Balcony garden update. Gains, losses, learning experiences

Hi there,

gloomy day here today. All grey and drizzly. But who am I to complain, sitting here with my cup of coffee wrapped up in the single most comfy (and oldest) sweater I own.
The warm and rainy episodes of weather we had here during the last weeks made the plants on my balcony go crazy so I thought I could give you an update. That weather not only helped some of them grow, it also clearly separated the good from the bad. And there are more losses to report, sadly. But let's start with the gains first.

The cucumber plant has recovered from lost leaves and storm damage back when I got it and now is full of promising little cucumbers. It also is fully in bloom now. Have a look.

Before:


I have also sown some beans in the same pot with the cucumbers. The are really small still and should give us beans when the cucumber is starting to fade. For my first try on balcony gardening, I did not want to get overwhelmed with veg at one point and then have nothing afterwards. So I did a bit of succession planting to give us a variety of crop all through summer and well into autumn.

Close-ups of the beans:



On the herbs front, the bay plant is growing incredibly well. I thought that it might be too dark for the plant on the northwestern side, but it seems to be just fine. Come autumn, I will plant it in a zinc pot that can stay outside, wrap it up to protect the bay plant from frost and that should do.
 On to the biggest success so far. The tomatoes! The actual plants are starting to look less hideous, developing strong stems and dark green foliage. But the most incredible part of the whole tomato-corner is that they are starting to produce veg. All five plants show little tomatoes where they have been in bloom. Also, they are already developing the next round of blossoms. This is going incredibly well. I have to say, though, that I am now feeding them with a liquid organic veg feed once every two weeks. Ever since I started doing this, the plants developed into what they are now.



As for the decorative flowers, the ladies mantle is in bloom now. I love the small subtle flowers, the look so graceful.

On the south-side balcony, I have replaced the dead bell pepper with basil (small plants on the left) and cut-and-come-again salad (to the right). This salad will go into every free space over the next few weeks so we do not have to buy the slimy, expensive stuff in plastic bags from the supermarket any more.
 The carrots are coming up nicely as well. They will be replaced by salad as well, the kind that grows well into autumn and is jam-packed with vitamins. Or I will grow something else here, I have not decided yet. There are some promising chrysanthemums I am growing which would look great in this pot in autumn.

Now about those losses. The peas and radishes did not make it, sadly. The pot I grew them in had problems with it's drainage systems ultimately causing the peas and radishes to drown, I think. As you can see on the picture, we got three pods which we took off last night and ate like sugar snaps. But that's it, really. The plants look hideeous, all grey and yellow and do not grow anymore. I will empty out the pot soon. MAybe I will try to drill in better drainage holes and give it another shot. Not sure yet.
  I did however, have good news about peas as well. One of my petunias died and I replaced it with some peas I intend to use as pea shoots for salads. Look, they are already coming out.
 So much about the balcony. Have a good hump-day!

























 
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