Saturday, 18 February 2012

Balcony Gardening

So where to begin......?

My garden is a balcony about 4 x 2 metres. All plants are grown in pots or large tubs, which I found laying around. I was trying to reduce cost and recycle what I could so I used some old recycling containers and a disused polystyrene vegetable box that I found in the rubbish room of the apartment block. These items needed lots holes drilled into the bottom for drainage.

The parsley in Spring (now dead)
I had grown plants on the balcony before and they had always suffered during summer because of the westerly aspect and the pots just drying out too quickly. I also did forget to water sometimes! So this time I wanted to try and build an improved potting mix, one that would tolerate delays between waterings and save the plants when I was forgetful ;). The mix included an average grade (cheap) potting mix with a brick sized coir peat block softened in water mixed together. I then spread a layer of blood and bone over the surface of the soil in the pot and dug in, to about 100-150mm deep. Overall the mix has done better than the pots that still had a plain potting mix in them. I would have to water the standard mix twice as much.

Fresh new Garlic shoots
Early Ginger growth

I decided to grow herbs and vegetables on the balcony because a lot of fresh herbs can be pricey in the supermarket. We kept buying bunches of herbs such as coriander or parsley, use less than half of it and then it would go rotten within a few days. On the balcony I started with rosemary, parsley, mint and thyme. During Spring I added garlic, ginger, carrots, celery, strawberries and then later some lettuce and oregano. Its a little tight and was certainly over the top but well worth it. I am currently enjoying the carrots and garlic in home cooked meals.

The previous progress can be found at my balcony garden thread.

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