This week in the Flog:
- A look back
- The latest garden photos
It’s been a great adventure so far on the balcony garden. There have successes and failures of epic proportions.
I’m kinda amazed at how much I’ve been able to grow in those little planters. I haven’t ever used traditional fertilizer, and I’ve cut back monster plants any number of times. Every time I cut them back, they come back just as big and strong, it’s impressive.
I’m also impressed with how voracious the insects are. There have been whitefly hordes, spider mite invasions, broad mite infestations and even aphid attacks. Whole sections of the garden have succumbed to the onslaught! I’ve managed to keep a light attitude about all that and even had fun creating a homemade pesticide spray (still under development).
Anyway, we’ve come a long way with the garden. I mean, it was a bare balcony before this project. Take a look at this pic (sad I don’t have one from before the project got started, this is the earliest picture, partway through the planter build):
In a very short time I had planters built and had made some awesome goldilocks soil from scratch.
Then came the plants. There were some hiccups, even an aerial invasion, but some plants survived and thrived..and after a little while I had a thriving productive balcony!
I brought in fresh veggies for the family and managed to improve my poor diet with regular additions of green salad at the dinner table.
What a journey! I feel like it’s a journey because that’s how a garden feels. It is a living thing that starts as pretty much nothing, like my balcony garden started. It grows and changes and after awhile it looks nothing like how it started. All the while you are there taking care of it, so that you don’t really notice how much it’s changed until you take a minute to think back to the early days. Then you realize, look at all I’ve experienced, how far I’ve come thanks to or in concert with, my little garden. That’s how life goes….See there is a place for nostalgia in the garden, not just philosophy.
After that look back, lets look at the garden today. I planted a new crop of veggies for “Mission Salad 2014″. They are growing well since the balcony finally gets direct sunlight for a few hours a day! I planted lettuce, arugula, pechay (Chinese cabbage), kailan (Chinese broccoli), upland kangkong (water spinach), etc. All salad veggies so we can get some nice salads going. Here are a few highlights:
The kangkong is growing nicely, in my dense planting:
The beans are also growing well, I get a fresh crop of pods every few days:
The Calamansi is growing really well and producing little Calamansi limes:
The mustard, pechay, and kailan are growing really well in a dense planting also:
My pepper plants, although very sad looking, are still producing crops of peppers close to a year after planting:
And finally, my single mature arugula plant. I love this thing. It produces so many leaves at a time I can get a whole salad off it each time. I just rip the leaves off, and it grows a new crop each week. It’s a really nice treat to have fresh arugula each week.
So the overall garden is looking great these days. It just gets water still most of the time. Periodically I add a little homemade fish fertilizer to the water. For the blooming plants like the peas, I add a little homemade bloom fertilizer. And everything is doing really well! I’m amazed at the growing capacity of this simple garden soil I made almost a year ago now.
Well I know it’s winter in many parts of the world now, that sun and plants must look pretty good these days. Remember you can always buy some lights and grow indoors! Even on my balcony, there is a corner of deep shade right where Opi lives, I had to add lights there so that he’d have some great greens to feed on. He loves it as you can tell in the pic (see the smile? Haha)..
Thanks everyone for tuning in on the Flog each week. It’s pretty neat to see in this letter how far it’s come.
Keep on growing.