Monday, August 27, 2007

What's this?

Lately I haven't been posting updates on my balcony garden regularly, but that's only because I haven't been at home that much. However, my mother is taking care of our apartment garden and most of the plants are doing alright. On the other hand, I'm spending most of my spare time in the nature enjoying the gifts of mother earth, but when I'm at home I make sure to give some additional love and care to all of my plants. Just the other day while doing a check up on my balcony garden plants, I found this bunch of larvae on my tomato plant, i.e. leaf. There's also some spider mites and aphids, so I'll have to spray my plants with some neem oil as soon as I can. It seems that I have some unwanted guests on my balcony garden, don't you think so?

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Overgrow the Balcony

In couple of my previous posts I mentioned that my balcony garden tomatoes are growing like crazy and it seems that they wont stop growing soon. I'm talking about my two giant tomato plants that are growing in my balcony plant box and each one is at least 5 feet tall.

I had some serious issues
with these plants, but as it says on the seed package, it's a late variety and in the last few weeks the fruit production has gone wild. Hmmm, finally! Next year I'll be planting those a bit later, because they almost overgrew the balcony and brought a lot of problems with its giant proportions. You know, my balcony garden isn't so big! For example, the tomato support issue has been and still is one of the greatest problems I'm faced with. I have to clime all over my balcony to keep this plants somewhat supported, but it's becoming an impossible mission. Apart from that, they are leaving almost no space for my cherry tomatoes, which have to struggle to get some air and light. Of course, I've done some pruning, but still there's not a lot of space for my other balcony garden plants which have gotten pretty much shaded. Luckily, I planted those big Saint Pierre tomatoes in the corners of my balcony garden and I can see now it was a wise choice. The fruit of these plants is so yummy and I learned some stuff this year that I don't intend to repeat the following year.

Unfortunately, one of the giants which has already rewarded us with some great fruit has suffered a lot and the fruit production was diminished significantly. It was damaged in a few storms we've had, but I've already wrote about that so you can take a look at some of the older posts from my urban garden blog. However, the plants growing in the opposite corner of my balcony garden are doing more or less o.k. and haven't suffered that much damage.

I can't wait for all those tomatoes to ripen, but in the meanwhile I'll nibble on my cherry tomatoes!

Friday, August 17, 2007

Italman's breakfast

Here's my homegrown Saint Pierre tomato with some bread and cheese, hmmm so delicious!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Balcony Saint Pierre Tomatoes & Peppers

My balcony garden is still producing a great amount of cherry tomatoes and although we've lost a lot due to the bad weather, I must say I'm still quite happy with my urban grow! It feels great to walk out of the kitchen and harvest a dozen of cherry tomatoes every now and then. They are so tasty, so sweet and you can pick one when ever you want. However, other organically grown veggies were also recently harvested from my city garden and they too deserve a word or two. I'm talking about the peppers which I grew from seeds my brother brought a few years ago from Macedonia and my giant Saint Pierre tomatoes.

I must say that no bought tomato beats the taste of my homegrown Saint Pierre, hmmm it's so tasty and the peppers...!!!

Birds of Prey Keeping Pigeons Away

I have already written a few posts regarding the problems pigeons are causing on my balcony, however today things are looking much better. I've tried a couple of methods in order to get rid of pigeons or better said in order to keep them away, but recently I got some extra help!

At first, I noticed we have some newcomers in our neighborhood as they could be easily seen flying the sky over my apartment building. Since then, every morning you can here a high pitched call that sou
nds something like kee-kee-kee. I'm not a bird expert, but I've done some research and it seems that the birds in question are called Common Kestrels. When they hover over my neighborhood, it seems like there aren't any pigeons around and I guess that's because they can easily become their prey.

It's great to have such friends high up in the urban skies! I managed to take a few photos of them, but unfortunately not the best quality!

Kestrel(Falco tinnunculus)

I hope I'll be able to capture these beautiful birds of prey much better very soon!

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Wet Balcony Veggies

Just a few photos of my balcony veggies after the rain.

The harvest day is getting nearer!

Yet Another Storm in Zagreb City

Well, yet another storm has struck Zagreb city and my balcony garden plants were once again under heavy attack. My plants were tossed all around the balcony and you could find cherry tomatoes all around. Luckily, I managed to save some, but I suspect there are more down in the park, in front of my apartment building. The rain was falling like crazy as you can see from this picture taken from my balcony.

The wind was also blowing like crazy and my tomatoes were once again the once which have gotten it the worse. Here's my balcony garden tomato jungle, all messed up!

Unfortunately, we've lost a considerable amount of fruit(veggies). These are just some of the casualties, at least those I managed to save!

Just a half an hour later the sun was shining, like nothing happened!

I'll be able to estimate he real amount of damage in a couple of days, but for now I can only hope that my plants will recuperate and keep on growing as well as they were. Even though times like these are hard for every gardener, I try not to feel bad. When something like this happens, I just plant some more seeds and instantly I feel a lot better! However, before I do that, I have to take care of my balcony, because it looks like a little swimming pool!

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Balcony garden veggies

More and more vegetables from my balcony garden are ripening and getting their true colors. Apart from cherry tomatoes, which have already been harvested for a couple of times, my peppers and Saint Pierre tomatoes are also getting close to their harvest day. Very soon I'll be enjoying more homegrown veggies from my urban balcony garden.

Saint Pierre Tomatoes


Monday, August 6, 2007

Nature in the City

Most of us urban dwellers have to face nature deprived conditions of our everyday city life. Raw concrete jungle is our habitat, but is it natural or can it be, I doubt so. Plants and animals seem to be unwanted guests here, especially if left out of our control. Hmm, is urbanization a concept that rules out natural elements and if so, can it survive as such... Is it possible to bring back or at least save what's left of nature in our cities, it's left to be seen...

Luckily, my home town
and the capital of Croatia, Zagreb still has a few places where you can relax in relatively natural environment. One of those places is a park called Bundek. It's just a ten minute walk from my home, so I go there pretty often. It's great to have a place like this in the middle of concrete jungle, especially when you get tired of everyday city rush. A few years ago, it was a real natural oasis in the middle of Zagreb, but it was rearranged and nature was put under control. Logically, since then, the number of plants and animals has fallen significantly. However, it's still one of the places to visit if you are in Zagreb! Lets take a walk!

Meet the local duck family!

Friday, August 3, 2007

Miniatures on my balcony

Here are a few pictures of miniatures from my balcony garden. My mother likes this kind of stuff and she'll experiment with all kinds of plants in extra small containers. It's mostly a decorative element that catches the eye and makes you put on a smile!

I'll be turning the lights off very soon, so good night to everybody!

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Balcony food

They are so tinny, yet delicious!

My balcony cherry tomatoes are so yummy, hmm... I wish you can try this! It's just another Italman's dinner....

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

First Cherry Tomato Harvest

Yes indeed, it's a tomato celebration day! My urban balcony garden is rewarding us on a daily basis, but these are my first vegetables harvested this year. Unfortunately, we've had some bad weather lately and we've a lost a significant amount of fruit.

However, it was a sweet harvest! It feels great to produce your own homegrown organic veggies in the middle of the city.