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what to plant in a pot in NYC  RSS feed

 
steward
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I know it is too early to put something out, but starting to think about what I could. I have a balcony* (not on the first floor and no dirt/grass on it) and I'd like there to be something green. Like a plant in a pot. I live in New York City and get afternoon sun if that matters. And I'd like it to be as little work as possible to take care of. As you can see, I'm not a gardener/permaculture person. But I do want something green there. And this seems like the place to ask!

Any suggestions/thoughts?

* A balcony is a small outside area in an apartment building. It is about 4 feet by 10 feet but much of that will be taken up by chair/table/etc.

Also, I'm likely in the wrong forum. Please move as you see fit.
 
gardener
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Location: ZONE 5a Lindsay Ontario Canada
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Are you wanting to grow food plants, or just plain plants?
 
Jeanne Boyarsky
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Non food plants. Just so it looks nice/green out there.
 
Posts: 112
Location: Mountain West of USA, Salt Lake City
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See what you can do with a watermelon plant. Otherwise, go to a plant store and see what looks cool...
 
Travis Philp
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Why not get something that's green and tasty?
 
Jeanne Boyarsky
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Travis Philp wrote:Why not get something that's green and tasty?

Because I assume something tasty is more work. And I don't have much space.
 
Posts: 1075
Location: SE Wyoming -zone 4
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with the 12 inche pot i have sitting next to my back door i have a bunch of plants just interplanted and growing together
i have a small perpetually vegetative flower in the center that was there before i took the pot inside - not sure why it never really flowered
around that i have planted
3 cilantro plants
2 bean plants
1 butterhead lettuce
3 sunflowers(small not grown for food)
and wheat scattered all over in between the other plants
 
Travis Philp
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With few exceptions, edible plants are the same amount of work as ornamentals. Herbs tend to be especially easy, and lend themselves well to frequent harvests. I'd suggest going with rosemary, basil, oregano, thyme, or parsley depending on your preference. Swiss chard is a nice edible that is considered 'pretty', and that can be harvested multiple times. Many nurseries sell the 'bright lights' type of chard which is a mix of different colours.

Or how about grapes on a trellis going up the side of your balcony?
 
Jeanne Boyarsky
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Ok. Stupid question. It would seem to me edible plants would get more bugs without extra work. I believe y'all that this isn't the case. Or maybe this doesn't matter because I'm not on a ground floor where the bugs can get to?
 
steward
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Location: Wellington, New Zealand. Temperate, coastal, sandy, windy,
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Jeanne, about how much sun do you get in summer? How wide/tall would you like your plant to grow?
Permies will try and herd you toward edibles, so be prepared
Do you like chillies? They grow well in pots and look really cool. Rocoto chillies are perennial, producing huge crops of hot-yet-fruity lantern-like fruit. The plants are best trained flat on a wall.
You'd have to baby it inside over winter, but there's varieties of dwarf banana palm that will fruit without cross-pollination.
 
Posts: 469
Location: Eastern Kansas
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How about edible flowers? I know that they are popular in some cites, and I have never seen a bug on my pansies excepting sometimes aphids. And the few aphids do not like the flowers.

Personally, I would raise cabbages and add the leaves to salads, after checking them for green worms of course! Cabbages do get bugs!
 
Jeanne Boyarsky
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Leila Rich wrote:Jeanne, about how much sun do you get in summer?

I'll find out in the summer! I suspect a lot because I get a lot of sun in February. But I 'm not sure.

Leila Rich wrote:Permies will try and herd you toward edibles, so be prepared

I've noticed that.

Leila Rich wrote:Permies will try and herd you toward edibles, so be prepared
Do you like chillies? They grow well in pots and look really cool. Rocoto chillies are perennial, producing huge crops of hot-yet-fruity lantern-like fruit. The plants are best trained flat on a wall.
You'd have to baby it inside over winter, but there's varieties of dwarf banana palm that will fruit without cross-pollination.

I don't like chillies, but the point that I should be looking for perennials is a good one. I also now realize my ideal plant is one I can leave outside over the winter and will grow back.

I got this by e-mail in response to this thread which I found helpful:
Rosemary, sage, and oregano grow
as perennials. I couldn't kill them if I tried. They overwinter and come
back every year with zero maintenance. I never do anything to them except
occasionally go outside, cut some off, and cook with it. I plant basil out
there too but you have to replant that every year. The sage is pretty, its
very leafy and green and gets some nice flowers on it in the spring. So
personally I'd consider edible as an option!
 
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I lived in NYC for 24 years and had great success growing pots on my fire escape. Blueberries are great in pots and they have bright red leaves in the autumn, a pretty and hardy plant that will provide you with lots of very expensive fruit. Cultivars such as Top Hat are ideal as they don't get very big. Plant them in plastic posts though as they like water and it will need ericacious soil (easy to get). I live in the UK now and have mine planted in an old bathtub.
 
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