Apartment Dweller, New To Gardening, Help!

strangeseraphMay 20, 2012

Hi everybody!

My name is Jenny and I've decided I want a little garden on my balcony, mainly edibles, I'd like to be a tiny bit more self-sufficient and improve my normal take-out diet a bit by eating more fruit and veg.

I have this space in the pictures below. Its an East facing balcony that is slanted ever so slightly in a south-east direction but not completely. Its basically a completely enclosed stone brix box with a rail, and some chicken wire and net to keep the pigeons off. Its got a big box in the wall for an AC unit that isn't shown. I don't have an AC unit so I'm thinking of other ways I could use what is basically a hole in my wall with a cover over it. o-o

I haven't taken measurements yet. Some plants I thought of having are cherry tomatoes, strawberries and of course, cat grass for my kitties. :3 They'd destroy my garden if they didn't have something of their own. Essentially until now I've let them have the balcony, using it only to store my bike. But since I'll be invading 'their' territory I need to figure out how to cat proof the area so that they can still use the space, and I can use the space too. Also, that wicker chair on its side hasn't fallen over. Its broken, so I turned it into a protective shade cover for them. Maybe I can adapt it for some use in my garden? Dunno.

Also, is June too late to plant? I won't have much money for starting this out until the end of the month. Basically I can afford maybe a few plants. I do have lots of plastic recyclable containers around I could use for pots and seed starters if need be. My garden shops here also have grown plants too.

Also; I won't be planting anything from the garlic family, including onions or lilies, due to an allergy to allium. And anything else I plant has to be non-toxic to cats in case they do end up chewing on the leaves.

Thanks guys! :)

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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL

The broken chair could be used to shade plants as well as kitties. If it will stand up, you could use it to hold a trailing/vining plant.

I don't own any cats, but there are stray cats around and I see them in my front yard often and occasionally on my front porch where my house plants live when it's warm enough. I've never noticed them messing with the plants or the dirt. If you had enough uncovered surface area, they might want to use it for a toilet. When I have squirrels digging in my pots, I get a pack of plastic forks & stick enough in the dirt (with the tines sticking up about 1/4 to 1/2 inch) that they don't want to step in the pot anymore. Would probably work for cats too.

The other questions I can't answer since I'm not familiar enough with your climate.

There are balcony gardening, container gardening, and "small spaces" forums, if you'd like to check them out also.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2012 at 10:46AM
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Oh sorry, I should have mentioned, I'm in Ontario, Canada

    Bookmark   May 22, 2012 at 7:41AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Tomato leaves and stems (and the raw green fruit) are toxic. The problem that most people have with containerized plants and cats is that cats like to use that nice potting soil for kitty litter.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2012 at 4:31PM
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