The last few days I’ve run a few questions by you dear readers on the WBACC Twitter and Facebook pages, trying to glean all the ideas I can from you for what should go into Ben’s and my apartment balcony garden this year.

The predicament is that we have limited space, 8×10′ on a second floor balcony that only gets some afternoon sun.

Last year, Ben helped me set up my first garden and being the farming kid he is, gave me wonderful ideas and advice on how to maintain proper drainage, use as much light as possible, and how to go about letting the plants thrive in the limited space we had.

In the garden last year, there were chives, basil and parsley. They did surprisingly well! I’d always been told that basil was a bit finicky to start, but they just kept coming back for more. The cilantro I grew on the other hand was an unmitigated disaster. I’ve been told it only gets one good cut out of it before seeding again – argh! How I love cilantro and for it to have such a short little life, it’s just a tragedy. *sniff*

And the tomatoes were the best thing to come out of the garden. Their spindly little stalks grew into much heartier and healthier stalks, giving way to an abundance of the gorgeous red fruit. Best snack, ever. But the only problem was the crucial space they occupied on the balcony. We’ve all seen those topsy turvy’s on the TV, and I’ve heard great things from Amy at Surly Kitchen who said hanging milk jugs upside down is a great alternative. Oh, this makes me so excited about the possibilities!

So, to you dear readers – what are your gardening tips and tricks? What are the things you can’t grow without? Pass ’em along, I can’t wait to hear!!