Wonder if anyone can advise?

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Greenfingered MoneySaving
7 replies 619 views
wiggywoo9wiggywoo9 Forumite
439 Posts
edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Greenfingered MoneySaving
I've got a small balcony-type area outside my son's bedroom (around 4 deck chairs by five) and a little balcony outside my lounge (two deck chairs by four- I have a maisonette). I don't know exact measurements so I can only say how big by imagining through a normal size chair :D

Anyway, I'm interesting in growing something. Something to use in cooking or for food would be great but pretty plants would be good too! It's a council flat so needs prettying up! BUT there are tons of pigeons near the larger balcony cos it's the top flat by the roof and some sit on the balcony ledege of the small one, meaning poop. It can also get a bit windy in both parts as we're the highest up and in bad weather you can hear the wind wailing like mad!

I'm an absolute amateaur too, I don't have a clue about gardening but would appreciate any advice as I have a some time spare and would like to have a go :)
Up and onwards to the future!



  • LeifLeif Forumite
    3.7K Posts
    It can make sense to grow things that are expensive or hard to get. Herbs are always good, they cost so much in the shops, and they do not keep long. The same goes for salad leaves. And then there are tomatoes and chillis. The latter are much better when home grown as you can grow unusual varieties. The wind will be a problem, but perhaps you can put up some fine mesh to slow it down, without acting as a sun shade. For tomatoes and chillis you need a decent sized container, 12" across or more. Herbs grow well in planters/troughs. Small pots need regular watering and are a pain.
    Warning: This forum may contain nuts.
  • wiggywoo9wiggywoo9 Forumite
    439 Posts
    hi do you know what kind of mesh/ how to arrange it?
    Up and onwards to the future!

  • LeifLeif Forumite
    3.7K Posts
    Sorry I don't really know much about garden wind screens. In a garden you can plant hedges and trees to act as wind breaks, but you do not have that option. Apparently you can use a wooden lattice, a bit like a trellis, but I have never tried. I have problems with wind, err, if you see what I mean. :o Being on the side of a hill, the wind comes rushing into the garden, and it can devastate plants.

    However, often the only way to find out is to try, suck it and see in a manner of speaking. Mint is very tolerant, and I love fresh spearmint tea. I am sure some others are too, after all herbs are often wild plants, used to exposed areas. One point, you will have to harden plants if sprouted indoors, and a coldframe is useful. I recently bought one from Aldi/Lidl, only £24, and it keeps the inside air ~4 degrees Celcius above the outside air, plus shields from wind. Open the top, and some wind enters, exposing young plants to semi-outside conditions, inducing the tissues to harden, and you can then move them out of the coldframe. Make sure you weight it down with bricks. Mine was lifted up and blown to the other end of the garden during one gale.

    I would be tempted to try without a screen and see what works. Then if need be get a screen.
    Warning: This forum may contain nuts.
  • Does it get any sun? I would try cherry tomatoes they are quite easy and would be nice to pick what you need for a salad in the summer .If you grow a few plants you could be self sufficient in them.Herbs are the way I would go!A lavender bush would be nice -encourage some bees & butterflies!(use a more grittier mix instead of compost-they need better drainage being from Mediterranean )small rosemary bush,a topiary bay tree(useful for cooking) parsley,chives, thyme,mint, sage and basil to go with your tomatoes! Nasturtiums are an annual(plant new seeds every year) that can be grown from seed in a season and would give you some edible colourful flowers, usually orange or red that you can pick to go in your salad!
  • dreamingdreaming Forumite
    1K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts
    Hi - if you really want to go for it I suggest you look at Vertical Veg blog - it is amazing!
  • edited 30 April 2013 at 9:59AM
    YolinaYolina Forumite
    2.3K Posts
    edited 30 April 2013 at 9:59AM
    I second Cally Smart's suggestions :D Also in late summer you could plant some crocus sativus (saffron crocus) bulbs - they flower in the autumn, look so pretty and you can obviously collect the saffron from them :)

    All that is assuming you get a fair amount of sun though.

    I'm in a rather exposed location too, and all my plants seems to cope fairly well, even the ones that are supposed to be kept out of strong winds :rotfl:
    Now free from the incompetence of vodafail
  • KyraeKyrae Forumite
    465 Posts
    Spring onions are really easy to grow in tiny spaces too! I have a terracotta pot about a foot long and half a foot wide and it grows chocked full of spring onions, great for potato salads :)
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