How to Grow Herbs on a Balcony

Overview

An herb garden is an option no matter how small your gardening space is. Many herbs grow quite well in pots, either inside or out. A balcony provides an area outdoors for a small herb garden to thrive in the sunlight while still being protected from high winds and storms. Grow annual herbs or bring perennial types indoors in winter so you have a year-round garden. Start your herb garden small by planting your most-used herbs and expand the garden each year as your time and space allows.

Step 1

Fill 8 to 10 inch diameter plant pots to within 1 inch of the rim with a quality potting mix. Choose pots that have at least one drainage hole in the bottom. Place the pot's drip tray underneath it, or place the pot on top of a small plate or pie tin to catch the excess water.

Step 2

Plant each herb transplant in a pot to the same depth it was at in its nursery container. Grow one plant in each pot. Firm the soil around the root ball with your hands.

Step 3

Water the herbs until the excess moisture drains from the bottom of the pot, ensuring the soil is equally moist throughout. Wait 30 minutes for the draining to complete then empty the drip tray. Water the pots every one to three days, or when the soil begins to feel dry.

Step 4

Set the pots on an area of the balcony that receives at least six hours of sunlight a day. Use an outdoor shelving system to place the pots upon if your balcony railing blocks the light. The shelves will elevate the pots above the railing level.

Step 5

Rotate the pots once a week so that all sides receive equal light. Balconies are often shaded on one side, making this necessary for the plants to grow straight.

Step 6

Rotate the pots once a week so that all sides receive equal light. Balconies are often shaded on one side, making this necessary for the plants to grow straight.

Step 7

Fertilize the herbs once a month while they are actively growing. Apply a liquid houseplant food, following label instructions for exact fertilization amounts and method.

Step 8

Harvest leaves from the plants as needed throughout summer. Harvest the entire plant if it is a summer annual, freezing the leaves for use throughout winter. Bring perennial plants indoors and place them in a sunny window during winter, harvesting leaves as needed and while the plant is still actively growing.

Tips and Warnings

  • Clay pots dry out more quickly than plastic pots, so may require additional watering.

Things You'll Need

  • Pots
  • Potting mix
  • Drip tray
  • Herb transplants
  • Shelves
  • Fertilizer

References

  • University of Illinois Extension: Growing Herbs In The Home Garden
Keywords: container garden, growing herbs on a balcony, herb gardening

About this Author

Jenny Harrington has been a freelance writer since 2006. Her published articles have appeared in various print and online publications, including the "Dollar Stretcher." Previously, she owned her own business, selling handmade items online, wholesale and at crafts fairs. Harrington's specialties include small business information, crafting, decorating and gardening.