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Gardening on the Balcony

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posted on Apr, 24 2014 @ 06:07 AM
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So, I live in the second story of an apartment complex and I have an ongoing project involving turning my balcony into a garden. I usually do gardening once a year. Last year, I experimented with gardening in pots in the yard - to end up with dead grass and pesky lawnmower predators.

I actually think that gardening on the balcony might be an easier thing to accomplish. So what I am going to do is keep this thread running with pictures and updates.

What I have done so far is install a bird feeder on a table, and I am working on planting some plants (that have a small pot friendly icon - you can get those at Wal-Mart) that I know are hardy - for example, vegetables and herbs.



I circled an example of a small pot friendly icon here. I don't like flowers, because you can't eat them, they are weak, and only last a week. I do, however, like sunflowers.
edit on 24amThu, 24 Apr 2014 06:24:13 -0500kbamkAmerica/Chicago by darkbake because: (no reason given)




posted on Apr, 24 2014 @ 06:07 AM
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a reply to: darkbake

Today's Project: Using Cans as Pots



I HAVE NO IDEA WHY THESE PICTURES ARE SHOWING UP SIDEWAYS - at any rate, using one can, I am able to come up with what I call a DEEP POT and a SHALLOW POT. Notice that the "Shallow Pot" already has a neat vent to let out excess water.



I call these BEAN SEEDS. I am going to attempt to grow beans out of the "Deep Pots" - I think this could get interesting if they start to weigh too much and knock them over, but hey, plant first, ask questions later, my motto.



LAY DOWN A PAPER TOWEL AND THROW DOWN SOME DIRT. I take this as an opportunity to throw in some water as well, before there is a WATER VENT on the bottom of the can - that potting dirt is super thirsty, I find out.



FIND YOURSELF A WEAPON. I advise not to use a knife when you slice the can, but carefully use scissors. However, when you puncture the bottom of the "Deep Pot" with "Water Vents" (all words I made up) you don't want to use scissors, but a sharp knife, like this one.



You can see those perfect water vents right there. Yes, I like it. After that, I throw down some seeds. I like to put in a few and see which ones grow, it's like a game show, SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST SEED.



Last up, the small pots - I put some dirt in there, watered it down, and then shook on herbal seeds like they were spices. Way more than the recommended amount. But there have been independent studies shown by amateur gardeners saying that gardens can be quite resilient.


edit on 24amThu, 24 Apr 2014 06:14:56 -0500kbamkAmerica/Chicago by darkbake because: (no reason given)

edit on 24amThu, 24 Apr 2014 06:20:34 -0500kbamkAmerica/Chicago by darkbake because: (no reason given)

edit on 24amThu, 24 Apr 2014 06:21:03 -0500kbamkAmerica/Chicago by darkbake because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 24 2014 @ 06:17 AM
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A Project from Last Month: Set up the Bird Feeder




Here is a picture of my simple bird-feeder setup. I bought the table for only $20 at Wal Mart, and the bird feeder was $10 or so off E-bay - I also bought a GIGANTIC bag of bird seed, believe it or not, off E-bay for $5.00. The interesting thing about that is, the seller offered free shipping because he or she was using Amazon Prime.

As you can see, the bird feeder offers a great place for birds to come and rest - and more importantly, it entertains my cat for hours on end.



Here is my cat, he literally does love to sit by the sliding glass door and watch the birds for hours on end. Everyone wins. The birds get food, the cat gets to pretend like he eats the birds, I get to take a nap without the cat trying to bite my face -

edit on 24amThu, 24 Apr 2014 06:19:25 -0500kbamkAmerica/Chicago by darkbake because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 24 2014 @ 06:49 AM
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I need to start my garden..... I'm such a slacker when I actually do one. But. It is still pretty cold here in the mornings, so maybe it is good I haven't started outside yet

Your cat is a beauty!



posted on Apr, 24 2014 @ 06:49 AM
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I'd like to see how this turns out. Cool idea using pop cans for pots. 'Were you going to start the cosmos inside?



posted on Apr, 24 2014 @ 06:54 AM
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I'm a container gardener and use only the Burpee Organic seeds with organic seed starter. In a windowsill greenhouse, the organic seeds started growing the next day. Within 5 days, I had to transfer the pole beans, broccoli, cucumbers, and zucchini to indoor pots because they grew so tall and hardy they popped the plastic lid off overnight.

Unfortunately, we went from 80 degrees to 5 straight nights of frost, so I still have everything in temp pots lined up along my kitchen floor! My pole beans and cucumbers are twining themselves up and around sticks while their pots and trellis sit empty outside lol.

