Tuesday, March 20, 2012

My 60 Square Foot Balcony Garden

Our balcony had never looked worse.  It had been neglected for months.

It was an "oh my goodness" moment when I realized what it had become. All the plants were dead and there was so much dust covering everything that I left footprints as I walked across the floor.  This wouldn't do at all.  I'm a passionate gardener with a small yard and I use every square inch of space I have.  Why was I wasting a perfectly good spot?
I decided to do something "frugal" asap.
First things first I washed the balcony down with buckets of water, sweeping it over the edges to water the vegetables in the raised bed directly below.
That done, I started "yard shopping" for pots and plants that were looking for a new home.  It didn't take long to find some useful looking containers, including some great window boxes that my neighbor Lea threw out. 

I used some thinnings from my garden beds to fill 3 pots of lettuce and 2 window boxes of Swiss chard.  

A few tomato and pepper plants that were growing in the wrong place were transplanted to large containers and a couple of volunteers of flat leaf parsley went into small containers to be perched on a ledge.

These Purple celery plants had been waiting to be transplanted for a few weeks.  I'm not sure if they will grow in a container but this has to be better than the tiny pots they were in. 

I moved a few pots of herbs recently purchased from Trader Joe's to their new home, hanging them from the balcony railing with chop sticks and wire twist ties.

This copper container was a perfect spot for a mixture of 4 kinds of basil. 

It's only been a week or so but the first seedlings are poking through.

These "branches" are from a friends fig tree.   She assured me that if I planted them, they will root. 

My fingers are crossed.
I sowed some pots of herbs from seeds I had on hand, covering the tray with a sheet of drycleaning plastic to hold in heat and moisture. 
Lastly I sowed lettuce seeds in the remaining window box. 

Future plans include more herbs hanging off the ledge (I think I have room for 15 more pots) and beans that will grow across the balcony railing. 
I'm so excited about our balcony.  It looks great and provides food.  It doesn't get better than that.  I will be updating pictures as the season progresses.  .
Be well and Happy Gardening!

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