LoonyLisa
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Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Oct 17, 2014 7:42 pm
Location: Charleston, SC

Dumb Balcony Placement

Okay, so I'm very new here but have recently moved to a lovely one bedroom apartment. I've always grown things, usually on a kitchen windowsill that got a ton of sunlight, but now I am without my beloved windowsill.

All I have is a North facing balcony that gets indirect sunlight all day, but nothing direct, not at any part. It's painted white at least, so it's very bright, but very cool temperatures. I'd say my balcony, patio really, is about 2 1/2 feet by 10 feet, though only 2/3rds is usable thanks to the door and outside storage.

Now here's the question: What can I grow in these conditions? I'm game for just about anything, be it flowers, vegetables, herbs, fungus, weeds. Don't care. It just has to stay alive, and not wither in these conditions.
Wannabe Container Gardener
Charleston Area, SC

imafan26
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Location: hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

Re: Dumb Balcony Placement

How much light does it get. There are some plants that will grow in lower light as long as it gets some. Many of the shade tolerant plants will do well as long as you don't have a lot of wind.

Some partial shade plants won't mind if the light is bright. Chives, parsley, cilantro, culantro and other shade tolerant herbs may do o.k. and they don't mind being in pots.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

LoonyLisa
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Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Oct 17, 2014 7:42 pm
Location: Charleston, SC

Re: Dumb Balcony Placement

It unfortunately doesn't get any direct light whatsoever. It's not obscured by trees or anything, just faces North. I get indirect light during the day though, so I've got that going for me. Also I'm on the ground floor, so no wind problems!
I was thinking ferns for my focal plant. They're hardy where I live and prefer low light. As for herbs, do you think chives and oregano could work? What other shade tolerant herbs would you suggest? I've got a lovely little basil plant that is actually, to my surprise, doing well. So far at least. In a few days I'm going to have to move it inside for the coming frosts.
Wannabe Container Gardener
Charleston Area, SC

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applestar
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Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Re: Dumb Balcony Placement

I don't think oregano, but in addition to herbs imafan mentioned, most mints will work -- I have peppermint, spearmint and applemint. Lemon balm in the same family will also take to shade. Chives will include garlic chives.

Did you just move in? You will likely get some rising and setting sun during the summer when the days are longer and the sun rises and sets a little north of true east and west.

You could try Virginia native strawberries (Fragaria virginiana), maybe currants in a container?

Try saffron crocus. I just harvested. But my saffron crocuses suffered in the last winter and I seem to be down to only three bulbs. I will have to get more.
Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.

LoonyLisa
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Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Oct 17, 2014 7:42 pm
Location: Charleston, SC

Re: Dumb Balcony Placement

I'm almost afraid to try the mint family because I hear they're nearly invasive. If I keep them in their own container that shouldn't be too much of a problem, right? Only if they share they overwhelm other plants.

I've been here about seven months now, and I didn't think the bit of sun I got in the early mornings/late afternoons would make much of a difference. I figured underestimating would be better than overestimating.

It's funny because I never thought strawberries. I thought those were mostly full light plants. If I can find a way to keep the huge squirrels around here from eating them I might give those a whirl!
Wannabe Container Gardener
Charleston Area, SC

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