Starting the Balcony Garden

Last spring, after reading The Omnivore’s Dilemma, which came recommended by way of a blog post by Waldo Jaquith, I decided to join a community supported agriculture program here in Northern Virginia run by the Hauter family at Bull Run Farm. Learning to cook with the seasons and trying a variety of new vegetables I’d not had before was quite a rewarding experience.

I had a basil plant that grew to be quite large (3’ tall) and some sage but nothing of a real garden. I decided that this year, it needed to be done up a bit more properly. But lacking more than the 5′×8′ concrete balcony floating 80’ off the ground, I am limited as to how extensive I can make it. But I’m going ot give it a good run for the summer and see how it progresses. I plan to keep extensive track of it via the blog, so apologies to those expecting some wonderful insight to usability or design on a regular basis. For the next few months, the order of the day is… dirt.

The basics were laid last week: an onion that had taken to sprouting on my counter was put into a pot, the Aloe Vera plant transplanted to a larger container, the sage given it’s own pot proper. And today, with the arrival of a variety of heirloom sees, the mini greenhouses have been sown with arugula, basil, lavender, thyme, and carrots. Tomorrow, I’ll plant some various lettuces, radishes, and beans in their pots outside.

I plan to put in tomatoes, lettuce, white eggplant, and squash by next Monday. I have also ordered a dehyhdrator and plan to attempt to do some pressure canning as well (with much direction from Lisa King, I’m sure!)

So, does anyone know of any good self-watering drip irrigation systems that would be deployable on a balcony?

  1. Juan says:

    Nice video; nice website too! Very, very cute stuff! You are very taenteld. As for gardening in buckets, I have done this for years. I buy ugly black used old 6 gal pots from the nursery for $1. and fill the bottom with pine cones, sticks whatever is on my ground. Then I add 5 or 6 layers of dirt, compost, dirt, leaves/grass, dirt, compost dirt. I learned from you that watering 4 times a day is a cool idea. I haven't been that generous! I will shape up be more attentive on hot days!

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