Monday, September 10, 2007

Urban Balcony Gardens

Just the other day I went on a walk through my neighborhood and noticed that there really ain't that many balcony gardens around. Even though there are a lot of reasons for starting your own balcony garden, it seems that most of people in my neighborhood don't think so or simply don't care.
Most of the balconies are left empty, letting the concrete jungle take over. However, those balconies that are transformed into urban gardens are mostly flower gardens usually created for pleasing the eye.

I must say that I haven't seen any veggies or herbs on these urban balcony gardens, but on the other hand you can't see what's growing on my balcony either. Some of them are simply to far away for my eye or even camera to capture it right. That's also the main reason why you haven't seen a single photo of my balcony garden from the street view, but maybe one day with a better camera that will change. For the time being, I'll be posting photos of various balcony gardens I stumble upon while walking the streets of Zagreb, just like this one.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Vertical Gardening

I came upon this interesting solution created for vertical gardening and I myself think it's not a bad one; what do you think!? Of course, it has some disadvantages, but you can't say that it doesn't have some advantages too.

It's for sure a great solution for those indoor gardeners that don't have a lot of space in their apartments and hassle everyday to find some for their
loving plants. On the other hand, I can easily imagine something like that incorporated on my balcony, like a little herb tower garden. I can even imagine it like a solution for greening the city, for example vertical garden fences, bus stations maybe!? Vertical gardens in your apartments, offices, in restaurants...ha, ha, ha!! Why not use them for outdoor gardens!? Maybe I overdid it, but I'll be sure to install something like that in my home garden next year. I'm thinking it would be great on my balcony in the hot days and again a great solution for growing herbs in the kitchen, especially in cold winter days. There are some disadvantages, obviously you need enough light, whether artificial or natural. The size of plants you grow in this kind of vertical garden might be also a problem, as the size of your container may be limited, so choose your plants carefully. And what about air circulation, hmm!?

Well, all in all I think if the right choices(regarding the plants you grow) and conditions are made(regarding sufficient light and air) this could be a great solution for a vertical garden, indoors or outdoors.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Just Another Dinner

I spent most of my day working on my home garden and then it came a time to eat something. Here's a little something I came up with. It was the stuff I could find in my kitchen: one zucchini, some button mushrooms, homegrown pepper freshly picked from my balcony garden and some pasta of course.

And here's the result!

It was pretty good I might add!

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Update on my Balcony Garden

Well, things look a bit different on my balcony garden, some plants were removed and others planted, but all in all everything is o.k.!

One Saint Pierre tomato plant and two cherry tomato plants that already gave us a lot of fruit, but were severely injured in a couple of storms had to be chopped down. The injuries they suffered were not the only issue, they were also sun burned and infested with some pests I've never seen until now. It didn't look to good and I decided to remove those sickly looking plants. However, I still have a few tomato plants in the other corner of my balcony garden. Those are looking pretty healthy and are producing fruit quite nicely although they too are under attack of those unknown pests I mentioned.

It's been raining all day, so I'll be spraying with some neem oil when it stops and hope for the best! It seems that this year a lot of people in my area are having problems with their tomato gardens, but I'll dedicate a post regarding this theme very soon.

In one of my older posts I was telling you that I'm sorry because I haven't grown any lettuce this year, but that has changed before a month ago or so when I planted some arugula(rucola or rocket salad) which has already been on our menu. A bunch of seeds were sown in one container as you can see from this picture taken just one week after they were put in soil.

Some herbs from my balcony garden were harvested and dried, some seeds collected but I'll be writing about that in one of my following posts together with the various techniques I use for these purposes.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Italman is Back!

As I explained in my previous post, lately I haven't had the time to blog about stuff going on in my urban garden, but I'm back in the city now and soon you'll find out what's happening on my balcony!

Until then watch the fire burn with me!

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!