Welcome back! Today we’re moving out to the balcony to learn some simple tricks to create a healthy balcony vegetable garden. Using scraps from the kitchen, you can give your veggies the extra nutrients they crave without sacrificing your organic standards.
Before beginning a balcony garden, observe your balcony’s sunlight. My balcony faces west allowing some areas to have full sun while other areas only receive partial sunlight. Research which plants will grow best on your balcony. Plan where to place your containers taking into consideration the sunlight and space needed for growth.
When planning my garden last year, I found it helpful to organize all the information I found about sprouting, growing, and harvesting my vegetables in one place. I created a document which included the name, genus and species, best potting methods, sunlight, water, days to germination, days from seed to harvest, and other tips or tricks.
I also found a helpful chart online.
When germinating seeds, I find it best to begin in a small, damp, well-lit space. Paper egg cartons and bread bags make the perfect mini greenhouses.
The moisture is then trapped and recirculated in the bag. You won’t even need to water the seeds until after they’ve germinated. After about a week… you will begin to find this:
Once the plants are about this big, they are ready for their new home. Be sure that it is warm enough for your plants to survive outdoors at night before planting. Most seed packets will say the minimum temperature requirements. Carefully scoop out the tiny egg forms with a kitchen spoon and gently place the sprouts in the soil.
Again, check back to your original planning to see how many plants can fit in each container. Make sure the container is the right size and placed in the proper sunlight. Keep watering and watch your garden grow!
Now, a green tip for cleaning used containers.
When reusing old pots, be sure to clean out any crusty mineral deposits and fungus.
- 1 part bleach
- 10 parts water
- Mix the bleach and water in a container big enough to cover the dirty pot. You may need to use your bathtub for large pots.
- Vacuum out any solid debris. Place the pots in the tub and allow them to soak for 20 minutes.
- Remove sterilized pots, rinse again with clean water and set to dry in the sunlight.
A few more easy tips!
When planting tomatoes, add crushed egg shells to the soil.
For acid-loving plants, mix in a little used coffee grounds.
Now, on to some of today’s eats!
Frozen banana, frozen strawberries, rice milk, chocolate protein powder, maca powder and chia seeds.
Rucula, cherry tomatoes, red peppers, feta cheese, soy “nuggets,” balsamic glaze
Apple, carrot, beet, celery, and ginger juice.
After an exhausting day of school, I refueled with the juice then took off with Sebastian for a walk through the forest and a trip to the garden center. We didn’t buy any plants, just walked around looking at everything. We then went to our favorite Arabic restaurant for falafel and the fixins. Dinner was followed by ice cream and another walk through the park. The plan for tonight is to watch a movie and hopefully get to bed early. I have big plans for an IKEA trip tomorrow!