Inch by inch, row by row


March 4, 2009 by 8junebugs

In honor of the black ice on my balcony and the everlasting crust of dead snow on my car, I’m daydreaming about my container garden this week.

I’m coming up on a year in my apartment — what with all the drama and trauma of 2008, I’ve done little with my balcony, other than warn people not to lean on the weak and rusted railing. I put off last year’s garden, but this year I have the added benefit of a crappier economy to push me into growing some food. W00T!

Before I go into this list, I remind you that the balcony runs the entire length of my apartment (about 40 feet) and is about one-third shade from the smaller balcony above. The rest is a combination of direct and indirect sun, depending on the hour.

2009 Garden o’ Plenty

Pinot Noir peppers (sweet…also pretty!)
Carnival Hybrid Mix sweet peppers
Napa Hybrid grape tomatoes
Roma tomatoes…for roasting and sauce
Burpless cucumbers
Sweet Zuke Hybrid zucchini
Bush Bean Heavyweight II green beans
I am debating about lettuce…

Basil…lots and lots of basil
Italian Parsley
(I usually get the herb seedlings at the local Farmer’s Market)

Snapdragon Plumblossom
Snapdragon Supreme Hybrid Mix
Delphinium Fantasia Mixed Colors

Less tall (or: The Daisies)
Shasta Daisy Silver Princess
Tricolor Daisy Chrysanthemum
Blue-eyed Daisy Passion Mix
(I like daisies. A lot.)
Sunflower Elf

Bushes, sort of, for rail boxes
Pentas Butterfly Sparkle Mix
Marigold French Vanilla

I’m shooting for “easily grown food that I would otherwise spend a gazillion bucks on at the Farmer’s Markets” and “nontoxic flowers that make me smile.”

So, where’s all this going to go? I have a lovely herb pot that will house all of those — that will sit on the wrought iron table in the corner on the east end. I think a little bin of the elf sunflowers would be nice in that outside corner, too.

The pentas and marigolds will go in rail boxes. Yay, Ikea!

The daisies will get mixed up and potted together on a plant stand I’ve had for years. I intend to build a little semicircle of mountain meadow, right outside my door.

The plumblossom snapdragons and delphinium will go in a bin on the corner outside my bedroom, and the other snapdragons in the far corner on that side.

As for the veggies, I’m still working it out in my head. I have a bunch of wooden crates that will do nicely, but I’ll need a few more containers…I do know where to get more of the same crates, but I will also be checking out the secondhand shops and yard sales (once we’re back into livable temperatures) — half the fun of container gardens is the containers.

The configuration in my head looks something like a cross coming down the center of the balcony from the west end, and I’m thinking about raising at least some of them off the floor. BUT…the floor conducts a good bit of heat. So we’ll see.


7 thoughts on “Inch by inch, row by row

  1. Amy says:

    Are you taking applications for co-op deliveries 😉

  2. 8junebugs says:

    You have more faith in my gardening capabilities than I. 🙂 But I promise to share any bumper crops that materialize.

  3. Alicia says:

    Thank you for getting that song stuck in my head. I am disturbed by how much of it I remember.

  4. 8junebugs says:

    All it takes is a rake and a hoe.

    Unless you have a container garden, in which case it takes a bent fork and a toy shovel.

    UPDATE: I axed the Pinot Noir Peppers — I will settle for the purple peppers in the Carnival Hybrid Mix. I added a variety of romaine lettuce.

  5. Alicia says:

    Are you going to grow chard or kale in the fall?

  6. 8junebugs says:

    I refuse to accept that chard and kale offer anything I wouldn’t rather get from a multivitamin. I feel confident that the Farmer’s Market can provide whatever dark, bitter, foul leafy greens I “need” in a pinch.

    But I figure anything that tastes *better* with anchovies doesn’t belong in my garden.

  7. Jeff says:

    Anchovies are underrated!

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