Balcony Garden Euphoria

Note the latent bean lattice in the top left quadrant.

It’s spring!  It’s spring!  Everything is turning bright green and I can commence my balcony garden putter.  I’ve been looking forward to this opportunity since I moved into the apartment last fall and lounged in the warm autumn sun like a September tomato thwarting death. The balcony is spacious in comparison to my former steads and faces southeast to boot.  It even boasts an architectural quirk that was clearly designed to work as a bean lattice.

I’ve been holding off writing this post because I’ve been getting ahead of myself.  Between my January trip to BC, the balmy Ontario temperatures, and helping my boyfriend set up a woodframe seed starter, I couldn’t help but pull out my box of seeds and doing the annual inventory way back in late February.  Those of you familiar with Ontario climes will know that the last frost date hovers around late April to mid-May depending on one’s location.

That said, it was so warm the last few weeks I decided to take my chances and put out some containers with mesclun mix and arugula, and then some radishes a couple days ago.  Of course the weather turned cold this week, so the seeds are mostly dormant save some hardy arugula seedlings.  They whole shebang is wrapped up in a blankie lest flurries actually materialize.

Meanwhile, indoors: next to the radiator I have some bean and basil seeds planted, though I’m regrettably late on the hot peppers.  True to form I’m starting too much.  Surely I don’t need two different bush bean cultivars when I already plan on growing pole beans for pickling in the summer.  And where on earth will I put the nasturtiums, the lavender, the sage and the mint?

Of course, one cannot forget the tomato. About a month ago I threw some very old tomato seeds into a ziploc bag with some damp paper towel in the hope that some might waken from years of dormancy.  I got a 12% success rate, which seemed precarious enough that I decided to pot the survivor early.  (It’s a True Black Cherry Tomato if you’re wondering.)  It has been living in the seed castle on the other side of town and is so happy it’s already big enough to transplant.  I need it to wait just a little while longer.

Unfortunately there are also signs of the battles that lie ahead.  I’m already cursing the resident rodenty bastards who have insisted on digging holes in my lettuce planter and picking away at radish seeds.  And then there’s the potential issue of my balcony being too warm.  The house is made of stone that radiates heat and there’s no shade at all; these containers get will get full sun for about 10 hours a day in the height of summer.  It’s going to mulch central around here.

In another post I’ll rant about the politics of urban gardening, and seed saving as resistance, but for now let me just say: I’m so excited for spring!!!

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1 Comment

Filed under Dans Ontario, Food and Cooking, On Agriculture & the Environment

One response to “Balcony Garden Euphoria

  1. Chris Shannon

    We too do a garden every year. Although we are lucky that we have backyard space and not just balconies. We usually do tomatoes, garlic, mixed greens and eggplant.

    Just an interesting side note. We have a decorative garden in the front. We’ve been getting notices from the hydro company saying they are unable to read our meter. When we called and asked why they said “…the meter reader refuses to walk through dirt.” What!? So now we’re supposed to install a typical lawn just so we can get our meter read? No thanks!

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