Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Summer Garden Update

It's been a while since I've posted about our balcony garden. The plants have grown so much since my last post!

When you first step onto the balcony from the living room, this pot of beans is to the left:

It doesn't get as much sun as other areas of the balcony, so it's a little slower at growing. But those big leaves take advantage of all the sun it gets!

Straight in front of the door is our deck box, which holds extra gardening tools and grill supplies. We have a few easily moveable pots sitting on top, like this pot of green onions:

These green onions were sprouted from the ends of some store-bought green onions back in December. I put the white ends with the roots into a short glass with water, and just changed out the water every couple days. I was able to keep them like that for a few months, just trimming off what I needed. But by late spring the onions were growing more than I could eat, so we had to plant them in a pot. And look how they've taken off! These are the thickest green onions I've ever seen, and they have a great flavor.

On the other side of the door, next to one of our chairs, is our other bean. This one gets more sun so has grown taller. 

Moving along the rail now, we have two terra cotta pots with tomatoes. Our tomatoes got off to a rough start this year. I started them from seed, and our late spring storms wrecked havoc on their growing cycle. But now that it's consistently warm, they're really taking off. Maybe tomatoes to eat in another month or so? We'll see.

Next is our nasturtium, which I've shown before. This guy is great for adding a flowering aspect to the balcony, as well as a great addition to salads. And I just started my first batch of nasturtium capers, which I'm excited about (details to come)

Next to the nasturtium is our strawberry pot. We've had some lovely strawberries this season, though none were ripe when I snapped this picture:

Between the strawberry pot and the lemon tree is our lettuce. It's a bit scraggly right now, since the last of our first crop bolted and our second crop hasn't sprouted yet.

The lemon tree has grown a few inches since we brought it home in January! Above it is a hanging basket of strawberries, and behind it is our sugar snap pea. Wow it's tall!

 Look at this mass of gorgeous snap peas!

 Much of this spring has been devoted to testing out the micro-climates of our balcony. Since part of the rail is metal, and part is solid wood, we get very different sunlight for pots on the ground. The wind at the third floor level is also completely different than that at ground level, so what works for the people below might not work for us. A lot of trial and error, a lot of dead plants, but lots of rewarding home-grown food too!

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