not be enough.

Nitrate manure is available in most nurseries. Feed each pot with 25-30 gms of organic manure once in 30 days.

HOW TO PROTECT YOUR PLANTS FROM PESTS THE ORGANIC WAY:

 

Sowing, sprouting and transplanting is easy. Protecting them from pests is hard work. The ones that you’ll often encounter are white squishy things along the stems and backside of leaves. This is how I get rid of them naturally, without spraying organic chemicals.

  • Plant feed: plants need nutrition on a regular basis to grow. The best thing to feed them would be dried cow dung. I use a handful of compost/panchagavya every week.

I hope you found this useful. I would love to hear any questions you may have.

136 Comments

  1. sharbori

    hi, many thanks for this post. i always wanted grow some veggies in my balcony. it is north west facing and gets sunlight from 1.30 to 4 p.m. do you think i can start growing the veggies there?

  2. laksh

    Sharbori: Absolutely. That’s ample sunlight for vegetables. This is the right time of the year to get started. Little sooner would have been better but never too late as the plants will be deprived of sunlight once the monsoon sets in next month.

  3. Hi,
    I am also planning to plant vegetables. How do I plant mint. And how do you prevent these from being damaged by pests. No pesticide as we need to use them for eating later…..

    Good post btw.

  4. laksh

    Good choice for starting your vegetable garden with mint. Mint is a low-maintenance and fast-growing plant. Plant mint that has a little bit of stem left in them, a few inches apart in a flat planter. Mint available in local markets usually come with the stems, unlike the ones sold in supermarkets. I haven’t had any pest problem with mint. However, if you are concerned, watch out for spider-mites. Wash the leaves once in a while – this will keep the pests at bay. Pour a little neem powder a few inches around the plant. Good luck! Let me know when you harvest :)

  5. Hi,
    for chilli and coriander, does it need too much sunlight?
    one of my balconies get less sunlight that too in early mornings only… is that enough, or should i shift to another balcony, where it is too much of sunlight in the afternoons?

  6. laksh

    Hi Archana,

    Moderate sunlight is sufficient for coriander while chilli will thrive with good sunlight. Just ensure the plants don’t dry out completely if you are placing them together in the sunny balcony. You may have to water them everyday or once in two days in that case. Hope this helps. Happy gardening :)

    – Lakshmi

  7. wow.. that was an instant reply!…
    thanks.. will try it out..
    similarly any easily growing flowering plant for balcony in bangalore with less maintanence?

  8. Hi Archana,
    You might want to try lillies now. These are seasonal and are available in any nursery now. You can get a rectangular pot and plant different colored lillies. These just need watering and do not require any specific maintenance. You can also consider Hibiscus but this will require sunlight and constant observation for pests.

  9. laksh

    As Natti said, you could try hibiscus. Go in for the shorter (hybrid) bush variety of hibiscus. It comes in a range of colors: orange, pink, white, and red. You can get a sapling for anywhere between Rs.20-Rs.60 from a nursery. You could also try Jasmine, nandyavattai (don’t know the English name), bright red flowers that come in a bunch (again not sure of English name), and Arali (in pink and white).

  10. One more flower is the Marigold. They take care of themselves as long as you water them. They will dry and the plant will die after sometime but lo and behold you will see a sapling coming out within a week or so.

  11. Hi,
    Thanks for the info. I have been trying to find the name of that flower for a long time. I have three different colors (white red and pink) at home but did not know the variety. This is a good alternative to vrikshi(typically seen in Indian gardens and needs to be grounded), which I think is the one below.
    http://www.flowersofindia.net/catalog/slides
    /Ixora%20red.html

  12. Hi,

    Will start off with chilli, tomato and coriander first. Do i need seeds of green chillies?

    cheers!

  13. Hi Laksh,
    Thanks for this post. has been indeed good reading. Can u help me start off gardening in a balcony that faces north east and gets mild sunlight in the morn. I will be moving into the flat by aug end. will it be a good time to start planting?

  14. laksh

    Hi Mithee,

    Yes, you can buy seeds to grow chilli. Or, alternatively, you can buy a sapling and repot it in a bigger pot. Chillies need a lot of sunlight, so this may not be the best time of the year to start. For Bangalore climate, February-March is a good time to start or wait a few more months for the monsoons to get over. However, if you are in an independent house or an apartment that receives a lot of sunlight, then you can try it even now.

