Elisenlebkuchen from October '24


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Your sustainable urban jungle balcony

🌇 🐞 📙

by Sabine van OsenbrĂźggen

This month we will deal with gardening on the balcony. There are a few things to consider so that the plants feel comfortable and you have a balcony that you like. Again, the first thing we determine is what compass direction the balcony is facing. And how do I want to use my balcony. And of course how big is the balcony and am I limited due to landlord specifications or space.


Let's start with the cardinal points: your balcony is located in the south and gets full sun. This balcony is suitable for all sun-loving balcony plants, such as geraniums or petunias. Herbs such as basil, thyme and rosemary also feel at home there. You can also grow vegetables there, the tomatoes don't want so much direct sun, preferring a warm wall, so a little shade from another plant is a good idea. For example, you could have some annual vines, such as black-eyed Susanne or a showy vine growing up there, which might provide a bit of shade. Or if it is even too hot, you can attach a cheap reed mat to the railing and already had a little vacation feeling on the balcony.

For the east and west balconies actually, everything works, since the plants get both sufficient sun and shade. On the north balcony you can't grow vegetables, but at least herbs that are already grown in pots from the supermarket or garden center can be kept fresh better there than in the kitchen. If you want balcony flowers, you can try fuchsias, busy lilies, begonias or hydrangeas. No matter what you plant on the balcony, the insects will thank you! You provide a habitat in the city - even for birds.


Important for gardening on the balcony is the soil and the appropriate containers. With the earth please pay attention to peat-free earth, the dismantling of the moors deprives us of important CO2 reservoirs. You can find tips on this in our Perma Calendar. The peat in the soil, however, has the advantage that it holds the water better and the soil stays moist longer and you do not have to water so much. Therefore, see if you can try soil with sheep pellets, as sheep wool has the same effect and is also natural fertilizer. There is also soil that has clay pellets added to it, that would also be worth a try. Organic potting soils contain only natural ingredients, so no styrofoam beads and are also only naturally supplied with fertilizer.

For your herbs, it would be good to mix the potting soil with sand or buy low-nutrient growing and herb soil directly. You should also use growing soil for sowing flowers and vegetables, as it is less fertilized and the roots form better than in normal potting soil. You can write down your experiments in your Perma Calendar. So you can read next year what works or not:


Then we come to the containers. There are really no limits to your imagination here, as long as your containers have a hole through which excess water can drain away. Because plants don't like waterlogging, otherwise the roots will rot. You can buy beautiful balcony boxes and tubs in stores or make them yourself. Maybe old baker's boxes for the vegetables. You can even plant tomatoes directly in the potting soil bag without a tub. If you want to grow potatoes, there are special potato pots that have an opening that allows you to continuously harvest the ripe potatoes. For the sunny balcony, balcony boxes with a water tank are suitable, but you must make sure that they also have an overflow. If your balcony is open and gets rain, they will fill up and the roots will rot. For watering you do not always have to use fresh tap water, you can also use the vegetable washing water from the kitchen.

And for those who want to use the balcony as a wellness oasis and mini-vacation, there are also no limits to your imagination. There are so many ways to furnish the balcony, whether purchased balcony sets from the hardware store or DIY lounge furniture from pallets or discarded leather couches. Also cloths and fabrics offer you shade or protect from the wind.

Have fun gardening on your balcony! And check out next month's article, when we'll be talking about sowing and growing your own flowers and vegetables. And if you can't get enough of gardening and are looking for even more sustainable tips, I highly recommend the perma calendar. A musthave for all nature lovers!

Have fun planning and gardening.

Your Sabine

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All prices include VAT and packaging, but exclude shipping costs and any customs duties (for non-EU countries). Pfeffer & Frost – The gift online shop for traditional and vegan Elisenlebkuchen (sustainably packaged) from the metropolitan region of Nuremberg.