VEGETABLES AND HERBS PERFECT FOR A SHADY BALCONY OR TERRACE
Not all balconies, terraces and/or other fertile areas get enough sunshine to grow all edible plants. Since the vast majority of such plants require six to eight hours of direct sunlight per day, are spaces that receive only four to five hours condemned to be unproductive? Not at all! In fact, there are about twenty plants that are quite happy with four to five hours of sun.
The easiest to grow are:
- Swiss chard is a plant that only needs to be watered on a regular basis. A natural fertilizer is needed only once during the season;
- Kale must be watered carefully; fertilizing once or twice a season is best;
- Lettuce and mixed salad (all leafy vegetables harvested a few weeks after seeding) require natural fertilizer once or twice a season. Regular watering produces success. Generally speaking, lettuce does not like the heat;
- Parsnips don’t require copious amounts of water (except when seeded) and fertilizer is not necessary;
- Radishes flourish best in a soil that is kept moist. Fertilizer is unnecessary. Do not seed during the summer, as this plant dreads the hot weather;
- Arugula requires only regular watering. Fertilizers are not necessary. Its flowers are edible.
Certain edible plants are moderately easy to grow:
- Beets require regular watering. Fertilize once during the summer;
- Head cabbages must never lack water. Success depends on fertilizing three or four times a season;
- Spinach requires regular watering and a natural fertilizer, one which is rich in nitrogen; fertilize two or three times a season;
- Pak-choï does not like dry or very wet spells. It is therefore necessary to carefully monitor their watering. A natural fertilizer once or twice a season is recommended.
- Cauliflower, broccoli and turnips are demanding plants when it comes to both water and fertilizer.
Herbs are generally easy to grow. Chervil, coriander and parsley are ephemeral (annuals) plants, whereas chives, oregano and sorrel are more permanent in nature (perennials). These must be placed either in the ground or brought into the house when fall comes.
Begonias, which are easy to grow and garden pansies, moderately easy to grow, are annuals. A semi-shaded area best suits them, as they are not fans of the heat.
Bertrand Dumont, horticulturist, author and speaker