  15. laksh

    Hi Chitra,

    Good that you have a north-east facing balcony. East and north-east locations are as good as it gets when it comes to balcony gardening. You have an unlimited choice of veggies, herbs and annual flowering plants to choose from. Since this would be the first time, I suggest start off slow and you’ll encouraged to grow it. You can plant herbs together in a large single pot – coriander, basil and pudina. Aloe vera will thrive well too in a smaller pot in this location. For flowering plants, if you plant in august, they will start blossoming well by winter in December – hibiscus, star cluster and jasmine for instance. If you are fond of Frangipani, you could have that too. I don’t recommend Frangipani much because it is a hard-to-miss part of every apartment’s landscaping in Bangalore, and there is no individuality. Then, there are the money plants and different varieties of cacti.

    Gerberas, Glaxinias, petunias are some other colorful varieties you can go in for during the flowering season. Hope this helps.

  16. what do you think of putting these in terrace open to sun (just after rain stops?) do u think they will survive even though we are still in late monsoon?

    please let me know.

    thanks,
    ganesh

  17. laksh

    Ganesh,

    Sunlight, in moderate amount, is good for plants during the monsoon.

  18. hi
    i just love gardening like anything. It feels so good when u see a sprout coming out of soil and a plant in your garden flowering. it’s like heaven. i wanna start a balcony garden in my apartment. My balcony gets enough sunlight. And its on top of my bedroom. Please gimme some tips on how to start and what material should be used for pots

  19. Hi,
    My balcony gets less sunlight (only in morning). What vergetables plants would best grow in light sunlight ?
    Can I use seeds available in kitchen?

  20. Hi,
    What vegetables can be grown in less sunlight and if seeded in Dec?

    Alo, can I get those seeds from kitchen ?

  21. laksh

    Anil: Which city are you based in? Depends on how harsh/mild the winter sun is. If you are in Bangalore, you can sow chilli/tomato even now. Yes, you can get these seeds from your fridge :) And many vegetables like brinjal grow round the year. Do you want to grow in pots or in the ground?

  22. laksh

    Plants like tomato and chili grow healthier and faster when they receive a good amount of direct sunlight for at least an hour or two during the day. With less sunlight, you would be better off growing herbs.

  23. laksh

    Nithya: you are blessed to receive good sunlight. Lack of sunlight is the bane of most modern apartments. Start with something easy like a money (ivy) plant or hibiscus. This season, if you want colorful ones, go in for the petunias or glaxonias, these are shrubs with bright red/violet/pink colored flowers. Every nursery stocks them. Even marigolds are common around this time of the year. However, these flowering plants are highly sensitive – need good sunlight and just the right amount of water – over watering will kill them. so, take care and let us all know how your garden blooms.

  24. Hi Laksh,

    Thanks for the info.

    I am in gurgaon. Planning to grow them in pots. Earlier I tried growing mint and coriander which had some roots but didn’t work out. Mint was green for few days but later died.

  25. Hi Laksh. I have grown chillies and coriander in pots and now want to grow some vegetables like tomato, beans, brinjal… I am living in Bangalore and want to know when should I start?

  26. I have sporadically grown herbs in pots in my balcony but now want to move on to vegetables. Esp greens/capsicums etc. When can I plant them ( I stay in Bangalore)? Also how do i go about planting spinach & methi?

  27. Hi, I would like to grow herbs like basil,thyme ,parsley and rosemary in my balcony .Can u pls guide me how to do so and where can i get the seeds/saplings needed.Thx!!

  28. Pingback: dress your home - How to enjoy living in apartments » Are your Tomato Plants Ready for Picking?

  29. Hi Laksh,

    one thing which always confuses me is the soil. Do i just pick up the soil from the ground below and pot some seeds in it? or do i have to put some mix in it before seeding.

    i do not trust most of the nurseries. Liked your method of picking up the fruit and plant it. I will start with Tomatoes. Will this be a good time?

  30. laksh

    Vishesh:

    Use a mixture of potting soil and cocopeat which you get in most nurseries. The Jeevan Bhima nagar nursery is the cheapest for this. For tomato you can put the seeds in the pot directly on the surface. For others get a seeding tray and transplant them into pots once they are 6-8 inches tall. Tomatoes thrive well in summer. You can try now but doubt you will have a good harvest without enough sunlight. Water them sparingly.

