For years, I’ve grown herbs on window sills and balconies, but this year I realized I could grow so much more. We’re growing a much larger amount and bigger variety of edible plants in my girlfriend’s parents backyard, so this inspired us to start a mini-garden on our large balcony.
We’re still growing herbs – hearty basil and some newish parsley that will probably look more like a bush in a few weeks:
A friend of mine from LA brought us this tea herbs mixture of mint, pineapple mint, and lavender. I’ve yet to make tea with it, but all of the herbs are doing well:
We also experimented with lettuce, but after falling a couple times and being crushed (it was so sad), it’s looking a bit pathetic:
I ran into this beautiful pepper at Whole Foods a couple weeks ago and couldn’t resist. We need to re-pot it but it’s been pretty happy so far, even though we only have direct sunlight for a few hours during the day:
I think I’m most exciting about the red onions and sweet peas though. Sweet peas like shade so I think they’ll do well. Right now though, they’re still pretty small and have yet to flower:
Onions like full sun best so growing them is a bit of an experiment, but I can’t tell you how fun it is to walk out onto the balcony in the evening and grab a few spring onions to throw in the salad.
And to round things out, we’re growing some non-edible plants too:
Whether you have a backyard, front yard, balcony, porch, or just a window sill, Oakland is a perfect place to grow produce so consider giving it a try. We give our plants minimal care and they’ve been thriving so I’m sure anyone could do it, though it might seem intimidating at first. If you’re completely new at gardening, I recommend checking out the resources at StopWaste.org – they have a ton of free resources on East Bay gardening. If you do give gardening a try, let me know how it goes.