The Root

One gardener’s quest to get to the bottom of it all.

Confessions July 29, 2008

So, you guys, I have a dirty little secret: My balcony garden sux. Yes, I’m guilty of selective blogging. Week in and week out I post photos of my plot garden and hope that no one will notice the sad lack of updates on the homefront. I promise I will post photos when the sun shines again, in the morrow — or perhaps in the midst of a downpour, which would really set off its miserable state. I usually try to frame the best shot, but this time, there will be no best shot. Nothing grows past adolescence out there.

In brief: The carrots seedlings, such as they are, one centimeter tall, are yellowing, the chard has somehow mummified into tough little inch-long shoots, the lavender I had such high hopes for seems to think it has fall foliage, Freya’s little primrose plant is suffering through yet another cycle of flood and drought, and my Brandywine tomato is straining to produce its 20th leaf. It’s nothing good.

I remember reading that container gardening is difficult, but I moved on pretty quickly from that. Extreme conditions, microclimates, special handling required. Huh. You don’t say. Where’s that sub-standard potting soil? I’m just going to try it out, here. And I don’t know what possessed me to try to raise a windowbox of chard in seed-starting mix, but it’s just not happening.

It’s because, at this stage of baby-raising and life-muddling, I can only care for the type of garden that requires like two hours a week of maintenance, tops. So it’s working out in my plot because that stuff is growing in almost pure compost and seems to appreciate it. And because the plots are so jam-packed, the weeds just stay out of sight in the shady undergrowth. All I’ve been doing for the past couple weeks is just harvesting and ogling it. That’s my kind of garden, right there. There might be drawbacks to a jam-crammed veggie plot that I’m not yet aware of, but I just hope it stays that way.

So, maybe in a couple years, with the container garden. Maybe when Freya toddles and can play in dirt without putting it into her mouth (all the time) and it will be our thing.

To be continued.


2 Responses to “Confessions”

  1. sjones71 Says:

    Excellent confession! Truth is, my container veggies are really stinking this year too. And since half of my garden tomatoes got killed by blight and I yanked them out.. well, my blog readers have probably noticed that I haven’t posted any garden pics since then! That’s my confession… the garden looks so empty now that I don’t even want to show it!

  2. concretegardening Says:

    Container gardening is such a trip. Out of the 8 varieties of tomatoes I planted on the roof, only 2 did well – one of those rocked it! The Tamina variety. (One only gave me 5 fruits!) I think the key is finding the right varieties for the intense sun & wind. I’m saving those seeds, and will try more next years. Keep it up. You’ll find the right plants! I’ve missed reading your blog! Things have been crazy work-wise, but now I’m finally able to catch a breath.

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