urban garden

Home Grown

I’m so pleased to share that our little balcony garden (now porch garden) is still growing strong! We actually thought the plants had died off during the winter. We may be in the south but we did have a couple of very cold nights with frost in the morning that we thought might have killed the plants. But, luckily, laziness in throwing them out paid off because it became apparent they were still trying so we let them be. And look at ’em grow!

Far left is a bell pepper plant, second to the left is a jalapeno plant, and the two on the right are one pepper plant separated to two pots for more room to grow. Although the one on the far right isn’t doing so well.

We had a good size jalapeno recently, I wish I had taken the time to snap a picture. We are hoping to have more soon.

There is a bell pepper on the left plant, it’s hanging at the bottom, left. Here’s a closer look.

It’s so pretty!

I ate this one (below) with my dinner a night ago. It was about twice the size as the one on the plant still and quite smaller than what you get in the store but you just can’t beat home grown!

A small little guy. But tasty.

This is our mystery pepper plant.

The peppers are HOT. Delicious.

Great for spicing up our dishes.

Anyone have any ideas on what kind of pepper it is? They are small like habaneros but different type of fire.

We are hoping the plants will get enough sun in their new location. It’s only sunny on the porch in the later half of the day. As you can see, they are getting some good sun now!

New location you say? Yes. We have moved. To a new apartment. It’s lovely. Our old apartment was lovely too but the new one is a little more economical. So far we are loving it. So much that I’m pretty sure you’ll hear more about it later. 🙂

We used to be a nation of farmers, but now it’s less than two percent of the population in the United States. So a lot of us don’t know a lot about what it takes to grow food.
– Judith Redmond, Full Belly Farms

Successful Garden on the Balcony

Our little potted garden is coming along nicely.

We had a little min-harvest and picked a handful of peppers recently. Don intended to pickle them with other veggies but so far his plans have not come together.

So I’ve started using them. The little red ones are great for giving taco salad meat a healthy kick. O.M.G. Hot but so good. A little fire on the lips is always welcome.

A little burn in the eyes or nose from touching your face after working with them…not so much. 🙂

The colors of a fresh garden salad are so extraordinary, no painter’s pallet can duplicate nature’s artistry.
~ Dr. SunWolf

A Watering System For The Garden

Thanks to the teaching of Don’s dad, we assembled a timed watering system for our garden last night.

The materials…

Tucking the hose under the door frame and doing a test run on just one plant before setting them all up.


But…the water spigot is downstairs so we needed to run the main hose to the end of the balcony and down the building. We ran into a few challenges while working through how to secure the hose to the building and had to make a trip to the hardware store for more supplies. In the end we managed to get it done and it doesn’t look unsightly. (I totally forgot to get a picture of that aspect so you’ll just have to trust me.) 🙂

Finally, back to finishing the rest of the sprayer hookups as the evening creeps up on us.

And then there was water. Yay!

I know, there’s water everywhere. We both got a little wet while adjusting the sprayers to the right flow rate and directing them properly so that they spray in the right direction and not just wildly everywhere. Now that we’ve got it all settled, every morning around 6:30 the water will spray for about 10 minutes and water our plants for us. Blissful freedom from having to remember to water or to fend off the mosquitos while watering.

Can’t thank you enough Big Don for turning us on to this wonderful invention and for giving us the timer to run the water! 🙂

Weather means more when you have a garden.  There’s nothing like listening to a shower and thinking how it is soaking in around your green beans. 
~ Marcelene Cox

See How Our Garden Grows!

I thought after seeing the beating our flag took from Irene…

that our garden may not have fared well either. But our kind friends who were babysitting the plants must have sheltered them from the weather and took excellent care of them. We’ve even got some pepper growing again! Thanks so much Stephanie and Grady!

Our basil is growing like gangbusters too, but the other herbs haven’t made much of an appearance yet.

Don’s hoping to take some tips from his dad, gleaned from conversations while we visited and were awed by the size of his garden in Washington. Hopefully we will continue to grow our knowledge and our little herb and vegetable garden into something spectacular. Although I think it’s pretty spectacular that we’ve had this much success so far!

It’s difficult to think anything but pleasant thoughts while eating a homegrown tomato.
~ Lewis Gizzard

Herbs and Peppers

We bought some plants yesterday.

This is new ground for us.

We have talked about planting a garden for years but it’s never happened. The biggest reason I think is because we’ve always felt frustrated by the prospect that we might be moved again just as the garden was starting to flourish or that the garden would not be able to go with us.

I suggested recently that we try planting just a few things in pots, that way we could take them with us.

Don never listens to me. We were at Lowe’s and Home Depot yesterday, pricing out supplies for another mountainous project, and he looked at me and said, “I wonder if we could try just a couple of plants out on the balcony?” Huh, didn’t I just suggest that a few weeks ago?

After about an hour or more of looking, and a few phone calls to Don’s folks for advice on soil and other specifics, we finally made it out of the store.

This one was already coming along pretty well, even though it had no little identification stick to tell us what it is or how to care for it. The clerk at the store said another customer had just been looking at it and had told her it was a kind of pepper. Well that’s just the kind of thing we like so we said let’s try it.

We harvested a few for dinner last night and sure enough, they are spicy little peppers of some type. Not off the charts spicy, I was able to eat one raw, but definitely had a little kick.

They are just little guys.

If anyone knows what these are, please tell me! It would be great to know so we can be sure we caring for the plant properly.

We tossed them in with our taco salad meat for dinner. It was delish!

I think it’s going to be a little while before our other plants produce anything.

The one on the far left is another pepper plant. The sales tag said it was a mild pepper but Don thought we’d get it anyway. The middle one is bell pepper. On the right we planted seeds for basil, cilantro, and chives.

We have no idea what we are doing. I’m pretty sure it’s late in the year to plant the seeds. Who knows if they will grow at all.

We also bought a mix of hot pepper seeds but they need to be started indoors with seed-starting formula. We bought a 25 cell greenhouse kit for those but didn’t have time last night to plant them yet. Don also has to make some sort of box that we can put around it that will allow it to get some sun but that will keep the cats out. That should be interesting.

Stay tuned for updates on this little adventure. Hopefully it goes well.

If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.
~ Marcus Tullius Cicero