  31. Sorry Laksh for disappearing. Thanks for ur info. We now have a variety of plants in our balcony. We have some flowering plants near our bedroom window. Hibiscus which was doing very well has suddenly got a problem. Many of the buds turn yellow and fall off. Would u know what the problem could be? earlier the sunlight used to be from 10.30 to1.30pm but now it is from 8.30 to 11.30am. could this be a prob?

  32. Samyukta

    I live in Kochi. I stay in a flat which has a balcony facing the south-west. I have no idea about growing plants, but wish too. Please Laksh, help me. Thank you.

  33. laksh

    Hi Samyukta: The location of your balcony is such that it won’t receive much sunlight during the day but ample during evenings and in winter. If you want a herb garden, start in a small container (not necessarily a pot) and some easy maintenance plants like ferns, hibiscus, ivy etc. You could later move onto vegetables.

  34. I will be retiring in 2 Yrs time & i am going to start a kitchen garden in my balcony. All your inputs will definitely help me.

  35. I have started vegetable gardening in last month and vegetables plants on the balcony (north facing) is pesting me with one or the other issues.

    1) While the okra plant is having 3 okras and growing, the leaves that was affected by aphids have yellow and whiting spots indicating a chlorophyll deficiency. Is it due to the neem oil treatment or the deficiency of sunlight? What is the right size of the okra for harvesting?

    2) The bottom leaves of the tomato plants are yellowing. Is this an issue with over watering? I water them every day, but alternate mornings and then evenings. (If I water today morning, then I water them tomorrow evening) I am based in Bangalore.

    3)The spinach that I have planted on Aug 3rd has all grown, but leaves are of about 3 inches in size and even with good sunlight they look some what drowsy .Is this normal ?

    4) I ahve some corainder leaves about 2 months old, strated flowering, with out much of leafy growth.

    5) After transplanting them I have applied a handful of vermicompost to all the plants to avoid the nutritional deficeincy. How often do I need to add the compost?I bought panchagavya after my friends advice and used it on the plants on last sunday (first time).

    What is your take on these?

  36. hi laksh,ive got a terrace with no sunlight can u suggest some plants or veggies that can be grown there? i live in pune.

  37. laksh

    Hi Chamzin,

    Sorry for the delayed reply. You mean balcony with no sunlight? What direction does it face? It must be getting some amount of sunshine atleast for some part of the day. Ferns and ornamental indoor plants will thrive well. Betel leaf among herbs requires less sunshine. Most vegetables require good amount of sunlight at least for a few hours during the day.

  38. Hi Laksh, I am staying in tirupati. i wanted to start planting few vegetables in balcony.I have no sunlight problems. Can u suggest to me as to what veges i should start with?

  39. laksh

    Hi Preeti,

    Tomato is good to start with you. You can target to pick a ripened tomato in 100 days if you start now. Just about anything will work now with good sunlight – chillies, beans, ladies finger, brinjal etc. Happy gardening:) Let me know once you harvest. Take care to feed organic manure and check for pests often.

  40. chaitali

    hi
    I have planted some green chillies and the plants were growing fine. These days I see the leaves turning slight yellowish compared to green one. Do I need to use some kind of pesticide ? Can you please help.

  41. laksh

    Chaitali: As far as I know, if the leaves are turning yellow, it is most likely due to overwatering or underwatering. Observe if the bottom leaves are turning yellow or the fresh ones. Some plants like tomato and chilli don’t require too much water. If your pot doesn’t drain excess water, then that may add to the issue.

  42. Hi,
    I have green chilli plant in a pot ,but it is not giving chilli so far . I sow the seed six month before and now it has flowers but next day or after two days flowers were on the ground. Please help me

  43. laksh

    Hi Deepak,

    That’s fine. Only if the flowers fall will you get chillis. Regarding growth, is it getting enough sunlight? Check if it is free of pests too. A little pruning may help the plant grow. Add a compost to the soil.

  44. Hi, What is the best season to grow tomotoes and chilli in bangalore. Becz I have few tomoto and chilli plants which are a month old. Can I plant it now?

  45. i am from bangalore. This site is inspiring me. What are the best veggies to grow now. I have few tomoto and chilli plants, which are a month old. Is it right time to grow them. No sunlight problem. I have full day sunlight.

