The Growing Girl

Amateur gardening experiences of a growing girl.

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Spring 2014 In Effect

I’m back! And I’m in full swing with my balcony garden. This season I will be reaping bountiful harvests. I have learned greatly from my half-hearted and failed attempt of 2013. Don’t get discouraged, read around and find a solution that can get your garden where you need it to be. Let’s be honest, produce costs can be astronomical.

This season I have peppers, cherry bomb and Chardonnay; tomatoes; zucchini; English cucumbers; lavender; thyme; basil; sweet mint; and cilantro. Well, I hope I have cilantro. Growing the herb from seed is not working so well for me right now.

I have all the fruits in 5 or 3 gallon buckets. The herbs are all in flower pots, and thing a are green all around DC. I already have three flowers on my tomato plant, and there has been no lack of sunshine. I’m excited.

Now that you know what I have growing this season, I will be sure to check back in with progress, tips, and tricks.


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Spring 2014

Spring is finally here! Well, technically it has arrived, but no one in DC knows it yet. This weather is a mockery I tell you.
Over the weekend my seeds arrived. I’m ready, and I’m anxious to retry my hand at small space gardening. I’ve got my organic non-gmo seeds. Thank you Seeds Now. The seeds were affordable and arrived quickly.

I have cilantro, basil, cucumber, zucchini, bell pepper, dill, and spinach. I have most of my pots and can’t wait to get started. Now if I can get this weather to cooperate.
I will say that I’m not too worried about the winter extending it’s chilly grip into spring’s territory since I am balcony gardening. I will be starting my garden indoors this season.
Stay tuned.

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Summer 2013

Shortly after this post I sprouted a seed… a baby girl! That was eventful. Sadly my balcony garden experiment went horribly awry. It wasn’t a total bust. I was able to have my herb garden. I took an  idea that I saw on Pinterest and quickly found out that it wasn’t very good for my sun situation. I stacked 3 pots on top of one another, a smaller pot in the middle of the bottom two pots so that there would be a level surface to set the next pot on. Each pot smaller than the one under it. This didn’t allow the plants to have 360 degrees of sunshine. Rotating the pots was not ideal and it wasn’t always possible either. 

The smallest pot, at the top, had and still has rosemary in it. The medium pot, in the middle, had cilantro and still has basil in it. The bottom and largest pot still has mint in it. When I decided to unstack the pots, I had to remove the pots in the center. This was no easy task. The roots had taken hold of those inner pots and were murder to take out. Another problem I found with stacking the pots was that there was not enough room for the roots. Perhaps if the pots were larger this may not have been a problem. This space saving option turned out to be a bust for my balcony.

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I’m Baaack!!

I’m back! But not for too long. So much has happened since the last growing season. I finished my Master’s program and will be graduating tomorrow afternoon. I’m also expecting my second child very soon. I’ve moved and no longer have my backyard patch. I am now a balcony gardener!

As a balcony grower, I’ve had to scale back on what I grow and how I grow it. So here’s the super skinny: I’m growing herbs, tomatoes, and cucumbers. Adjusting to limited space is some kind of learning experience for me. Because we use our balcony for more than just gardening, I really have had to be sensible about what to plant. The crops I’ve chosen reflect what I and my family use the most. I’m so blessed to have a five year old that loves salad.

Fortunately, and unfortunately, our balcony gets more than enough strong sun, so lettuce isn’t such a good idea. (I am noticing that my rosemary’s not too fond of all this direct sunlight. You may want to consider providing a little less sunlight on your rosemary.) The nice thing about balcony gardening is that I don’t have to worry about weeds, and there are considerably less bugs. Another advantage is being able to rotate and move my plants however and whenever I need to.

I will keeping you posted on how things are going and I look forward to sharing my experiences as a balcony grower.

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End of the Season

So we have come to the end of the growing season. I have no cabbage or Brussels sprouts to show for it. The cabbage moths were extremely reproductive this spring/summer and feasted heartily on my harvest.

The potatoes and tomatoes were the big winner again this season. Close runners up were the banana peppers and eggplant. The squash and zucchini started late and did not produce a lot of fruit. I’ll admit that I’m a wee bit salty about my lack of squash.

The groundhog just about massacred the tree and the cucumbers. Compared to the 50 or so cucumbers last year, 2 is a huge let down.

Pulling up the dying plants is not the part of gardening I look forward to. Maybe someone will help me.