I only have a very small east-facing balcony and this was my second year trying to grow vegetables (lettuce, rocket, radishes, beetroot, kale, swiss chard and carrots). I say trying because the results have not been spectacular. Of course, in such a small space (about 4ft x 3ft), you can’t expect too much. But there are so many pests attracted to my balcony that it feels like I’m fighting a losing battle. This year I’ve had aphids, whitefly, weevils, leaf miners and caterpillars happily munching on my veg and, in some cases, destroying them completely. On top of that, my swiss chard is now covered in powdery mildew.
There’s not really enough space to grow a variety a flowers in addition to veg. I have a few (fuchsia, lavender, marigolds, campanula) and I see hoverflies and bees, but no ladybirds.
Netting is an option, but it doesn’t look very good and I enjoy sitting out on the balcony and looking at the plants. It’s my only outdoor space.
Honestly, I’m thinking of giving up on veg and growing flowers only. Maybe some spaces really are too small to grow veg? I wonder, does a larger space create a better ecosystem to prevent pest problems? What would you recommend growing in extremely limited spaces? Is there any way to stop my balcony from being an all-you-can-eat buffet?
Any advice would be greatly appreciated, so I can decide what to do next year.