Saturday, 2 October 2010

The growing season's not over yet!

My tomato plants had started to go a bit rancid, so last weekend I chopped them up, uprooted them and disposed of them. (Incidentally, I still haven't mastered doing things like this without hurting my back - I only have to so much as look at a spade and my back muscles start twingeing.) So, things are looking a little bare on the balcony now, save for a slightly withered pot of parsley, which I have now brought inside.

I wasn't organised in sowing anything over the Summer and my tomato plants took up too much room, so once the tomatoes were gone, I had nothing growing on the balcony. But I still want to grow things. After a little research, I decided that I would definitely grow garlic. And according to one of my gardening books, you can still sow rocket and salad leaves at this time of year; according to the seed packets you can't, but I figured it couldn't hurt to try.

I was a bit worried about my compost. As I'm growing in pots, would I need brand new compost for all my pots? After consultation with some folk on Urban Gardeners, I decided I would definitely need new compost for the pots I'd grown tomatoes in. However, one of my pots, I'd only grown a handful of radishes and carrots in, so I've experimented by removing some of the old compost and mixing in some new stuff, in the hope that this will contain enough nutrients for my garlic. I read somewhere that garlic can cope in poor soil, but I have to hope that I don't lose any to fungal problems, as I hear this can be an issue when compost is no longer sterile.

I ordered my garlic bulbs for growing from Garden Organic and they arrived yesterday.

So, garlic, rocket and mixed salad leaves sown. Things are still barren at the moment, obviously, but I will update on my progess, as ever.


  1. Still waiting for my garlic to turn up but toms still producing (floridity are a bit knackered but red zebra still going well), also v proud that my Mara des Bois strawberries (a so called perpetual variety) have just got 2-3 big red fruit on them today outside,in October, well chuffed! On the other hand my parsely is looking pretty manky and so sad to see the basil die. OMG I forgot newsflash - I have a lemon! Will blog it soon.

  2. When did you plant the garlic? Says in one of my gardening books that it's good to plant them in Autumn, as they benefit from a cold spell to help them form bulbs.

    I got about 2kg of tomatoes from my plants in the end - not bad for a balcony!

  3. Good show with the balcony garden! I didn't have as much luck (ok skill) as you and I had an an actual garden going.

  4. There was no skill involved, I can assure you! I actually thing in some ways it is easier to grow in pots - it's generally pretty low-maintenance!