Plants for your balcony should be beautiful as well as productive, so the best strategy is to grow mixed vegetables in large containers. In broad pots or half barrels, plant compact varieties of upright vegetables, such as tomato, pepper, or eggplant, surrounded by colorful leafy greens, such as lettuce or Swiss chard. Leaf-lettuce varieties are best, and they come in a broad range of colors and textures. Include fast-growing radishes and green onions, which you can harvest early to make room for longer-lived plants. Let cucumbers that bear small, pickle-size fruits cascade over the edges, or include trailing edible nasturtiums.
Strawberries are the easiest fruits to grow in containers. Remove the first flush of blossoms from strawberries planted this year to keep them from setting fruit. If you plant everbearing strawberries, let the second flush of blooms produce a late-season crop for you. June-bearing types won't yield until next year. The most challenging part of growing fruits and vegetables in containers is keeping them adequately watered. Although large containers dry out more slowly than small ones, even big containers may need daily watering in hot weather.