  46. laksh

    Hi Samhi: Flowering plants usually do well this time of the year. Most veggies require a good amount of sunlight and tomatoes/chillies are best sown in balcony gardens in Bangalore around Nov./December so that they you can take the yield around February/March. Be wary of pests this time of the year.

  47. yr comments have encouraged me to start. wish me luck

  48. laksh

    Ferzana: That’s good to know.Let us know how your garden fares :)

  49. hi,i have seen many complaining about flower drop in chilli, it is common feature if watering is done heavily,more nitrogen application may be another reason,so pot planting of chilli to be done carefully and maintain as far as possible dry atmosphere .

  50. Arpita Shah

    Hi,
    I live in mumbai and have a balcony at northeast that gets sunlight for 1-2 hours sunlight at morning and a windowsill that gets sunlight after 2pm.. I already have curry leaves, basil and mint growing.. Please can u let me know any other herbs or veggie that I can grow .. thanks

  51. laksh

    Hi Arpita: It’s great you have these herbs in your garden. Since you live in Mumbai, what I’d suggest is you visit Vriksha nursery – you’ll come back with not only more plants but a lot of gardening ideas and wisdom too :)

  52. jArpita Shah

    PLease can u provide the address of vrikshya nursery please

  53. Sudeshna Basu

    Hi Laksh,

    Learnt a lot from this blog. I need a help.. can u help me out? I have planted tomato and coriander seeds in a seed tray and small saplings has come out of that. I need to know what is the exact time to transfer them to a pot and what compositon of soil will be great for their growth ? Please help

  54. Hey,

    Just came across your blog. Recently moved to bangalore and beside enjoying the glorious weather of the city, found new love for kitchen gardens (albeit in a small space in my balcony).

    Have just planted beans, tomatoes, methi and chillies, watching them grow is such an amazing experience…love your idea of 3 month challenge ….should do that for myself :)

  55. laksh

    Shilpi: Thanks for stopping by and welcome to Bangalore. Do let us know how your plants do …my chillis have begun flowering again.

  56. laksh

    Sudeshna: You can plant the coriander seeds in a small pot from now on and need not be transplanted. I’d suggest a few cms high or when you notice real leaves before you transfer them to a bigger pot – just ensure one sapling in one pot.

  57. Hi :

    I read your article which was very informative and helpful. I have grown tomatoes, beans, coriander, mint in my terrace garden. It feels awesome to see them and use them.

    THanks for this wonderful article. I wish I could post the pics but donno how to do it in this section.

    – Nirmala

  58. Hi

    Loved this post. i have been browsing the net for a couple of days as i want to start growing some veggies in my small space in balcony. I am a begginner and have no clue where to start. I live in Noida (U.P.) please suggest how do i start. and if you know of any good nurseries in Noida/Delhi. Thnaks a lot!!

  59. how do i start a garden in my balcony…..on a small level for a family of 2

  60. Charanya

    Hi,

    Very useful post. Loved it. Is it possible to grow cabbage in home? Please share the tips. This is really wonderful.

  61. Charanya

    Very useful post for the beginners like me. Along with these 5 vegetables, i would like to grow cabbage, ladies finger, etc. Please share us how to grow them, the correct season, sand type, required area. I have some place in my compound to grow them.

  62. laksh

    Hi Charanya: You can join the organic terrace gardening group on FB and post your questions. The group is very helpful.

  63. Hey, I have a beautiful garden too, thanks to the open terrace space in my house in Bangalore. We ave planted, corriander, tomatoes, chillies, methi, carrots and mint up until now. I am looking to get self sufficient in chillies, methi and corriander this year :)

  64. Thanks for the nice post. I came through to your webpage searching for suggestions for vegetables that can be grown in pots in a apartment balcony.

    I have two questions

    1. Regarding the seeding for the chillies. Is it ok to take the seeds from the green chilli that we get from the grocery store and use them for planting?

    2. Do chillies and tomatoes grow throughout the year?

    Thanks in advances for the answers.

  65. TARUN GOSWAMI

    I have 1000 ft^2 for gardening space.but I dont know the soil preparation techniques n need to know easier ways to increase the productivity of my yard.i have struggled a lot as a lot of stones are in my soil.pls tell me how to test my soil n earn great veggies n flowers.

  66. geetha harish

    Hi, R u placed in Bangalore as I am in Bangalore. I would like to visit your garden once. Can I visit and get your guidance. I am very much interested in growing my own vegetables, fruits and flowers. Pls reply

  67. laksh

    Hi Geetha: Yes, very much in Bangalore. Would have loved to show you the balcony garden but there's not much left of it now. I have given away all the pots and will be starting afresh soon.

