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Alys Fowler: the trick to growing tricky vegetables

Growing tomatoes outdoors – varieties to try

Position the heaviest pots closer to load-bearing walls or over supporting joists. Not all plants thrive in exposed, windy conditions, so choose accordingly.

Windbreaks like netting or reed screens are very effective at filtering the wind and will also create an attractive backdrop. Or you could use wind-tolerant plants like most grasses and bamboo to create a natural windbreak for sensitive plants. It is easy to overestimate this, so take the time to record exactly where sunlight falls and at what time of day.

Learn How to Grow Cherry Tomatoes in Containers for Fresh Food all Summer

Even predominantly shady balconies have options: try salad leaves, spinach, kale, carrots and well-behaved soft fruits such as strawberries or compact varieties of raspberry. Exposure : Cold can be an issue on exposed balconies, while on the flipside, sun-warmed walls will slowly release their heat over night to create something of a protective microclimate.

Water : Conversely, be on hand to water regularly in hot, dry weather. The combination of sun and wind can dry out pots with alarming speed.

Grow an Edible Garden - On Your Balcony!

Turn the garden on its side by planting up vertical spaces instead. In fact, all the extremes are going to be felt more readily up there. Plants will dry out quickly in windy conditions, and this can dramatically affect their productivity. Terracotta pots will dry fastest in windy conditions, wicking moisture from the soil; they also tend to be a lot heavier than metal or plastic pots. The more roots there are, the more you get to keep on picking your supper. Chillies and tomatoes are ideal for hot balconies.

Cherry Tomatoes Are the Easiest Plant You'll Ever Grow

All will cope with partial shade, too. You can get the beans to grow to the light with some inventive string supports.

My North-facing condo in the Washington, D. Each spring, I would start tomatoes from seeds under lights, then, when frost had passed, I would transplant them in hanging containers on my balcony did I mention I lived on the top floor? Whether you live in a rural area, suburbia, or an urban farm, growing cherry tomatoes in pots is for you. If you want to preserve your cherry tomatoes, then 3 or 4 large plants per person is a good place to start.

Rather, the plant will continue to grow and produce fruits as long as you harvest the ripe tomatoes.

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Determinate tomatoes stop growing at a certain point, and set fruit, which ripen at the same time. They also look neater, so if you have a strict HOA or fussy neighbors, they are less likely to complain. In the past, to ensure my plants became bushy, I pinched off the tops of the plants, which caused them to set more stems. I had a lot of success with Sweet , which is a hybrid. If you want to go with an heirloom variety, black cherry tomatoes are a good and flavorful option. When planting vegetables in pots , one of your main considerations should be the size of the pots.

Planting and harvesting season

Cherry tomatoes do best when given enough room to grow. A container inches in diameter is the minimum width necessary for growing cherry tomatoes in pots. Containers up to inches in diameter is ideal, and they should be able to hold at least 5 gallons of soil for the best results.