Well the Garden on the Balcony was doing really good, but we have had a poor summer so far weather wise, and some bad storms.
Last week after a very strong winds tore threw the city it played havoc with my Tomatoes, although they have survived they are all now lying flat in a blanket mesh across the balcony.
One part of me wants to hack it down to small bushes but the other part says just leave it till its finished with all the fruit, as it is producing lots of cherry tomatoes.
One of the reasons I grew cherry Toms was because of the smaller size they grow, but even at about a meter high, they still got beaten by the winds, something that is hard to avoid when your so high up!
anyway heres some pics and video on the journey so far.
After the wind
Lots of Tomatoes and Basil
Balcony Garden Makeover
Its that time of year! spring is in the air and time to get the balcony pots ready for my summer veggies.
this is my 4th growing season so I wanted to get the soil back to a good quality state to make sure I get the most production.
First I took all the mulch from the top and placed in bag for latter use, then emptied all the pots into a pile and spread over floor, I sorted threw and got rid of all the roots and plant matter.
I then added 2 new bags of good potting mix, 2 buckets of soil mixed with chicken manure from my chooks when they were here, soil from my warm farm, I added a bag of Blood and Bone, some slow release fertilizer pellets and wetting agent, then gave it all a really good mix before refilling all the containers
Replaced my drip irrigation system connected to my 100ltr barrel which makes daily watering easier and waste less and gets the water where its needed down in the roots.
I will replace the Wood chip mulch once the seeds have made their way threw.
Again one of my problems is trying to grow everything and over planting so this year I was a lot more selective and went with what I use the most and best yields, so i duplicated each pot with 1 Cherry tomato, 1 Basil, 1 Bell pepper and 2 x coriander in each pot, I will keep the bell pepper and Basil pruned to a controllable size as they grow.
I also had one pot with Zucchini and 1 pot with my blackberry bush, 2 small containers were used for 1 full of marigolds for pest control and 1 with spring onions and radishes and 2 buckets i planted with Lavendar.
Now i ready for a bumper harvest in the summer just add water!
It was a pretty good summer overall, lots of Tomatoes, but they dried up and stop producing, Im not sure if they were attacked as the plants are well watered, but they have now started growing again.
I dont know what the deal is with my strawberries I had an amazing container full green and flowers but not one strawberry, I wonder if the pollination process isn't happening so high up in a city center, maybe i need a bee hive LOL!
anyway plenty of Spring onions herbs ect and some nice peppers growing to.
Im going to start getting ready for autumn winter crops with broccoli and bok choy.
One thing Im happy with is the containers, the ones with water reservoir in bottom , and I have a drip line all way round from my water barrel and mulch as top layer, it definably is more efficient for water and the plants get what they need even in the hot and windy summer.
The other great thing is I now can replenish my own soil with a mixture of worm soil and the Chook soil, it should remain nutrient rich.
one new container i filled with soil from compost has actually produced loads of tomato plants, must have been from fallen fruit.
Rouge tomatoes amongst strawberries
Onions, dead Tomato and Raspberry plant
Have got my Garden all prepped and ready for summer!
Started harvesting my first Asparagus, with one measuring a whopping 27"
organic fertilizer added, Mulch added.
Fist year for Raspberry bush x 2, Black currant, Gooseberry, Rhubarb, and my blueberries dont look like they have made threw the winter.
second year for Blackberry bushes x 2, and Asparagus x 2, Rosemary, Parsley
planted 3 Tomato bushes, 2 capsicum/ bell peppers, chili peppers, Basil, Coriander, spring Onions, Marigolds, cucumbers, and potatoes
Good crop of tomatoes, no aphids since i planted lots of onions and marigolds, Blackberry bush has grown huge and still growing had to use an old clothes drying rack as a growing frame, Installed a new drip irrigation all the way around balcony from my 100liter water tank with the help from my grandson.
Biggest obstacle has been getting supplies to my apartment, carrying bags of growing mix and compost by bus is a pain to say the least, oh well at least its exercise. I am lucky with that i get 6 hours plus of sun on the balcony, but the winds can be a destroyer drying things out and breaking my tomatoes.
cropped Tomatoes, Broccoli, Blackberry's, Onions, lettuce, Raddish, Cucumber, celery, red and green bell horn peppers HERBS, coriander, parsley, dill, rosemary, mint,
failed crop included sucinis, wouldn't pollinate, Strawberries as got some spider mite on them and couldn't get rid of them, Lime tree died, also planted asparagus but will fern for a year or 2 before the actual asparagus grows
The year was hit and miss, got a lot of Tomatoes but also and several attacks by Aphids, I almost lost the first crop as I didn't know I had the little buggers.
again my mistake was over over planting crops too much of one thing.
I tried several different planters.
I Moved to Australia in late 2007, Once I got my apartment I started my small balcony garden.
I had no prior gardening skills or experience and blindly went about creating my growing pots. In hind sight I think the biggest mistakes I made was trying to grow too much too soon. But they say the best way to learn is by your mistakes.