Living in residential areas with small spaces, limited yard space and high-rise balconies should never be the reason to miss the opportunity of growing fresh, healthy vegetables. One vegetable easy to grow in containers on a balcony is the cucumber. The vining cucumber plant will spread out on the ground in traditional gardens. When grown in containers on a balcony, the cucumber plant is trained to grow upward on a small support trellis. It is simple to grow cucumbers on an apartment, office, home or condominium balcony with simple and inexpensive material.
Things You'll Need
- 5-gallon container
- Potting soil (organic)
- Balanced fertilizer, slow-releasing
- Aged compost
- Handheld garden fork
- Trellis, 4-foot tall
- Twist ties (bread bag ties)
Select an adequate-sized container for one cucumber plant. Each cucumber plant should grow in a container 5 gallons in size. Place the cucumber container on the balcony, nearest to the section receiving full sunlight.
Fill each cucumber container three-fourths full with potting soil, preferably organic. Mix into the potting soil 2 to 4 tbsp. of a balanced fertilizer, which slowly releases into the soil, and then a 3-inch-thick layer of aged compost. Blend all of the contents with a handheld garden fork.
Level the soil and bury one cucumber seed 1/4-inch deep. Drizzle water over the planted cucumber seed until the soil is evenly wet. Move the container into full sun on the balcony.
Set a 4-foot-tall trellis at the back of the container, into the soil. You may need a shorter or taller trellis depending on which variety of cucumber you plan to grow.
Secure the cucumber plant to the trellis with twist ties when it is 4 inches tall. Tied loosely, allowing room for growth, bread bag ties are an inexpensive option to secure the plant. Continue to tie the cucumber to the trellis all the way to the top.
Water the growing cucumber plant, and keep the container in full sun throughout its growing period.
Tips & Warnings
- White and light-colored containers will reflect the sun's rays, thereby increasing light to the cucumber plant.
- Place the cucumber container on a flat platform with wheels for easier transport into shade on extremely hot days.
- Never use containers that do not have drainage holes at the bottom. Without drainage holes, the moisture will collect around the roots of the cucumber plant, eventually causing root rot.
- Grow two or three clover flowers in mini-pots to attract pollinating bees. If not properly pollinated, the cucumber plant will produce a sub-par crop of cucumbers.
- Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Creatas/Getty Images
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