Who says you need acres of land to farm? As long as you have a sun-drenched balcony, a bag of potting soil (not topsoil), a few well-drained containers, and running water, you’re ready to start a balcony farm.

The plants below grow especially well in containers with drainage holes and will likely produce a harvest even if you’re not the greenest thumb on the block. Forewarning: They don’t tolerate frosts well, so wait to plant them outside until temps are above freezing!

Rosemary

Plant rosemary in a 12-inch deep and 12-inch diameter pot. It only requires watering when the top 1-2 inches of soil feel dry, so be sure to check to avoid overwatering. Feel free to snip off sprigs daily! Cutting off the top 2-3 inches will encourage continued growth of the plant. Use rosemary in this delicious vodka-based cocktail.

Basil

Plant a basil transplant in a 12-inch diameter pot that is well drained. Water the plant when the soil feels dry to the touch and clip the plant daily to create healthy, uniform growth. Basil is not only great for seasoning food, you can also use it to flavor your water.

Peppers

Ask for a compact, container variety when you purchase your transplants. Plant one pepper plant in a 5-7 gallon pot that is 15-20 inches deep. Water your peppers daily at the root (the leaves can get infections if you get them wet). Be sure to read this before choosing your pepper plants.

Tomatoes

Choose either Patio, Balcony, Cherry, or Early Girl tomatoes and they’ll grow a little more controlled in small spaces. Use a 5-gallon container that’s around 13-19” deep. They’ll need support as they grow, so secure them to a trellis or a tomato cage. Here are a few recipes in case you find yourself with too many!

Leafy Greens

Mustard greens, tatsoi, and spinach all need around 5-8 inch deep containers to thrive. Plant them about 12 inches apart or in separate 12-inch diameter containers so their roots have room to grow. Leafy greens are jam packed full essential nutrients, don’t be afraid to experiment with different varieties.

Cucumbers

Choose either Bush Slicers or Lemon Cucumbers and grow one plant in a 5-7 gallon pot that is 13-19 inches deep. Cut the cucumbers versus pulling them off to avoid damaging the plant. Transform them into a delicious snack like this one with whipped feta and quinoa from the Almond Eater and this margarita recipe from Luvo.

What vegetables are your growing this year? Let us know in the comments section!

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