I've decided to only grow herbs and miniature or dwarf vegetables on my north-facing balcony. This year I'm growing the Litt'l Bites Cherry Tomato, Pixie Cabbage, French Beans, and several herbs. The largest pot I use is a 7-gallon fabric smart pot.
I have limited space and pretty much no direct sunlight on my balcony so rely on artificial lightly to provide my plants with enough light to grow. I can move the smaller pots outside the front door of my condo unit for a few hours of "real" sunlight. However, the tomato plant is too heavy even in the fabric pot to keep moving.
If you are just starting your garden you miay enjoy reading Starting a Kitchen Garden
If you want to move a heavier plant I suggest putting the container on a rolling plant stand. Unfortunately, that's not an option for me, I have cats and keep my tomato plants up higher so they can't nibble on them.
The smaller variety requires less space and soil making them perfect for my balcony garden. The smaller pots can also be more easily moved into a sunnier location outside my condo’s front door. These smaller varieties still have the same light, nutrient, and water requirements.
For larger containers I’m using smart pots, they weigh less and have good root aeration. I use simple terracotta pots for smaller vegetables and herbs.
Mother earth News has a great post on soil depth when growing vegetables
Small or dwarf varieties of vegetables that do well in pots.
Renee's Garden is my go-to for seeds. They have a great variety of seeds that are suited for container planting. The information is also easy to read and the site is easy to navigate. I have no affiliation with the company, I just really love this their seeds and hope you do also. Many of the seed varieties listed below can be found on the Renee's Garden website.
Container Friendly Vegetables
|Baby Bush Nickel Filet Beans||Nickel beans are produced in abundance on sturdy compact plants and mature at just 3 to 4 inches long and ¼ inch in diameter.|
|French Mascotte Beans||The first true container green bean variety, perfect for patio pots and small space gardens.|
|Pixie Baby Cabbage||Early maturing baby cabbage variety quickly forms compact, dense little 5 inch heads, a perfect size for everyday meals.|
|Babette French Baby Carrots||You can pull up the Babette's by their foliage for true “mini” carrots at 3 to 4 inches long or leave them to size up.|
|Chantenay Short Stuff Carrots||A Great-tasting, sweet and crunchy carrot with fat, husky, tapering triangular roots that grow just 4 inches long.|
|Little Finger Carrots||A true crisp baby carrot grows just 3 inches long with sweet flavor and crisp bite of this 3" long|
|Thumbelina Carrots||A gourmet mini-carrot that grows to roughly the size of a golf ball.|
|Bush Slicer Cucumber||A juicy slicing cucumber on dwarf bushes, perfect for small space or container gardens. The straight, 6 to 8 inch-long fruits have smooth, tender skin with small seed cavities and sweet, crisp flesh.|
|Mini Munch Cucumber||The Mini Munch is crisp and delicious with tender skin and a seedless, juicy interior. The rich green, smooth fruit are best harvested when 3–4 inches long.|
|Primor Baby Leeks||An extra-early variety that yields of top-quality, non-bulbing leeks with tender sweet, snowy white flesh.|
|Little Crunch Snap Peas||Developed for growing in containers the vines grow 24-30 inches and are filled with sweet crunchy pods.|
|Delicious sweet flavor and crisp texture these baby peppers make wonderful eating fresh off the plants or tossed into salads.|
|Little Hero Baby Spinach||Perfect for growing in containers and small spaces with crunchy-sweet leaves that are easy to harvest at baby size for scrumptious fresh spinach salads.|
|Litt'l Bites Tomatoes||Bred in England, where tomato conditions are tough, Litt’l Bites is the ultimate patio tomato, bearing scrumptious fruit on compact, productive plants.|
|Small Fry Tomatoes||This dwarf tomato plant is ideally suited for growing in containers or a sunny spot in your garden.|
|Tumblin Tom Tomatoes||These plants have a trailing growth habit, so they don’t need staking. Tuck one to two into a tall pot or large hanging basket.|
|Astia Container Zucchini||A French-bred bush zucchini variety, developed especially for container growing and planting in small space gardens.|