  68. Seema Agnelo

    Your post was inspiring.. I have always wanted a small veggie garden in my kitchen balcony. I have begun with mint and its growing fine… but i am having a problem with my coriander… the seeds germinate and i have the tiny plant growing… but then its so weak and slender and then it just droops and dies… what am i doing wrong…ill try your chilly idea… Curry leaves is also something i would love to grow coz it comes in so handy.. any ideas…

  69. Aastha Bansal

    Hi I live in pune and I tried growing Coriander in my garden but they ar enot able to come out healthy. any tips. they jsu t start growing a little and tehn die

  70. jitender kaur

    Thanks for encouraging ideas. Will like to know which vegs and herbs can be grown easily. Ginger, onion,peas etc

  71. Hi I have a big balcony in Ahmedabad. Very fond of growing vegetables. Tried many things. Only chillies succeeded. Mint only small leaves coming. Coriander leaves are small. Can you specifically help me stepwise? Brinjals became yellow on the plant itself. Can't make out what's wrong. Either season is wrong or spacing between seeds or depth of the soil?

  72. kuleena kurian

    I am Kuleena from calicut.people laugh at me when I tell them that I am growing vegetables on my balcony.it is a great inspiration to see that I am not alone in this venture.

  73. MADHU SARAN

    Hi, I am home maker from Noida, visited your website while searching for vegetables names that I can plant in April to reap in next few months. Please share some ideas for summer kitchen garden.

    thanks,

    madhu saran
    noida

  74. I am an absolute beginner. Just started with curry leaves and mint. Trying for tomatoes. Very nice and helpful post! Thanks for sharing :)

  75. Hi, I live in bangalore, pls let me know where i can get good seeds and organic manure, i am a nutrion consultant and want to show my clients how to take care of their health in best ways…. i have a2 balconies and even my kid wants to grow few veggies….Diuvya

  76. hi i m new for gardening plz advice me what kind of veg i can grow in pots in delhi summer

  77. Mireya Coleman

    It’s a good list to start a small garden on the balcony. Thanks for the idea and the advices. I just moved to a new place and was thinking to place some containers on the balcony, to make it more friendly .Greets !

  78. pankaj mehra

    I have 190 sq yard terrace and one balcony of 22*6 feet in east delhi. I have grown chilllies, brinjal . tamottos, spinach, mint, ladies fingures for three years. But this year in summerv 2015 was not successful. Bean seal taken from market has grown but died may be heat on my terrace. Advice me with manure and how to get more production . I have also flowers plants with me

  79. Anita Dua

    I live in Noida &have a small green patch facing north east. My experience says that people fond of gardening shd not stay in noida . The place has awful water & soil quality. Foliage growth is not as rewarding as found in other places. Its disheartening &depressing. I would welcome useful suggestions for d same .

  80. santosh kumar

    I live in South Delhi. I have tried to grow basil, tomatoes , lady fingers and small brinjals in pots. I have always faced the problem of insects on these plants. I have tried spray of melathion liquid (diluted with water) but this has proved ineffective and most of the time the plants die . Please tell me what to do.

  81. laksh

    Hi Santosh,

    Have you tried changing the soil? Sometimes the problem lies with the soil as no matter what you do the pests keep returning.

  82. Hi, your post is inspiring. I am very much interested to make a veggies garden on my balcony. I am planning to start with herbs(coriander & mint) and chillies. Could you please tell me where I can find pots and sterilised soil.

  83. I had planted a sprouted potato about 15 days back, now the plant has grown and it is bending and fallen to the ground. I tried digging to see if the potatoes have grown. Is it the right thing to do or I have to support it with stick and still time for yield. please advise..

  84. laksh

    Yes, please provide it support. 15 days is too soonfor potato to grow.

  85. Your blog is really informative n useful.I live in Ghaziabad.here soil quality is very low .what can I do for improving soil quality?it’s texture is Sandy.

  86. Hello All,
    I live in pune and have moved to another flat which has a big balcony but does not get direct sunlight, I had planted chilli and tomatoes prior moving and they were doing great in the previous balcony where they had 6+ hrs if direct sunlight. Please advise what should i plant here. Balcony gets pretty hot during afternoon but the sunlight gets blocked by building.

