This is the first year I’ve tried growing more than tomatoes and herbs on my rather small roof terrace so I am a complete newbie to balcony gardening. But, having been given 20 packets of vegetable seeds, I’m now experimenting with Balcony Gardening with a vengeance.
So far the fruits of my labour are limited to regular and Greek basil grown on the windowsill, a good number of radishes and some salad leaves. But it’s early days yet.
Here are a few pictures to show you what I am doing with my balcony gardening. The potato planter was a present from my brother and sister in law. In front of it, the two tall tubs have baby carrots and fennel . Above that, is a balcony box, yet to to be fully planted, with seedling tomatoes and aubergine plants. In the black trough at the back are a number of different chilli varieties. I labelled them all very carefully when they were on the propagator, but, the labels have all fallen off so I have no idea at all what I am growing.
In front of the chillis is a coir trough of tumbling tom tomatoes which look inordinately happy even though they were planted out far too early. In front of that is tarragon, mint and little gem lettuce.
Another of those wonderful balcony boxes, this one is newly planted with more tumbling tom tomatoes and some baby aubergine plants. Growing up the wall are pea plants and a little further along the planter is my beetroot. There were a lot of radishes to the front of the peas, but I’ve been snacking on those!
Here are my runner beans. The weird and wonderful upsidedown water bottle to the side is a watering device from Eco Charlie that allows you to recyle your water bottles. In front of the beans are some little gem lettuce seedlings and a couple of baby dill plants. The GAP in between the beans is my slug trap – a half pint beer glass which I fill with beer to lure the beasties out for a drink. It seems to work reasonably well. I go out nightly with a torch and collect up any drunken snails before they do more damage.
Lavender, rosemary, MORE tomatoes, MORE peas and a few little gem lettuce. This is the final planter and it houses my rosemary bush and a very enthusiastic Gardeners Delight tomato plant (there’s a second one in the tub at the front). I’ve put some little gem seedlings in between the lavender simply because I’m running out of planting space and I have the remaining pea plants growing up the cat netting at the back. Serious balcony gardening though!
My entire balcony is netted with fine black nylon cat netting because sadly, it’s quite possible for a cat to get down but 100% impossible for him or her to get back UP again once they’ve done that. The netting is less obtrusive than I first imagined and rather good for climbing plants like peas. Although I have a strange feeling my neighbour might be going to benefit from the odd pea that pops up the wrong side of the roof terrace.
Unbelievably there’s still space in and amongst my plants for a table, four chairs, a garden bin and the barbecue. What more could a girl want from her balcony gardening?