july garden update

March balcony garden

From front to back: tomato, pepper, and spinach containers.

I started a container garden this year to provide our household with fresh vegetables on a regular basis…and because I got a great deal on some seed pods at Target. In March, my patio garden consisted of tomato and pepper plants that were just starting to grow and a spinach plant that never really took off.

We've come a long way since March.

In four months…

Balcony garden2 Sweet peppers Eggplant Summer squash Tomatoes
Our biggest plant is the pepper from March. It really took off when we moved to our new place in May. We've even had peppers from it. We've added a chili pepper plant and mini eggplant plant that's already producing, and we're growing squash and swiss chard from seeds. The squash is so tiny and cute right now, and we're hoping to see some chard in the next few days. My original tomato plant didn't survive the move, so I started a new one late last month. It's tiny but it's growing. Hopefully we'll have some late summer tomatoes around here. We also experiemented with a cucumber plant, but it succumbed to what looked like bacterial wilt about a week ago.

That eggplant is now double the size (these pictures were taken over the weekend), and we also have two more growing.

Aloe lavendar mint basil

Our herbs are doing well too. I've added purple basil, lavendar, mint, and aloe since the move. The mint hasn't been as impressive as the others, but we're still getting good use out of it.

What I've learned…

The Florida climate makes growing plants very tricky. Between the heat, humidity, and heavy rains, we're playing a balancing act making sure everything gets enough water…but not too much. I've started using coffee grounds with my tomato plant, which has kept it from dying off on a couple of occasions. I was warned that planting in mid-March wasn't a smart idea, but we're making it work. By fall, we should have a nice little bounty from our balcony container garden.

We've also learned to expect small produce from our plants. I always expected that my fruits and vegetables would be smaller than what is offered in a grcery store, but my tiny plants in my tiny containers can only produce so much at a time. Now I need a house so I can do a proper in-ground garden.

Future plans…

I'm hoping to get some kale going for the winter. Otherwise I'm just playing by ear with my garden. Florida's climate gives some great produce in the fall and winter months, so I'll see how mine do. I'd love to get some root plants going too, like onion or radish.

PS: These are the chairs on my balcony.

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