How to Grow a Vegetable Garden on a Balcony | Growing in Small Spaces Ep3 S1

How to Grow a Vegetable Garden on a Balcony | Growing in Small Spaces Ep3 S1

This is the third episode in our growing food in small spaces series ( see Ep1 here and Ep2 )

This episode shows four examples of how to grow food in containers on an inner-city balcony.

I show 4 x examples of growing food in pots/containers and give several top tips/considerations for growing fruit and vegetables in apartments with balconies etc.

This episode and video series were created with the help of Creator Queensland (a QLD Govt and YouTube initiative) and Griffith University.

The following student crew from LiveLabs helped create the “Growing Food in Small Spaces” series as part of their film course final assessment:

Scott Nolan – Director
Emma Adin – Unit Manager/2nd AD
Karlee Catalano – 1st AD
Sophie Cross – Camera
Phoebe Ireland – Data Wrangler
Tom Davison – Camera
Kenny Waterson – Sound Recordist
Hugo Hood – Production Assist
Patrick Mahon – Continuity

This series was certainly a great learning experience for me as well as being a fun project to help create – thanks to all who made this possible.

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Self Sufficient Me is based on our small 3-acre property/homestead in SE Queensland Australia about 45kms north of Brisbane – the climate is subtropical (similar to Florida). I started Self Sufficient Me in 2011 as a blog website project where I document and write about backyard food growing, self-sufficiency, and urban farming in general. I love sharing my foodie and DIY adventures online so come along with me and let’s get into it! Cheers, Mark ๐Ÿ™‚


  1. Unstoppable Zone on August 2, 2021 at 9:09 pm

    the key thing is sunlight…

  2. Ray on August 2, 2021 at 9:09 pm

    Hmm maybe this is a dumb question but why use a deep container like that to grow *herbs*? Their roots arenโ€™t going to go very deep, are they? You might be able to get away with using a shallower container?

  3. Ian Clotworthy on August 2, 2021 at 9:10 pm

    Fast Food restaurants get their ketchup in 10kg or larger pots. Ask them for their old pots and you can drill drainage holes. They are food safe and easy to clean the old ketchup off.

  4. Roxy on August 2, 2021 at 9:12 pm

    I’m using milk cartons and formula tins haha, my baby drinks a lot of formula and they are made of some sort of metal so I just stab some holes in them and plant salads.

  5. Limey Doggo on August 2, 2021 at 9:15 pm

    I love your channel! Thank you for giving all this information

  6. Glenis V on August 2, 2021 at 9:18 pm

    Our local seedling nursery has a pot collection drop off to swap pots and window boxes..Costs nothing and you are recycling….Window boxes have a water catchment tray,and can hang on balcony railings. takes up no space and when it rains they get watered.

  7. Dolores Reynolds on August 2, 2021 at 9:18 pm

    When growing in pots, water them every day in hot weather – sometimes twice a day. Drip irrigation works real well. Interesting that the Aussie pronunciation of oregano is โ€˜o-reg-AH-noโ€™ whereas Americans pronounce it โ€˜o-REG-ah-noโ€™. I never knew!

  8. cockpill on August 2, 2021 at 9:18 pm

    Five gallon pickle buckets from restaurants. Food grade and free. My entire driveway garden is in them.

  9. Mephistopheles Count Caliostro on August 2, 2021 at 9:18 pm


  10. Jeffrey Rice on August 2, 2021 at 9:20 pm

    Your way of talking sounds familar to the point of frustration…
    I’ve finally worked it out….
    Peter Russel Clark… (Where’s the cheese…See ya later)
    (That’s how old I am… lol)

  11. May Thu Myat Noe on August 2, 2021 at 9:20 pm

    This video is perfect for me! Thank you. ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. Dominion Adams on August 2, 2021 at 9:20 pm

    I like you uncle Mark . thank you all the way from South Africa ๐Ÿ‡ฟ๐Ÿ‡ฆ

  13. HAPPY RICH MAMA on August 2, 2021 at 9:23 pm

    This is certainly what we should be doing now! Grow our own food in our own spaces even if just on a balcony!

  14. Ms. Byrd on August 2, 2021 at 9:25 pm

    Garbage and mop buckets are cheaper than most ‘Big Box’ pots and can be found in local ‘Dollar’ stores here in the US. I assume Australia has it’s own version of one of these stores. You will have to put holes in them. You can also buy 5 gallon ‘food grade’ buckets from the Big Box stores that will ALSO be cheaper then regular Planters.

  15. olives koster on August 2, 2021 at 9:26 pm

    Wow i really love this film i learned so much thank you ๐Ÿ‘Lets exchange

  16. daciadarling on August 2, 2021 at 9:29 pm

    For a budget container (large) you can get plastic buckets; just make sure to drill holes in the bottom for drainage.

  17. Ginger Nightmare on August 2, 2021 at 9:29 pm

    large pots.. cheap.. garbage bins are great and super cheap. I’ve never paid ยฃ10 for pot in my life!

  18. Smelly elle on August 2, 2021 at 9:29 pm

    I know you have trays to catch the water from the big pots but would you put stones in the bottom (before adding the compost) for extra drainage?

    Just starting to grow a bit of food this year. Your videos keep popping up on my feed. Excellent content for those of us with little spaces/gardens ๐ŸŒฑ

  19. Thijmen van Kooten on August 2, 2021 at 9:30 pm

    currently waiting for the shops to go back open, so i can get pots at the thrift store…

  20. Drew Sample on August 2, 2021 at 9:32 pm

    Such a corny intro. I love this guy!

