Container, balcony and rooftop gardening

native plants in milk containersGetting started

Photo by Ivan Emke. A crowd of people standing among rows of planters on a roof topGayla Trail's guide to container gardening provides many ideas and tips on getting started.

Lara Mrosovsky has two beautiful books An Illustrated Guide to Growing Food on Your Balcony and Growing without a Garden: 101 Plants for Containers. and the Miinikaan blog has tips for container and balcony gardening. 

Toronto Balconies Bloom has an introductory guide to balcony growing.

Sheridan Nurseries has a few tips on containers and balconies.

Balcony garden DIY from EcoMan

Plants to grow in your containers:

The Bowery Project and Johanne Daoust's flickr site have lots of inspirational photos of what can be done with containers.

plants hanging in pockets on a wallDigging deeper

In addition to a number of inspiring rooftop garden projects, Alternatives Montreal has a comprehensive rooftop gardening guide with instructions for building your own containers.

Composting on a balcony is possible - container composting and vermicasting

To reduce watering, you can add a self-watering system. Articles from Young Urban Farmers and Robin Frolic

TMU Urban Farm posts research conducted on their rooftop farm, including the effectiveness of productive rooftops for providing ecosystems services. 

RUAF's article Multifunctional rooftop horticulture: a promising strategy for intensifying horticulture production in cities reviews research and examples of rooftop food production from around the world.

Shopping list

Standard plastic containers and ceramic planters are easy to find at garden centres, hardware stores and dollar stores. You can also experiment with just about anything you might find from old sinks to footwear. 

Specialized systems are available from:

Backyard Urban Farm Company (BUFCO) - raised beds

MyGroBox - portable planting container kits

Urban Farm Organics - hanging systems

The Growing Connection/Caja Planters

Young Urban Farmers - metal containers

Page updated on 2023-08-09 16:31:39