Balcony Tomatoes!

Tuesday, May 24th, 2016

Summer weather has decidedly arrived and everyone is aching to spend more time outside. Few things in life are more alluring than the fragrant new life budding in greenery all around us. In fact, many may be feeling a little antsy to plant something.

At this time of year, apartment dwellers with a green thumb don’t need to be relegated to the botanical sidelines. The balcony is the perfect place to carve a space of natural greenery.   Whether it’s a lush vegetable garden or a beautiful arrangement of florals – it’s easy to turn an outer apartment platform into a three-season oasis.

The Barrel Yards Tip #1: Rules and Regulations

Before you dig, know the lay of the land.  Every apartment and condo has rules that must be followed with regards to their property. Understand your apartment or condo building regulations to save everyone hassle. Know what types of appliances and objects are allowed on your balcony as part of a larger building. They likely will not restrict any types of plants, but they may not allow certain outdoor garden structures like plant supports or trellises.


The Barrel Yards Tip #2: Make a Plan

Now that you know your parameters of balcony gardening, consider which kinds of plants will thrive there. Learn more about your climate to get a handle on temperatures, hours of sunlight, and precipitation. Of course, this can vary depending which side of the building you are on.

If you’re living in The Barrel Yards, you are in Waterloo, a humid and continental climate. In the summer, the temperature is typically very warm, hot and humid, with temperatures ranging between 9°C – 26°C and light to moderate rain between May and September. is a great resource for finding out more details on your climate.

Barrel Yards blog - make a plan

The Barrel Yards Tip #3: What to Grow & What Not to Grow

With temperatures and rainfall patterns in mind, look into which plants you would like to see on your balcony.  Setting your garden up in a way that allows your yield a long and happy life will be just as satisfying to you as the plants.

This is a great order-based site we find useful for finding out what types of flowers grow well in Southern Ontario during specific months. Select the type of flower (eg. annual vs. perennial) and the season you are looking to plant, or do an overall search for a flower if you have one in mind. Here is another great resource if you are looking for beautiful, low maintenance plants to get started.

Different Herbs

The Barrel Yards Tip #4: Design

Be conscious of your limited space and how else you would like to use it. Is your balcony purely a garden or is it also for entertaining? Possible solutions for your space include vertical gardening, which is a great way to maintain square footage for other purposes. Are pots or troughs more efficient for your space?

Also, don’t forget the sparkling touch to any outdoor space – beautiful lighting. A well maintained garden is an aesthetic boost to any night time setting. Show off that garden at your next evening party with a gorgeous string of twinkle lights or a collection of one-off edison bulbs.

The Barrel Yards - design

Have more questions? Visit for more ideas and contact The Barrel Yards to know more about our rules and regulations regarding proper balcony etiquette.