British Columbia

Container gardening: vegetables and fruits to start growing now

Gardeners who grow their food on a balcony can take advantage of early spring weather and start growing items that do well in containers, says master gardener James Spears.

Gardening in a tight space? Here are some options to get you started

More lettuce (Markus Schwabe/CBC)

Apartment dwellers can take advantage of early spring weather to start growing fruits and vegetables that do well in containers, says master gardener James Spears.

"A lot of nurseries are looking to help out the balcony gardeners," says Spears.

Here are his recommendations for plants that do well in containers:

Leafy green vegetables

Spears says leafy green vegetables like lettuce and arugula can be planted early in the growing season. They do well in containers because don't have large root systems.


Kale does well in containers as well, although it may not last all winter as it would if planted in the garden.


Spears suggests focusing on small, compact varieties for containers. These veggies need a lot of sunlight and will start producing fruit later in the summer.


You can have your very own B.C. blueberry farm right on your balcony. Blueberries do well if grown in a container.


Spears says he's increasingly seeing varieties of raspberries available that can be grown in containers, which may be best as the plants tend to spread and can quickly take over a garden.

As for issues planting so early in the season, Spears says cold weather may not be as much of a problem this year as lots of rain.

"One thing plants like is water. One thing plants don't like is a sitting pool of water — it drowns the plants," says Spears.

To avoid mold and fungus growing in your soil, Spears suggests covering your plants when it rains — if they're not covered already, of course.

To hear more gardening tips from James Spears, click on the audio labelled: Spring gardening tips for balcony growers


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