Balcony Garden 2013: Time for a Change

It's officially time to plant my balcony garden!

This year, I'm trying something different. In the past I've planted a lot of little pots. This led to a big jungle of a garden, but I never used half of it either because I'd planted crops which I never ended up eating or the bugs got to it first!

So I decided to try a pallet garden this year. I asked my dad to help me find a pallet, but he insisted on making me a vertical garden to size. This was very nice of him, and he even added a bit of customization - but the planter is a heavy beast! Because I'm worried the weight will break my balcony (shh, don't tell the rest of the inmates), and because there is the potential for a lot of edibles, I decided to just plant my enormous vertical garden with violas, basil, lettuce, spinach, radishes and swiss chard, plus two zucchini. I'm a bit worried the vertical garden is too shallow, so I'm not sure if anything will grow well. We'll see. A friend also swapped me an onion (Molly ate off all the blossoms already) and I've got a couple succulents out there (I'm a sucker for succulents. One day I will have a yard full of hens & chicks!). When the onion dies (it's inevitable) I'll probably plant cat grass.

One of the succulents.

Zucchini! I've had a lot of success in the past with zucchini in pots - as long as I remember to hand pollinate! I've planted two again the year.

I love violas - they're cute and cheap and hardy!

I'm growing a lot of basil this year. Hopefully I'll be eating pesto and pizza all summer!

As you can see, Molly's new jungle gym takes up most of the balcony. The bottom two rows will hopefully produce lettuce, spinach, radishes and swiss chard. It's an extremely shallow planter, so we'll see what happens.