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My balcony SFG is finally started!

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My balcony SFG is finally started!

Post  eflan on 3/19/2012, 5:33 pm

So, a month or so ago I was in the planning stages - and had the honour of being the first one this season to ask if 6 inches really is enough dirt for tomatoes (LOL).

Today was just so gorgeous, I found a way to spend most of it outside...by finally setting everything up. Here are three of the four boxes. The final box will be put up probably tomorrow- I had apparently never got around to adding drainage holes and my drill's battery was dead. Whoops!

Anyway, the normal height boxes are made from 1x6 cedar fence boards that I got for a song in the classifieds. The tall and narrow box is made from treated wood and lined in plastic: half to see which one wears out first, and half because the treated wood is less than half the price. The bases are made from some 3/4" plywood, and the boxes are sitting on 2x3 studs (which cost a whopping 1.25 for 8').

First, a little 1'x3' box with an attached trellis for climbers. I'll be tossing a 'Minnesota Midget' cantaloupe, a "Golden Midget" watermelon and a 'Federle' tomato in there. This box is taller than the rest simply because of the trellis: I wanted to make sure it would be sturdy enough to hold two melon plants and a determinate tom. The trellis itself is built with 2x3 studs and is 4' high. I did a really terrible looking job tying the netting onto it... but it's sturdy!


Next there's one of the 2'x3' boxes. It's not quite full yet: I ran out of worm casings and need to mix some in when I grab another bag tomorrow.
I really wish I had made one of them 2'x4' - I'm just a couple inches short of being able to place the boxes as I had originally planned: I didn't pay attention to the brace locations for the railing. This - and the window sill - means I can't have the 1x4 flush against the wall, a 2x3 flush against it along the side and the other 2x3 along the front. Once again - whoops! Oh well, a bit of space between the trellis and the wall is probably a good thing.


Here's a 2'x2' box that will be dedicated to strawberries. The pot beside it has some pak choy and spigiarello (a brassica green) planted in it. It was down last week - if you look closely some of it is coming up. It'll likely be able to stay there when the other 2x3 gets laid out: there's space because of a railing brace along the edge of the planter. Once its done, I'll likely put my water bucket there.


And finally - just because I'm so darned happy - here's the sad little French tarragon plant I had told everyone to ignore when I was showing pictures of the balcony itself. As you can see, it's not so sad anymore!


I'll be sure to get a picture of the whole shebang tomorrow when the drill has been charged and the random bags of leftover poo, peat and vermiculite find there way down the road into my dad's shed instead of being smack in the middle of the balcony.

Thanks again for all the advice I was given before: it was a huge help! And thanks to ASFx who inadvertently gave me the idea for how to work in a trellis. I'm ashamed to say I was loosing sleep over figuring out how to secure a trellis to a box that only reaches maybe 7' off the ground... and I happily stole his/her idea.

Thanks for looking!
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eflan

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Re: My balcony SFG is finally started!

Post  quiltbea on 3/19/2012, 5:56 pm

It looks like you're getting ready to become a gardener. I think you are doing just fine. Good luck.
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Re: My balcony SFG is finally started!

Post  JustMe on 3/26/2012, 12:33 am

Thanks for sharing these pictures. I enjoy seeing other people's gardens and locations. Your neighbors and people passing by will wonder what you have growing as they see the trellis as the season progresses.

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Re: My balcony SFG is finally started!

Post  Chopper on 3/26/2012, 12:44 am

This is exciting. I will be interested to see how much you end up growing just on your balcony. I would never consider getting an apartment that did not have a south facing balcony.

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Re: My balcony SFG is finally started!

Post  eflan on 3/27/2012, 5:49 pm

Thanks for the comments guys Very Happy

The balcony is really ideal for containers: the wall of the building faces mostly north (it runs roughly ESE to WNW) and there's no other tall buildings or trees around it. The tree that used to be there was dug up to get at a sewer problem last year.

This won't be my first year growing things on it it: and I DO get a lot of questions. In previous years I had a dozen or so of those black pots (most of them larger than the ones seen below) with various things growing. This is just a more efficient use of space.

Note that the 2x2 is cut off in this pic, but here's the whole thing with the grid put in. The grids are just made from bamboo poles I picked up at the dollar store a couple years ago: I was using them as stakes for peppers and eggplants before. I still have some left, so I'll probably make a couple teepees out of them for those plants this year.



Last edited by eflan on 3/27/2012, 5:53 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Picture was being stubborn.)
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Re: My balcony SFG is finally started!

Post  Chopper on 3/27/2012, 10:39 pm

I actually love bamboo poles as grids. Lightweight, tough and can be cut to size if your garden is not perfect proportions.

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Re: My balcony SFG is finally started!

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