Originally Posted by physmom
Thanks so much for the suggestions and I didn't know that lemon and lime trees were mosquito repellent so that's a great idea!
The gutter garden looks pretty cool too. I'm not sure if we'll have enough light for that, though, because DH has already declared he wants to put a hammock on the balcony too.
The other veggies that we eat a lot are: onions, broccoli, sweet potatoes, zucchini, squash, mushrooms, and cauliflower
I'm really a novice when it comes to gardening so any tips that anyone has for beginners or any good websites out there I'd love to hear about.
So just to be clear....I'm not certain about the citrus trees being repellent....I am taking that leap since I've seen citrus oils in blends used for that purpose :) And besides, if *I* had a tropical garden, I would want those! I'd also want an avocado tree, but I think those would be a little big for a balcony! :lol:
Oh and if I lived in your climate I would totally want a hammock on my balcony, so I don't blame your DH! Maybe you could hang things up higher? I know sun exposure can be tricky in a covered space.
Most of the beginning gardening resources I know of are not really catered to the tropics. You might go join gardenweb or something similar and ask for suggestions in the forums.
IMO though - when you are dealing with small space gardening, think about a few things....(and please keep in mind this is just my opinion about how I would approach this and how I've made decisions about small gardening spaces in the past! Your situation may be completely different :) ).
1)Things that grow densely work well - i.e. you could grow maybe 4 dozen green onions in the same pot you could grow one broccoli head or one cauliflower head. Those (latter) things are fairly space intensive....so although you *could* grow them in a pot on a balcony, that is not how I would choose to use the space. Carrots and mushrooms could be grown densely. Sweet potatoes would be interesting! If you had room for a tall container (think large garbage can size) you might be able to do that. Weight might be an issue though. I've never lived anywhere warm enough for those, but I know that works for regular potatoes.
2)Think of things that are expensive.....Berries around here - esp organic - are quite expensive. So I find ways to incorporate as many as possible. Things that take up a lot of space and are really inexpensive to buy (like here, cabbage for example) aren't really worth it unless you have space for a large garden. Herbs *that you use* are another good use of space, and generally last a long time, esp when you harvest some regularly (they grow back).
3) what can you grow that gives multiple crops....like greens and herbs that you can cut some from and they will grow back. This works great here where I live, but it might be totally different for you where it is hot. Things might bolt. But there are likely other things you can grow that would have a similar habit.
Well, I'd also have to grow something really pretty like a climbing passion flower or some orchids just because you can :)
Hope it goes well! I'm no expert, just a little jealous of your heat and sun right now! It has been fun imagining!