I am new to balcony gardening. I have a small (4x10)eastern exposure balcony. I don't have a water source available so I will have to water by hand. I appreciate any suggestions.
Hi arobin and welcome! Just about all of us have to hand water (some more than others... LOL). But we love our "babies" and will try to make the effort. :-)
Are you asking what to plant? If so, your zone (if "10" is it) opens up all sorts of possibilities for subtropical and tropical plants. We could load you up very quickly to the point that all you can do is spray water from the door (LOL), but with an eastern exposure, that will help with keeping whatever you put out there, cooler in summer.
If you were wondering about watering, there's another thread on this page about that.
So what would you want to plant? Been to any nurseries lately and felt that "urge" for a "must have" plant?
I am about to start a vegetable, greens and may be some blue berries. My main reason is to eat organic close to 100%raw food by juicing. My main concern is that my balcony is 100% screened facing S/W, I can get sun from about 2-7PM, would that pose any issues of pollination? On the other hand, would having a screened patio protect me from bugs? Any suggestions for a new comer, how to get started?
You would probably have pollination issues with the blueberries as bees normally needed do that due to the shape of the flower. You could be the bee and try to pollinate the blueberries yourself, but that can be somewhat tricky as the flowers are so small - but it is do-able. Alternately you could maybe cart the bush out on the grounds somewhere and let the bees have at it, and then cart back up again to have the berries develop.
Many vegetables are self-fertile like tomatoes, peppers,etc., so as long as there is a breeze or you occassionally flick blossoms or shake the plant, you'll do okay.
I fill a bucket with water from the shower, and bring that to the balcony. Then I use that water to fill the old coffee mug, that I use for watering.... that cuts down the walks, back and forth from the bath room.
Mulch, mulch, mulch (but I guess that goes without saying, since you live in zone ten).
Self watering pots is also a good option for cutting down the time spent on watering.