This summer the kids and I decided we were gonna create a balcony vegetable garden. I figured it would be something fun for us to do together and maybe it would encourage them to eat more vegetables. I thought they would get all this new appreciation for growing our own food. Wow, was I wrong!

Summer Balcony Garden Fail and Lessons Learned | Naturally Stellar


Everything started out great!  First, we did a little redecorating.  I bought a plush little carpet and a new table and set up our chairs since we had rarely used the balcony during the Spring.  Our days have been pretty steamy and there’s very little shade, so we avoided sitting outside most of the year, except for at night.

So I figured if we jazzed it up, everybody would enjoy it again and then we could get our little summer garden popping. Well, the first part of my plan worked out.  We all started using the space.  The hubbs and I would sit out there in the evening and relax, while in the daytime me and the kids would eat popsicles or they’d read and play with their tablets. Everything was going fine.

The Start Of Our Balcony Vegetable Garden

I bought some nice pots, all various sizes.  I researched what we wanted to grow and bought the seeds and our tomato plant.  I planted everything and took care of watering and fertilizing.

We started out with carrots, tomato, scallions, green beans, asparagus and sweet onion. We were all excited at first because everything seemed to be growing (except the asparagus) and we were getting a good harvest from our tomato plant and then it’s like overnight everything started going south. 

Summer Balcony Garden Fail and Lessons Learned | Naturally Stellar

Potting soil we used to plant our balcony garden veggies.


Summer Balcony Garden Fail and Lessons Learned | Naturally Stellar

The beginning stages of our green beans. These sprouted up pretty quickly a few days after planting seeds.


Summer Balcony Garden Fail and Lessons Learned | Naturally Stellar

Bought this mature tomato plant at Home Depot for $7

The Beginning Of The End Of Our Balcony Vegetable Garden

My tomato plant started wilting and dying from the bottom up.  I was on the internet daily trying to research what to do to spring it back to life.  I tried changing up watering my plants in the evening and heavily monitoring whether or not I’d been over or under watering it.  I created a mixture of dish soap and water to spray down my leaves in the evening. Slowly, it started thriving again.

Summer Balcony Vegetable Garden Fail and Lessons Learned | Naturally Stellar

After the first signs of a problem with our tomato plant.

Then after the 2nd harvest of tomatoes, the leaves started quickly turning yellow. My leaf spray wasn’t working to relieve the wilting. The kids wouldn’t eat the tomatoes, so I basically was throwing them in my salads and calling my offspring all types of names, for dissing our tomatoes.

Summer Balcony Garden Fail and Lessons Learned | Naturally Stellar

We got a total of 4 harvests from our plant before it bit the dust.

Oh, then my mom decided the leaves on the tomato plant needed a good mix of oil and water (not dish soap) rubbed on them to keep away the spider mites (facepalm).  I came out the next day to discover crispy fried leaves. It looked like burnt spinach ya’ll lol.  So, the tomato plant is now basically on its last leg. I’m so done.

Oh No! Not My Carrots Man!

Our carrots were thriving as of last week and then got heavily infested with carrot rust flies, which I knew absolutely nothing about until it was too late.  I just thought they were some little nuisance flies and sprayed them with my leaf spray whenever I saw them.  But, what I didn’t know is that they probably already laid their eggs and the larvae had begun moving down into the dirt.  They basically killed the plants from the inside out, at the root and then moved over to our green bean plant.  I was so mad too because I was growing 3 different varieties and the tops were looking so good.

Summer Balcony Vegetable Garden Fail and Lessons Learned | Naturally Stellar

The only balcony vegetable that has survived like a boss is our green onion plant.  It’s like you can’t go wrong with too much of anything.  It basically has built in survival skills, which apparently is necessary in our house. 

Lessons Learned

  • Research all potential problems with each variety before planting
  • Don’t plant late in the season
  • Have solutions on hand to battle any pests or diseases
  • Don’t be too ambitious
  • Don’t take advice from people that can’t grow vegetables
  • Only share a pot if the veggies have similar water/sun needs

Real talk. I’m not even gonna attempt to give you gardening tips about what to do or how to do it. Before this, I thought my green thumb game was strong.  All I can say is, just don’t do what we did. Do the opposite. Pay attention to our lessons learned and your balcony garden will be fabulous.


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Do you have a green thumb? Ever attempted to create a balcony garden?


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Founder, E of Women's Lifestyle Blog, Naturally Stellar | Copywriter and Content Creator | I left corporate life 8+ years ago, to pursue my goal of becoming a writer. Boom!! I did that! Now I'm an accomplished copywriter and then some! You should hire me. #RockStarMoms
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2 Responses

  1. Shawana Battie

    I am only making an observation by the photos you posted. I don’t have a balcony garden, but I do have a garden in my backyard. I grow my tomatoes in large pots. I am not sure what size pot you grew the tomatoes in but they require massive pots 15-20″ pots per plant or the tomato grow bags. It does not look like like its suffering from any fungal disease. The roots maybe bound and have no room left to grow or there was improper drainage causing root rot. Also, tomato leaves hate water. You always water the plant from the bottom. Don’t spray anything on your leaves (oil is a bad idea) Lastly, I would buy my plants from a nursery or specialized garden center. They take better care of their plants and will give you better advice and suggestions. I hope you try again next year. Your post reminded me of when I first started gardening.

    • Candice S.

      Thanks so much for the tips. Yeah, we have a lot to learn about growing veggies in pots. Our green onion plant is still thriving and looking great so it wasn’t all bad. I totally agree about buying live veggie plants from someplace other than Home Depot. Next time I’ll hit up our local nursery and buy much bigger pots.


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