Erica has been growing a container garden on her apartment balcony. Here’s an update on how things are going for her!
About 5 weeks ago, I started my very first container garden. It has grown quite a bit since then. I’ve also done some expanding, updating, and organizing. Here’s how it looked this afternoon:
My deck was getting horribly crowded and I kept having to move the buckets around during the day to stay in full sun light due to my railings. So I did a little reorganizing of the deck, hubby and I took a trip to Home Depot, and we made a bench out of a 2×8 and cinder blocks (cost about $10). Because the buckets are higher, they get more sun and I don’t have to keep chasing it through out the day!
I added this container to my deck a few weeks ago. I found it while unpacking and realized that we had no particular use for it, so I drilled some drainage holes in it and filled it up with dirt. I wanted to companion plant Little Finger Carrots and Bunching Onions and after reading both seed packets, I saw that both need a 1 inch spacing after thinning. So I thought I’d be creative and try some square inch gardening (which is why the container has yarn on it in the picture). I just planted the last couple rows in the middle this afternoon.
That is the first of the Bunching Onions I planted a couple weeks ago.
And opposite of the onions, there are a couple rows of carrots making their first appearance.
Last month, Angela told me about re-growing celery, so I decided to give it a try! It seems to be taking off nicely. The other two containers have Thyme and Cilantro, which I just planted this afternoon.
Last month, I had strawberry plants in this tub. Unfortunately, they turned out horribly. I did get some berries that looked nice, but they were very mushy and had a weird taste when you bit into them. So I decided to just rip them and not waste the space (especially since my space is so limited!). I added more soil and planted radishes today. My packet said to plant them every two weeks through mid summer, so I figured planting this late wouldn’t be a big deal. I also noticed that radishes grow really fast; my packet said 25 days. So I’m hoping we’ll have some radishes in about a month!
This is my Summer Crookneck Squash plant. Boy, has it taken off! It has been rivaling my tomatoes for fastest growth.
My Zucchini plant had a rough start, so it has been behind in growth. I hadn’t seen any sprouting after two weeks, so I dug down to see what was happening. The seeds had barely sprouted and just looked kind of pitiful. So I recovered them with dirt and gave them another good soaking. For some reason that worked and they finally started to grow. I still only ended up with 3 out of 6 seeds sprouting, but the two that I kept seem to be doing better!
Here are my Cucumber plants. They seems so small compared to my squash, but I keep having to remind myself that they are not the same kind of plant and shouldn’t be compared. A few of the leaves seem to have gotten burned while I was out of town last weekend, but after a good watering, the other leaves perked right up.
This is my carrot bucket where I’m growing more Little Finger Carrots. I now have three stages of carrots in this bucket. Seeds I planted today, seeds from about two weeks ago, and seeds from five weeks ago. I’ve been reading a lot about carrots. Apparently more can fit in a small growing space than we think, so I’m experimenting. I also haven’t thinned my eldest ones yet. I’m not exactly sure when to thin them and have read conflicting reports. Does anyone have any advice as to when is best to thin carrots?
My Sweet One Hundreds Tomato plants just started growing like crazy in the past two weeks! My dad suggested clipping back some of the lower small branches and adding more soil to promote more root growth. I’ve also noticed the first flowers popping up, so hopefully I’ll start seeing some little tomatoes forming soon! When I heard that my tomatoes would probably grow over 6 feet tall and that I needed to cage soon, I started asking around to see if anyone I knew had extra tomato cages that they weren’t going to use this year. Sure enough, a family member had a whole stack that they were happy to lend me indefinitely!
These are all lettuce plants that used to be outside my front door. Unfortunately, the stinkin’ squirrels kept coming up and digging in the middle of each one, so I had to move them. I haven’t had any squirrel action on my back deck yet, so I’m hoping that having them tucked in here in the partial shade will finally allow them to grow! One of the containers has Romaine and the other three are all from a Sampler packet.
For some reason, the squirrels have not messed with the 5 gallon buckets of lettuce I have on my front deck. This is Romaine, although I’m kind of concerned that something is wrong with it. Nothing seems to be growing upwards, instead it is all toppled over. It keeps growing in length, but the stem does not seem to be thickening.
My Butter Head Lettuce looks about the same as my Romaine.
My mom found these awesome planter boxes that hug either side of our thick railings by the front door. I just planted this box today. It has two small strawberry plants (we’ll see if they take off), a boarder of Bunching Onions, and a small amount of Thyme planted in the middle.
Last but not least, the other railing planter. I just planted another Summer Crookneck Squash in here today. I had debate whether or not I was going to but, my family really loves crookneck squash and will use a lot of it!
I have absolutely fallen in love with gardening over the last month and can’t wait till we can start eating straight from my little garden!