  87. Hi by far this is the best and most informative post
    I live in Pune and have just planted some tomatoes seeds Pl advice the right time to transplant
    Also I got some mint roots yesterday I have put them in a jar off water shlold I put them in the soil instead

  88. Vijayalaxmi

    Hi
    I am very much interested in growing my own vegetables. I have no much place to grow these so I want to get it in pots or container.can you give me ideas for how to grow vegetables in container. I live in Bangalore & rented house. I am interested in growing green chillies, tomato, spinach, coriander leaves, mint,cabbage….

  89. Vijayalaxmi

    What type of pots needed for growing mint,coriander, green chillies

  90. laksh

    Hi Vijayalaxmi, A small 12 inch pot would also do. Coriander is a little difficult for beginners. you can try growing mint, lemon grass form cuttings. Good soil, a little bit of sunlight and good drainage are important. don’t make the soil too porous by filling only with cocopeat.

  91. laksh

    You can use any container you find in the house form paint buckets to old buckets, curd containers for growing herbs. Methi microgreens are relatively easy to grow and taste yum as parathas.

  92. laksh

    Hi Rajani,

    If you can see roots underneath, then yes transplant them into a pot for better growth.

  93. What do I do if the sun exposure is too much as now in Delhi it is raining fire. How can I grow my plants and if my plants would survive as the roof has sunlight from morning to evening

  94. Hi

    Your post is too good…
    But I do not have any gardening experience, but I want to grow some vegetables in my balcony
    Could you please suggest your voiews on below query so that I can start in right direction:
    1. My balcony size is 9.5 *5.5 so can I start in this size of balcony?
    2.. to grown vegetable we need purchase soil (organic) online or any soil will work.?
    3.As I am fresher from which vegi I can start in my initial phase?
    4. Which vegetables I can grow in rainy seasons?

  95. laksh

    Thanks Taps for stopping by at dyh.
    1. Yes, it’s a good size to start of your balcony gardening.
    2. Ideally any soil should work but it requires some bit of cocopeat and manure. Cocopeat to loosen the soil and manure for nutrients.
    3/4. Right now I have spinach, methi, basil, ladies finger, lemongrass, lettuce, radish, and cucumber growing in my garden.Cucumber requires sunlight and may not be the ideal thing to grow now.Also plants are susceptible to pests during teh rainy season so you need to take extra care.
    You could start with microgreens first. Take a small plastic tray. Fill it with cocopeat. Sow some methi/spinach seeds. You can harvest them when they are around 3 inches or so. This will be a big boost to your confidence, and you could start off with other vegetables later on. Sunlight is very important for most vegetables.

  96. Hi Sir,

    I stay in first floor and trying to grow vegetables. As it’s a apartment, only few hours of sun would present. Coriander took a month to grow.

    Please suggest vegetables which would best suit for my conditions.

    Thank you,
    Venki

  97. Hi, I’m new to gardening and have a small balcony in noida that has ample of sunlight from noon to evening. I want to plant veggies and fruits like tomato, chilli, papaya, pomegranate, guava,brinjal and other useful ones. Please guide if they should be grown from fresh fruit seeds or plants should be brought right from nursery. What is the right time to grow each if them. Is it advisable to grow fruits in pots in balcony? How long before the fruit will start growing ?

  98. laksh

    Hi Nidhi, thanks for stopping by here. You can definitely start with the vegetables. Seedlings are usually difficult to get for vegetables. You may start with seeds. Chilli, tomato, brinjal are excellent ones to start with. I would suggest grow what you eat. For fruit plants, it is start with a sapling. Depending on the fruit, it may take anywhere from 2-3 years before it begins to bear fruit. Hope this helps. Fruit plants require large containers.

  99. Hey Laksh,
    Loved your post seems too inspiring, Iam blessed with a backyard, I would want to use the sides and corners to create a floral mix and on the other side veggies , probably I’ll start with chilies and coriander , any other you would want to suggest.
    Also there are mosquitoes in the back yard, could you recommend plants to repel them.
    Thanks

  100. laksh

    Thanks for stopping by, Nihal. Avoid planting hibiscus when you are just starting. The plant is prone to pests. You can plant herbs such as basil, lemon grass, betel leaf, brahmi, and green such as methi, curry leaf and lettuce – all of these are really easy to grow. If you have enough space you can opt for fruit trees too and lemons too.

