Starting a Herb Garden on my Balcony – Part 1

I have always wanted to start a herb garden. With the growing unrest of Covid-19 and the new #stayhome movement, I decided that I needed a hobby while I worked from home. This seemed like the perfect time to bring life (in the form of plants) into this dying world, by starting a balcony herb garden.

Bob Marley once said “Herb, is the healing of the nation”. Although we know he was talking about another type of herb..

Building the balcony planter box

A garden seemed like a pretty big reach since we currently live in a 2nd floor apartment with no outdoor space except our 4ft by 12ft balcony. Nonetheless, I was determined to have a little garden and was convinced it was achievable. So I went to explore my favourite place for ideas. PINTEREST! I could not be the only person who wanted to do this with these circumstances.

It was no surprise to find that many people successful achieved a variety of gardens both indoor, on a kitchen counter, and outdoor on their balcony. I set out to find one that would be suitable for our balcony. I was also keen on choosing a design that would be a good DIY for Rory – the self-proclaimed carpenter.

vertical planter box

After a few days of planning we decided on a vertical planter box. Once we worked out the design and measurements, Rory was off to the local hardware store to get supplies. Within a few days (the weekend); we had our very own vertical planter box. Find out how we built our balcony planter box in my recent post.

What the heck will I plant in the balcony garden?

Now that we had a planter box, what the heck was I going to fill it with, apart from garden soil??

I did some research on what would grow well on a balcony and found some herbs and veges that would be good to grow in Jamaica’s warm climate. Eventually, I decided on a number of plants. Herbs – Escallion, Onion, Thyme, Rosemary, Parsley, Oregano, Cilantro, Chives, Sage, Basil, Mint.  Veges – Tomato, Hot Peppers, Lettuce, Garlic, Carrots, Ginger and Sweet Pepper. Of course, based on the space and since the idea was not to have a forest for a balcony, the list would need to be shortened.

By the time I hit the gardening store, I completely disregarded the space limitation and grabbed a packet of everything that interested me. And while I didn’t get everything on my list, based on availability, I still did a pretty good seed haul. We would work out the space later…

To get information on each herb and vegetable like germination time, spacing and harvest time I used a garden planner. I also used another app to find out which plants would grow well together and which were bad neighbours.

Garden Supplies – A necessity!!

Now the fun stuff. It was time to get supplies to start planting.

This is where I solicited the help of my little cousin, farmer Tariq. He gave me a list of supplies I would need to start sowing my seeds. He also gave me tips on soil types and fertilizers I could use in my garden. I did a garden supplies haul from the local gardening store. Even going overboard and getting cute plant pots despite having built the planter box and ignoring Rory’s glares.

Let me point out that I was able to get the seeds and supplies in one trip to the agriculture store.

After gathering my supplies, I was ready to start gardening. Since I was attempting to plant a variety of plants at the same time, I started a farming journal. This was designed to help me document everything about the plants and keep track of their progress.

I hope you enjoyed reading about starting a herb garden on my balcony. Will be sure to give you the full run down on my planting wins and Ls in the next post.

Leave your comments below and let me know if you feel motivated to start a garden too. Don’t forget to subscribe and share.

Until next time. Happy gardening.

19 comments / Add your comment below

  1. This is a great project, it’s amazing to see all the things we can do when we have just a little more extra time. Can’t wait to see the progress

  2. You are definitely doing something that’s healthy for you and for the environment. While others are waiting for covid19 to pass you are adding a new skill. I love this, boss move. Be sure to add more pics in your next post.

  3. Awesome. Definitely inspired never been a garden person but just may give it a try ❤️

  4. Everyday I say I’d want to do something like this. I even started a little compost bin but it didn’t go so well lol

    Thanks for the inspiration to try again!

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