Food growing on an urban balcony

Shaheda, Wen

Hello everyone

It’s been a while, but I wanted to update you on what I’ve been growing and harvesting from my balcony this year.  I’ve also been busy saving seeds. 



It’s been a bumper season.  I’ve grown thirty different varieties of flowers and vegetables from my balcony in London. 


Colourful blooms

The Zinnias have been beautiful.  They are native to Mexico and so enjoyed the intense heat we had this summer. I love how they surprise you with the different colours, you never know what colours you are going to get.  They are really easy to grow and this year I was able to collect seeds from them. 

balcony growing
balcony growing
balcony growing


A mini harvest!

Throughout the summer I managed to get a little something each week.  Whether it was one strawberry or a handful of courgette flowers. 

Food growing on an urban balcony

Feeling the heat!

The Jalapeno chillies really benefited from the heat. So many on just one plant, in a small pot.  I was really happy with my bumper crop of Scotch Bonnets.


Food growing on an urban balcony
Food growing on an urban balcony
Food growing on an urban balcony

Collecting seeds

I have been busy collecting flower seeds this month. It’s really easy to do – just let the flowers dry out. The Zinnias (right) turn in to the most beautiful colour, which looks like chiffon or silk.  The seeds are in the flower head themselves and when you pull each petal, the seeds can be found at the end of it. 

Collecting seeds

Marigold seeds

collecting seeds

Calendula flower heads

I saved lots of Marigold seeds – enough to supply Limborough Food Hub and Gardens for years to come!  It’s easy to do – again just let the flower bud dry completely. Inside one flower head you will get a whole pack worth of seeds. You can save so much money collecting your own seeds. 

I also collected seeds from the Calendulas I grew – The seeds develop again from the flower petals, which dry out and curl into the centre of the flower. Once they are brown and crispy looking, they are ready to harvest and store in a dry paper bag.


I hope you have enjoyed your growing space this season.


Shaheda, Limborough Hub Food Coordinator and Soil Sisters Therapeutic Gardener



Read Shaheda’s other blogs with updates from her balcony – Balcony blooms during Covid and Balcony growing – sowing seeds

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