Grand opening of the balcony garden experiment

Until this past weekend, our 2nd story balcony had a very short and pitiful resume:

– place where I take self-portraits of finished knitwear

– place where I stand to shake out the floor rugs

– place where the cats crouch to spy on birds and neighbors

Edith at the windowsill

It takes a couple oblivious sparrows for Edith to venture beyond the windowsill

My new plan to give the balcony self-confidence and purpose is to turn it into a container garden. It faces west, so there’s a ton of sunlight, and I found a stack of abandoned pots in the basement to get us started. On Saturday we went to Mahoney’s Garden Center and stocked up on soil, seeds, and a fabric Smart Pot that looked very intriguing (it’s behind Read in the photo below).

Container gardening: phase one!

(front-back) Lettuce, Arugula, Peas, Collards, Peas, Read, Carrots & Radishes

Our big puzzle is going to be watering. I’m either going to rig up some sort of pulley system for the hose in the yard, or run a piece of tubing from the bathroom sink. I dunno…we’ve gotta do something. Read claims he didn’t mind watering it with bowl after bowl of water but that doesn’t seem like something I want to do all summer while he’s in Mexico.

In launching the balcony garden experiment, I’ve found a lot of tips, ideas, and inspiration on a blog called Life on the Balcony. The blog’s related Flickr group is also fun. Based on my lunchtime meanderings there, here’s what I’m planning for “Phase 2”:

– Find and revamp discarded junk (like this old metal BBQ) into more cheap planters

Plant potatoes in a trashcan

Plant strawberries and cucumbers vertically using old wooden pallets

Oregon radishes circa 2008

If all goes well, or even mediocre, hopefully I’ll have photos of Boston-balcony-garden-edibles in a couple months. What are you planting this time of year? If you have any tips for container growing, please share!

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4 comments

  1. Great Work…!!

    Thanks for Sharing

  2. Fern · April 12, 2011

    There are special attachements that will let you attach a hose to a household sink faucet. Also, you’d be able to get a lot more watering done with a 2 gallon watering can than you would a bowl! 😉

    Good luck! Can’t wait to see photos of your garden as the season progresses.

    • foxflat · April 12, 2011

      Hahaha i know i know Fern…that’s us being cheap and not wanting to buy a watering can. But if the hose doesn’t work (thank you for the tip!) we’ll have to get the watering can. Maybe we can find one at the thrift store.

  3. sally · April 12, 2011

    Great work, Katie! Ron and I are glad that you are raising the self-esteem of your balcony, along with radishes and potatoes. It will feel not only useful, but also beautiful.

    With all that great sun, will you add a pepper plant, too?

    I wish that I could send you some of my discarded junk so you could create even more planters. Is it too late for a birthday present?

    Cheers to earthly delights!
    Sally

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