    Vegetables such as beetroot, tomatoes, cucumbers, chillies and brinjal are easy to grow.

  101. Ashutosh

    Thanks for your post. I followed your post and put tomato seeds and today I saw first small tomato. Please suggest some vegetables that I can grow in my balcony in Bangalore climate as it is bit cool place.

    Ashu

  102. laksh

    That’s awesome, Ashutosh. If you get ample sunlight, you can try chillies, cucumbers, carrots, radish, brinjal and okra. I have all these growing in mine now.

  103. Usha Shankar

    i would like to start home gardening in Mumbai flat. i have small balcony of 2ft by 10 ft height. would like to grow corainder, green chilli mint leaves tomato etc.

    will that be possible. Also guide from where to buy natural fertiliser to do the same.

    regards

    Usha Shankar

  104. laksh

    Dear Usha,

    There are many sites where you buy organic manure. Or if you have space to keep a bucket in a balcony, you can compost at home too with just the vegetable peels.

    Given the lack of space in your case, you can grow these in containers positioned vertically.

  105. Deepanshu

    I want to start to grow some veggies in December month .I want to know about soil and seeds .
    Please

  106. laksh

    You mean now in January, right? A mix of soil + cocopeat + vermicompost in equal proportions is good to start with. Cocopeat to loosen the soil and vermicompost for nutrition. Seeds you can use either from your kitchen for tomatoes, methid and coriander, or you can get from a nursery or online for other vegetables.

  107. Payel Chaudhury

    Hi,

    I just started following your post. I’m new to gardening and have a small balcony in my Kolkata flat that has ample of sunlight from morning to noon. I want to plant veggies and flowers. Please suggest which plants to be grown in this time as summer is coming. Also, can I prepare the compost by mixing used tea-leaves with vegetable peels together or seperately, please advise.

  108. Hi
    You gave good information in this post. I have a small balcony but no direct sunlight reaches, so is it possible to grow something there which can be grown in shade
    Thank you

  109. laksh

    Only ornamental plants. All veggies require sunlight.

  110. laksh

    Great Payel. This is the best time to sow radish, chilli, spinach, beet, carrots, beans, and tomatoes.

  111. Your posts are simple, informative and easy to understand and implement.How to plant curry leaves? which is the best way? seeds/sapling/grating?

  112. laksh

    Thank you for your kind words, Sharon. It is best to get a sapling from a nursery. Curry leaves are hardy in that they are not easily affected by pests but they do go through periods of no growth.It is important to either feed them with some organic manure or butter milk at intervals. And then, you see a sudden growth spurt. Also, plant them in a space that receives good amount of sunlight. You will love the fragrance of the home grown leaves free of pesticides.

    Good luck and happy gardening!

  113. ambuja joshi

    hi, i plan to a big balcony and planning to keep big vessels 2 to 3 ft deep and 2 to 3.5 wide. Which fruit plants apart from lemon i can grow? How much sunlight is requied for papaya as in summmers i get 2/3 hours of sunlight but in winters i hardly get sunlight. Can u suggest where i can get kum quat seeds?
    thanks

  114. laksh

    All fruit trees require at least 4 to5 hours of direct sunlight in a day. The size of the container is not a problem but sunlight is. It would be best to grow kumquat from a sapling instead of seeds. Visit the horticultural department of your city or a nursery that has such saplings.

  115. Pratiksha

    Hi, I planted ladies finger in 3 different pots. Till date not a single lady finger…. The pants are around 3-4ft tall. They are in big container… Wondering why so. Can you help? Thanks

  116. laksh

    Hi Pratiksha,

    All the energy of the plant is going towards foliage and new leaves. As you mentioned it is a big pot, the focus is now on growing and not producing flowers. What you can do is pinch the branches near the top of the plant. This will ensure it branches out and starts producing flowers. I hope the plant is receiving enough sunlight. Keep the pinching process in small amounts until you start seeing flowers.

  117. What do we do to get vegetables throughout the year?
    How often should we plant new seedlings?

  118. laksh

    Hi Soumya,

    The number of plants per vegetable you need to grow depends on your family size. You will have to choose the crop accordingly and based again on what your family prefers to eat. For instance, radish, spinach, cauliflower and broccoli grow well in winters. You can sow them after the rains sometime in October for harvesting from December through February.
    Greens can be grown throughout the year. They are susceptible to pests in monsoon though.
    These are crops you must always have in your garden for family of 3-4:
    3-4 chilli plants.
    4-5 tomato plants
    In addition, based on what you like:
    4 ladies finger
    4 brinjal
    about 6 bean plants
    4 beetroots
    1 cucumber.
    1 pumpkin.