Overall, I'm growing organic green beans, cucumbers, zucchini, broccoli, spinach, carrots, Simpson lettuce, iceberg lettuce, cabbage, Roma tomato, cherry tomato, big boy tomato, and green peppers all in containers. With my pots of herbs and fruits (strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, and lemon tree), I should have a nice garden all grown in various containers.

I love that pretty much anything can be recycled into a vessel for growing veggies.



posted on Apr, 24 2014 @ 07:08 AM
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a reply to: darkbake

Hi darkbake!
I'm also on the 2nd floor of an apt. building...and also love sunflowers, lol.
I love what you're doing here, and might actually start my own balcony garden.

I saw (somewhere?) that you can use plastic 2L pop bottles for plant pots...cutting off the top half gives you a decent sized pot, also it's easier to cut than the tin cans, and easier to poke drainage holes in also.

You have inspired me! Thanks for the pics....love your kitty-cat.

jacygirl



posted on Apr, 24 2014 @ 08:01 AM
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originally posted by: Caver78
I'd like to see how this turns out. Cool idea using pop cans for pots. 'Were you going to start the cosmos inside?


That is probably a good idea to start the plants inside, is that what you meant... what month is it, still April? It might be a bit risky, but I started them outside... I guess I might move them inside for a bit... the original reason not to was my cat ripping it all up.

I will keep the thread updated with pictures.



posted on Apr, 24 2014 @ 08:01 AM
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edit on 24amThu, 24 Apr 2014 08:03:02 -0500kbamkAmerica/Chicago by darkbake because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 24 2014 @ 08:02 AM
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a reply to: jacygirl

Sweet, you should! I am totally going to go all out on my balcony. I am thinking of buying some reeds or something to put along the fence in order make it seem more like a forest, not sure yet. I like the energy of plants. They are also sensitive to being cared for.

I like the idea of using things like cans and whatever I can find for pots because it makes gardening more interesting. If you get something started, post pics to this thread!
edit on 24amThu, 24 Apr 2014 08:03:54 -0500kbamkAmerica/Chicago by darkbake because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 24 2014 @ 08:05 AM
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a reply to: halfpint0701

Can you post some pics possibly? That sounds pretty successful. I should try starting mine out in a miniature greenhouse next time, with those plastic lids, indoors.



posted on Apr, 24 2014 @ 08:14 AM
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a reply to: jacygirl

One of my absolute favorite ideas for growing herbs on a balcony is to hang a plastic or canvas makeup or shower organizer with herbs plants in each individual pocket. Cheap and easy



posted on Apr, 24 2014 @ 08:22 AM
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a reply to: halfpint0701

Wow, that's such a good idea too!

I will post pics if I get something started...(lol, I know I said "if"...I procrastinate sometimes)

I would love to have the balcony ceiling covered in grapevines and little twinkle lights....just not sure how to secure it because the ceiling is....cement?....it's the bottom of the balcony above me. (fake grapevine would be fine)

I really never thought of putting a bird feeder out there, but that's appealing too!
Hmmm....I see me cruising the garden centers soon!


jacygirl



posted on Apr, 24 2014 @ 08:43 AM
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a reply to: jacygirl

Having that concrete ceiling sucks.....some apartments will let you drill into them, them but others won't. There's ways duct tape and fake vines lol
edit on 4/24/2014 by halfpint0701 because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 24 2014 @ 08:49 AM
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a reply to: darkbake

I will get some pics posted for you
I have found that spending that extra couple dollars on Burpee brand seeds makes a huge difference in how fast they start to grow!



posted on Apr, 24 2014 @ 10:50 AM
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a reply to: darkbake

Great stuff!

I highly recommend a method (and book) called "Square-Foot Gardening" for getting the most plants out of the least space. I look forward to seeing how this turns out.



posted on Apr, 24 2014 @ 08:02 PM
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a reply to: darkbake

Here are some pics of my pole green beans. The pictures are all taken 4 days apart, with the last one being taken when I got home today.

This picture is 4 days after I planted the seeds and set them in front of the window:


This is 4 days later. The previous day I moved them into this temp pot with sticks because they'd outgrown the starter container, and I'm having to bring them in at night due to frost:


This pic is today (4 days after the previous picture). At this rate I'll be picking green beans before I can get them into their permanent container outside!



posted on Apr, 24 2014 @ 08:19 PM
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Years ago I had an awesome container garden out on the porch. I had herbs and flowers in different sized pots and planters, some pots in baskets, some on pedestal stands, some on the floor, some on the railings, some were hanging...It was sooooo enchanting and I was so proud. Wish I had pics, but I don't. Good luck with your garden!!




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