Erica is back at it with an Urban Gardening update for you! Here’s how things are progressing up on her apartment balcony…
July has been an interesting month for my little garden! In the middle of the month, we received notice from the apartment management that we would need to have our deck cleared off in less than 24 hours so that they could do repairs and check the structural integrity. Oh and by the way, repairs would take a week minimum. Needless to say, I was a little more than mildly frustrated! After a few rants, my husband and I put our thinking caps on and came up with a plan. We had a family member graciously offer us their yard for the week. I guess that is one of the side benefits of container gardening, it can be transported without having to rip everything up. The repairs ended up taking longer than a week, but it was a good thing they checked the decks because both supporting beams had rotted through! Looking back, despite the hassle of it all, I am thankful that they took the time to check for our safety!
This is a look at my garden from all angles. The top picture is my back door garden, on the deck. The bottom two pictures are of my front door garden. One is looking out from my front door, the other is what it looks like from the street. I’m trying to make the best of the space I have and grow as much as I can!
My tomato plants are almost up to my shoulder! They ended up on my front deck during the back deck repair fiasco because they were too tall to transport in our car. They seem to like it better out on the front deck anyways and have grown at least a foot in two weeks. So I decided to leave them there until and unless my management says I need to move them
Little baby tomatoes are popping up all over the place too! Fingers crossed that they start turning red soon!
This is my trio of herbs that I bought and transplanted as small plants at the end of June. They have taken off like gang busters! Starting on the left, it goes English Thyme, French Tarragon, and Spicy Globe Basil (oh my gosh this stuff is aaaamazing!). I’ve already had to clip back some of it because it was growing so much. I just hung the extra up so it could dry and be used later.
This is a brand new planter that I just put out last week with some of the veggies I’m growing for Fall. Originally, I put Blue Dwarf Kale in the middle with a boarder of White Bunching Onions. Unfortunately, the squirrels (the BANE of my gardening existence) decided to come in and do a little rearranging.
Lastly on the front porch is my beautiful big Crookneck Summer Squash plant! This was the second Crookneck plant that I planted and it’s about 6 weeks younger than my other one. Despite the age difference, this one only appears to be a week or two behind the other one in setting fruit. I’m hoping that it will produce even more than the one on my back deck since it’s a little less crowded.
Now on to the back door garden! This is another container I recently planted for Fall; it has Jack-be-Little Pumpkins growing in it! Now I know I started them late, but I’m hoping since they are such small pumpkins and our hard frost doesn’t come to later than some, that they will make it! I’m maximizing my space by training the vines up a trellis. I had this nifty idea to use some thick twine running up to my roof as a trellis. I have no idea if it will work and I might end up having to improvise later, but that’s ok with me. =)
My Zucchini plant has gotten huge!
And it has finally started setting fruit! This is the blossom I just hand pollinated the other day. There are a few other tiny zucchini starting to form, so I’m checking often for when their blossoms open so they can be pollinated.
Moving on to my other Crookneck Squash plant. I’ve got two that I just hand pollinated this week and look to be doing well! Other than those two, so far I’m not seeing any other forming. Hopefully they won’t be the only two I get!
Fingerling Carrots and White Bunching Onions are growing in the blue container. This intense growing method worked really well! I will probably harvest half of the carrots this week for snacks or dinners and I’ve already used a few of the onions in a dinner recipe last week. In the 5 small containers, I just planted more Fingerling Carrots and Rainbow Carrots for a Fall harvest. The larger black bucket on the right has Leeks that I just planted, also for a Fall harvest.
I was finally able to find a way to utilize this wasted space on the side of my deck! I have no idea why they designed our decks this way; there is barely enough room to even stand in that small little space. Oh well, I made it work! In my last update, the blue rubbermaid tub had radishes growing in it. Those finished up, so I cleansed the soil with some boiling water and mixed in some new soil and fertilizer. Then I planted some Leeks and some Parsnips for a Fall/Winter harvest.
I did the same things with the three yellow buckets in this picture. They originally had my carrots and lettuce. I harvested the carrots and had to rip the lettuce out. The closest one to the rubbermaid has Rainbow Carrots. The other two have Blue Scotch Kale, one dwarf, one full size.
Here is my Cucumber plant and next to it is where I just planted a Table King Acorn Winter Squash plant.
My Cucumber plant has been putting out fruit way more than most of my other plants. These are the two largest ones so far. I’ve got at least 7 on the plant already pollinated and more blooms growing everyday! I can’t wait to taste these babies!
These were my first big harvests out of my garden this year! I had about a pound of radishes and a pound of carrots!
These are some of the meals I’ve made so far with items from my garden. The picture on the left is a casserole dish I invented a few years ago. It has ground turkey, onions, thyme, kale, cherry tomatoes, and whole grain noodles in it. In this dish, I used fresh thyme and onions from my garden!
The top right picture is chicken stir fry. I used fresh carrots from the garden in this recipe. I subbed in different vegetables than the recipe calls for to suit our taste. I used this recipe because I wanted to try the sauce. It was aaamazing!
The bottom right picture is Tarragon Chicken. Man, this recipe is so good! I used fresh tarragon and onions from the garden. I also added a little salad on the side from my only lettuce plant that didn’t bolt. I have totally loved being able to walk out and grab fresh herbs and veggies from the garden for dinner!