Thursday, May 27, 2010

garden progress

I have some totally newbie questions about my garden.  And I also have some inspiration from another balcony garden blogger!
I'll start with the inspiration.  

I've noticed how the 6x8 garden has this set up of their railing boxes and I totally want to do it!  I've seen those premade two sided over the rail but didn't really want to buy them in case they didn't fit our rail, and after seeing this picture and asking how she did it I'm totally going to do this.  First off I like the idea of maximizing both sides of the railing.  And secondly the metal do-hickey we bought to hold the planter boxes don't fit our rail correctly and we had to do a quick (ugly) fix by using some spare plywood behind the metal bars to keep our box level and not tipping over.  You can see our our eyesore here:

Not pretty at all.  So I definitely am going to be buying another pair of boxes and some nylon rope!  I'm thinking of doing strawberries and sage (cause our lemon sage makes puney little leaves) or maybe garlic in one and maybe peas in the other.  
Is it too late to plant peas?  Can I plant carrots in a box that shallow?

Onto my newbie questions (besides those previous ones).
Why aren't my chives flowering?  

When we use green onions are we supposed to pull the whole thing out or can we just snip off a few sprigs and use that?

It's been raining a TON here in Seattle and I think it's killed my cilantro... what do you think?  Can it survive?

Oh yea, and see that thyme?  (See how puney the sage leaves are)  Is it supposed to flower?  Or does that mean it's bolted?

Why is my mint not really growing... the mint leaves are all so puney!

I think this arugula has seen better days, what else can I plant in a shallow container?

Could I transplant this mini rose plant into that container?

Ok, that's it for my newbie questions.  Any help would be greatly appreciated.


  1. Hi Brooke,
    I'm so glad you like my container-hanging idea :D

    I'll try to help with some of your questions, but I'm still a beginner, too! And we live in different climates...

    Yes, it's too late to plant peas. But you could go for a fall crop later this year.

    Yes, you can grow carrots in those shallow containers, but you have to get a variety that's short. I'm growing "chanteway." But there are lots of varieties.

    Your chives might not be flowering if they are young. Were they sown from seed this year? If so, they might flower next year.

    I've only harvested green onions by pulling up the whole plant. But I suppose you could try just taking a bit at a time. That's how I harvest green garlic.

    Cilantro like it cool and sunny. But, it's a short lived herb — it wants to get old and make seeds.

    Letting your thyme flower is ok, but if you want tastier leaves, you should snip them off. And you can cook with them, also!

    Mint is so easy to grow, it's almost a weed. Is it in full sun? They prefer (but don't need) part shade and moist soil. You could also pinch the tips off so it develops side shoots. But don't expect it to look like the stuff in the grocery store, mine doesn't. I suspect they bulk it up with lots of fertilizer.

    Arugula is a spring crop, I don't think it'll live into the summer.

    Yes, you can (and ought to) plant the rose.

    If I were you, I'd do a little rearranging. First, look up the growing requirements for all the plants you have. Then match them up and transplant accordingly.
    For example - the thyme, sage and cilantro won't do well in the same pot. Thyme and sage like to be warm and a little dry. Cilantro likes to be cool and damp. Not compatible :(

    I hope this was helpful!! And I think with a little attention to detail, your garden is going to be fantastic!

  2. Hi Brooke! I'm thinking has your birthday has come and gone, but I wanted to wish you a Happy 30 th Birthday anywhooo!! Hope it was wonderful. I see that you did a great deal of your list. Wheee!! I still haven't made up my list yet and I'll turn 60 in November. Ugh.
    Best Wishes, Cassie

    ps-Looks like your garden is doing fine.