Patio gardening is great way to grow garden vegetables for the gardener who does not have a yard for growing. Patio gardening is usually done on a back doorstep, patio, balcony or a deck. Growing a container garden will eliminate the problems of poor soil and soil-borne diseases as long as the soil that is used is packaged potting soil.
Growing certain fruits and vegetables such as lettuce, radishes, carrots, tomatoes, and carrots will not take up a lot of space. The miniature and dwarf varieties will mature faster and produce fruit earlier than the standard size varieties. There are a lot more people these days that are interested in patio vegetable gardening which is making plant breeders and seed companies creating more crops that are specifically bred for patio gardening. They are working on the seeds and plants to get them to produce the same quantities that the standard varieties do.
The amount of sun that your balcony or patio receives will determine the crops that you can grow. The leaf crops and root crops such as lettuce and carrots will be able to handle partial shade. The crops that produce ‘fruit’ such as tomatoes and cucumbers, need at least five hours a day of direct sun; they would prefer to have eight to ten hours daily. You can increase the light they receive by using reflective materials such as aluminum foil.
The patio gardening ideas that you come up with can create interesting plantscapes of unusual containers or having a corner for root crops and another corner for leafy crops. Hanging pots are good for herbs or hanging tomatoes upside down. A balcony patio garden can utilize larger containers with trellises to handle some of the crops that produce ‘fruit’ and the taller these crops get the more shade they will provide for the gardener.
Having a small back yard is only one reason for starting a patio garden of vegetables; another is the convenience of placing the containers at a level where they can be easily reached or an easy access to the kitchen. Patio gardening is also easy for the handicapped gardener or for children wanting to learn how to grow vegetables.
Container vegetables need more attention than a traditional vegetable garden. Container gardening vegetables dry out much quicker in hot weather and their root systems are more restricted so they will need to be well watered. Adding mulch to the top layer will slow down the rate of evaporation and keep the surface temperature cooler. The fibrous roots of tomatoes can dry out and die if the soil gets too hot so adding mulch will help. These container plants will also need more fertilizer due to the addition of more water. The additional water that is needed for patio gardening washes the nutrients out of the soil so we need to fertilize more often.