  21. Michi Yu on August 2, 2021 at 9:33 pm

    Great video!

  22. Airyrelic on August 2, 2021 at 9:35 pm

    Your videos make me so happy! I’m planning my very first veggie garden in a small back yard thanks to all the knowledge from your videos. Thank you for all your tips!

  23. Pamela Vance on August 2, 2021 at 9:36 pm

    Herbs in strawberry pot
    Mint in its own container as table center piece
    Going to try early girl or Roma maybe sweet 100 tomatoes haha patio is going to be a little full

  24. Jacob Green on August 2, 2021 at 9:36 pm

    Put two square washing up bowls together one inside the other. Drill holes in the top one and fill like a pot. Square ones don’t blow over in the wind and they tesserlate better. Great videos mate.

  25. Sharon Moore on August 2, 2021 at 9:37 pm

    I used to get my buckets food grade from woollies they used to hold sea food I got them for free but they may sell them now the used to chuck them out or staff got them for them selves

  26. SM6XSG on August 2, 2021 at 9:38 pm

    10L old paint buckets are great! Just peel the old dried paint out, drill some drainage holes and you’re good to go! The lid can btw also act as a make shift tray.

  27. Mankalale Gn on August 2, 2021 at 9:38 pm

    Is miracle gro garden soil a substitute for soil plus fertilizer ? In other words is that sufficient by itself ?

  28. Hsu Michelle on August 2, 2021 at 9:39 pm

    If my balcony is Western facing, does it affect my herbs and veggie garden?

  29. Gordon Marshall on August 2, 2021 at 9:40 pm

    This guys videos are simple and great. Something about the way he talks and the setting of his videos. Keep them up!

  30. tashearlgrey on August 2, 2021 at 9:42 pm

    For $5 each, I use these flexi tubs from Bunnings. I drill drainage holes and then fill with a mixture of good quality potting mixes. They’re easy to move around the garden because of the handles (great for chasing sun as summer becomes autumn) and they’re easy in small spaces as they can be slightly squished together, which the hard tubs can’t. Plus they’re deep enough for most plants, yet don’t use an abundance of soil and wide enough for multiple plantings.

  31. dkae92 on August 2, 2021 at 9:45 pm

    What can you do if the balcony never gets direct sun light but is always around 30 degrees celsius snd high humidity?

  32. Ashwini Raj on August 2, 2021 at 9:48 pm

    Just one video ,now m ur subscriber sir .. ๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ˜Š

  33. Roxanne Hernandez on August 2, 2021 at 9:48 pm

    i found out from another person that if you go to a nursery and ask the owner if they have any pots they are planning to throw away, you could potentially end up with a whole bunch of empty plastic pots, FOR FREE!

  34. Karen M on August 2, 2021 at 9:49 pm

    My favorite gardener, so down to earth and informative

  35. Viviane Passos on August 2, 2021 at 9:49 pm

    What about the weather? My balcony isn’t covered and it’s been raining 4 days in a row and another 5 days sunny. Do your reckon I could plant the same veggies on it?

  36. Pamela Vance on August 2, 2021 at 9:50 pm

    Yayyyy for this video find

  37. Martin Quinn on August 2, 2021 at 9:51 pm

    Looks like a good cuppa, Mark!

  38. Nancy Nahni Goh on August 2, 2021 at 9:54 pm

    Thank you for infos, I stay in the hot climate area so I try to grow greens in shady area since my country hot I choose brown bucket to grow my veggies cos less heat generate into the roots

  39. Zoe Emiko on August 2, 2021 at 9:54 pm

    I grow in grow bags set into a kiddie pool

  40. Graceful& humble on August 2, 2021 at 9:55 pm

    This was so beneficial. You are a great teacher funny and down to earth, I look forward to learning more

  41. Living My Best Life! by Helena on August 2, 2021 at 9:58 pm

    Do you have a video that shows how big your veggies are when you harvest them?

  42. Jennifer Brand on August 2, 2021 at 9:59 pm

    dollar store wash buckets… just hammer a couple holes in the bottom

  43. Lindsey McNeill on August 2, 2021 at 10:03 pm

    Thank you! I loved the themed pots – I had no idea where to start, this was so helpful!

  44. Rick Turner on August 2, 2021 at 10:03 pm

    Love this. Perfect.

  45. Aaron Johnson on August 2, 2021 at 10:04 pm

    "grow food" *shows picture of chickens and guinea pigs* Uhm…

  46. Carol Anne Chapman on August 2, 2021 at 10:05 pm

    That’s a good point, about the water dripping down below. Thanks for the suggestions of what to do about it.

  47. Tasha Thornhill on August 2, 2021 at 10:05 pm

    If you have a friend or neighbor who has cats those kitty litter pails make a great pot to grow in and they wouldnโ€™t cost a thing!

  48. Rashad Carson on August 2, 2021 at 10:06 pm

    How would you grow lemongrass on a balcony like that one?

  49. Triniese on August 2, 2021 at 10:06 pm

    Great video! I didn’t know that I could plant my herbs so close together in one container! ๐Ÿฅฐ

  50. Mel Hawk on August 2, 2021 at 10:07 pm

    Well this is nifty! Would this work in a Skoolie conversion, do you think? Plenty of light, I leave enough windows, I think.

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