Balcony Garden: Rookie Season Wrap Up

Even though it's toasty warm in Edmonton right now, with all the leaves changing colour and falling, it's hard to deny it's Fall. That means it was time to 'clean up' most of my balcony garden for the season.

There were tons of ladybugs on my balcony - keeping my aphids in check!

Here's a run down of what I planted, and how it turned out:

Swiss Chard - Of everything I planted this year, the swiss chard was the winner. It grew. And grew. And grew. And is still growing! I ate swiss chard four times a week for almost three months! Now there's return on investment! I'm darn sick of it though, and am trying to give away the rest of it. I can't bear to eat it anymore. I will definitely plant it again, though this time I'll plant half as much. I haven't tossed it yet, and expect to have chard for another couple weeks at least.

Strawberries - What a waste of effort. Out of the five little plants I had, I only got a handful of strawberries. I guess I need a yard to get a good bounty of strawberries. I wont plant these again.

Scarlet Runner Beans - My beans grew tall, wound their way around my balcony railing, and generally looked lovely with their green leaves and bright red blossoms. Likely due to planting them in too shallow a pot, I didn't get any beans. Or so I thought. As I was pulling down the wilted and dried vines I found three beans that had grown in the back, out of sight! They were too big and tough to eat, but look what I found when I opened the pods:


What lovely coloured beans! I should've left them in the pod to dry, but since there wasn't really enough to bother eating, I tossed them on a shelf to dry for no purpose but to look at their lovely colour. I've got left over seeds, so I'll plant these again next year just for railing cover, but doubt I'll buy more seeds to continue planting after next season.

Garlic Chives - These ended up growing out of control! I did spend some time drying a ton after cutting down the plant, but ended up tossing them in the end due to probable mold. Oh well, I wouldn't have used them anyways. My plant survived it's hair cut and is still growing more chives. Which I probably wont eat. It looks nice, but since I didn't really end up eating too many I doubt I'll plant this next year. I might try winter the plant though, just for funnsies.

Zucchini - The second place winner after the chard, I really enjoyed eating mini zucchinis on my pizzas this summer. My plant grew large, but then succumbed to powdery mildew. I'm not sure if it was the mildew, but half my zucchinis were uneatable because they shrivelled up before I could pick them. This might be due to the soil, or poor fertilization? Regardless, I still definitely got my moneys worth. I'll miss the zucchini too. I will definitely plant zucchini next year, maybe even two plants!

Blueberry - My blueberry bush didn't really do much. I never got more blueberries, though there are still some left from whatever was on the plant in the first place. It did grow one new branch. And that's it. I'm going to try winter the bush, and if it survives great, and if not I wont bother with blueberries again.

Lavender - Finally my lavender was growing, and actually producing a flower, and then I brought it in due to frost warning, and it got caught up in my latest condo crisis, and now is dying. Oh well, I wanted to try winter it but will probably toss it unless it bounces back. I probably wont grow this next year; I'm not sure why I did in the first place. Probably because I wanted it to smell nice, but in the end, well, whatever. It looked nice while it lasted.

Basil - The third place winner of the season, I will certainly miss putting fresh basil on everything. I brought it in due to frost warning and intended to make pesto with what was left, but it also got caught up in my condo crisis which rendered it inedible, so I'm going to have to toss the plant. Before though, I think I'll cut it back and see if I can get anything to grow. I will definitely plant this next year, maybe two varieties, or at least another herb plant or two also.

Peppermint - Another pointless plant, my peppermint ended up surprising me with how pretty it grew. I was going to dry it to make tea, but again it got caught in the condo crisis and now is not edible. I'm going to cut it back and dry what's left for nice smelling drawer inserts or something, and maybe it'll grow back. I'm going to try winter it. If it doesn't survive I probably wont plant it next year, though I will plant other herbs.

Flowers - Surprisingly, I enjoyed having the flowers around on my balcony. I might plant some next year, but want to fit a chair and table out on the balcony next year, so we'll have to see if the flowers will fit next year.

Right now I've still got a few plants that I've cut back on my balcony, plus the swiss chard. I am going to try winter the blueberry bush, peppermint, and probably chives. Other than that all that's left for me to do is wash out all my containers and plan for next year!! Who knew I'd enjoy gardening so much! I am already looking forward to growing more food next summer.