Phew, my last post was in MAY people. Serious slacking, right? My spare time has been occupied in Nomzilla, on vacation in Canada, and finding ways to avoid this awful, awful Dutch summer weather. And I also turned 30 (more on that in another post). I was pleased that after 3 weeks away, the non-stop rain and lack of sun didn’t absolutely destroy my plants. In June, it looked as if the aphids and leaf miners had left my beets and rainbow shard in tatters, but they stuck it out and I’m happy to say I enjoyed some sauteed beet greens last night!
This is the third year I’ve grown fruit and veg on the balcony, and definitely the most successful. Here it is:
I added the calle lillies and the violets to get a bit of colour in there. I’ve also got basil, thyme, rosemary, oregano and mint. I’ve been eating fresh raspberries every morning for the past two weeks!
And my super-strong beets have been my proudest achievement. The beets are small, but tasty. Quite honestly, I grew them for the beet greens because it’s my absolutely FAVOURITE veg ever. Steamed and then tossed in butter and balsamic = dreeeeeaaaamy.
This year, I grew my tomatoes upside down. Have you heard of this yet? It’s a great space saver. I got the idea because my Aunt Sharon did it a couple years ago and had success with it. You grow the plants from seed, and when they get their first true leaves (plant is maybe 10-15cm tall), you transplant them into a bucket with holes cut out in the bottom. It’s a two person job. One person has to hold the bucket up (once the plant’s root balls are placed upside down into the holes), and the other fills the bucket with soil. The benefit is that you don’t need to stake the plant, and the water goes straight to the roots. The plants have lots of little green cherry tomatoes waiting to ripen, if only that goddamn sun would shine. SIGH.
So, all in all, pretty successful balcony crop this year. Even on a tiny balcony, I can still enjoy produce that I’ve grown from seed, not too shabby at all! Next year, I’m going to see if I can get a long, deep trough or maybe some larger grow bags. I’m also going to plant some garlic…and hmmm, any other suggestions for small-scale growing? Let me know!