    To get water melon, cucumber in summer plant it early February.
    Hope that answers The trick is in choosing what grows well during the time of the year and having enough quantities. If you have only 1 ladies finger plant, it will give you may be 3-4 ladies finger every 3-4 days.

  119. Hi laksh,
    I have a small balcony in a flat and would like to grow seasonal vegetables and some greens. Could u please advise the best way to start with in Sept itself. Along with the things required . Can u do it myeawlf or do I need gardener.

  120. laksh

    Dkaur: thank you for stopping by at dress your home.
    Yes, you can start the garden very much by yourself. Let me outline the steps for you. The best vegetables to start sowing towards the end of this month once rains settle down would be radish, spinach, beetroots, beans, and cauliflower. Additionally, you can also sow tomatoes and chilies.
    1. Buy seeds for all of them except tomatoes instead of using from your kitchen. It works best as the seeds come treated for fungal infection and the germination rate is high. If you don’t want to invest in a seedling tray, take a small rectangular tray and fill it with potting soil. Potting soil is not your regular soil but one mixed with manure and cocopeat.
    2. Make a depression in the soil with your finger in an inch gap. Sow two seeds in each hole.
    3. Water them lightly. They will germinate in a week or two depending on the seeds. When the seedlings are about 9-10 inches tall, transplant them into individual bigger pots.
    4. Radish and beets you can sow them directly. Their stems are weak to be transplanted and they are root vegetables.

    Fertilize them after flowering with compost. It’s as simple as that. You will get a hang of it once you start. There will be a few failures, in the beginning, don’t be disheartened. The joys of holding the first harvest are unparalleled.

    Good luck!

  121. I Have 3- to 4 ft well grown Chilli plants (2 nos.) in one pot of 4ft*1 ft*1ft. Plants are giving flowers but next day they become yellow anf fall no fruits yet since last 5 months. Pls advise.

  122. laksh

    Hi Rahul, is the plan getting full sunlight atleast for a couple of hours?

  123. plants in cement & mud pots are growing well but those in plastic containers are not growing at all. what may be the reason.

  124. laksh

    Hi Ravi, is the potting mix the same? And how about the size of the pots, the amount of sunlight they receive and what plant is growing? If everything is the same and it’s only the plastic pots, then we can safely assume it’s the container.

  125. abishek vicky

    hi!!! i would like to know what is life span of tomato plant? and i need vine/climber/creepers veg plant i already planted, bitter gourd, watermelon, grapes! i would like to know good vines to grow in Bangalore, Karnataka India! can you help let me know? and i am planting in a pot! thank you!!

  126. laksh

    Hi Abhishek,
    Tomato plants live for a few months at most. You can prolong their life with care by pruning the tips, removing the dead ones to promote new leaves. But they grow to a certain height and start producing fruits. It also depends on the type of tomatoes you are growing, heirloom, hybrid or cherry varieties. Cherry tomatoes last one season even in a small container such as a hanging plant. You can see mine in one of the posts.

    All melons (especially musk melon) and Pumpkins grow well in Bangalore. I have grown water melon and orange pumpkin in the past. For vines, different varieties of beans grow well. You can jut create a support with thin branches or bamboo sticks. the tricky bit with pumpkin or melon when planted in a pot is they don’t grow large enough. Keep the soil loose and let them spread on the ground.

  127. laksh

    Oh and just ensure there is enough direct sunlight. All these vegetables require at least a few hours of direct sunlight.

  128. rajashree kashalkaar

    Very I formative post .I have a small terrace garden and have planted afew tomatoes , chilli esand brinjal in pots
    Most often the plants are infected by white pests sticking to leaves and stems which organic/ natural pesticides should I use?

  129. laksh

    Hi Rajashree, you can spray those insets off first with a hose of water. This will work if the plants are in terrace. If they are in balcony, I understand you wouldn’t want to mess the place. then get pure neem oil that is water soluble, and meant for garden. These days you get neem oil in supermarkets too, don’t use that.

    The important part in this is to be consistent in spraying after every 2-3 days until they are gone. Also remove those insects by hand and put them away.

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