Tag Archives: chard

Expanding and moving our apartment garden

4 Nov

After years of maintaining a small garden on our apartment balcony, we finally decided to ask our apartment manager if we could move our garden to the benches at the back of our garage, which we can see from our balcony. He of course said yes so we moved most of our edible plants out there a month ago. They’ve been greatly enjoying the extra sunlight and most of them enjoyed the rainstorm last month (though that killed a couple lettuce plants). Here’s what things are looking like now.

Our benches are mostly covered with lettuce, greens, and herbs. I planted this lettuce yesterday:

New Lettuce

And this lettuce was planted about a month ago, right after we made the garden move. It looks like it will be ready to start harvesting next week:

Lettuce

I also planted radicchio, chard, and beet greens yesterday, all purchased from Kassenhoff Growers at the Temescal Farmers Market. We buy most of our starters there, as their quality is always incredible and they’re very helpful with gardening advice. Here’s the tiny radicchio:

Raddichio

And here’s the first crop of chard that we planted a month ago:

Chard

For cooking, nothing beats walking outside to pick basil, parsley, marjoram, and thyme:

Thyme

But the thing I’m most excited about is my pepper plant. Peppers are usually annual plants, but in the mild Bay Area weather, they become perennials. We planted this pepper last year, but it only produced one pepper, last November, which quickly died because it got too cold. We kept the plant because it’s pretty, and this year, after we moved it out to the benches, it produced five peppers!

Small Peppers

Big Peppers

We’ve filled in the space quite nicely so far…

Backyard Garden

But there’s also lots of room for expansion, including this table that our manager found in the garbage room and brought to us to use. We plan to fill this space with carrots, potatoes, garlic, and onions.

Garden Expansion

Previous balcony garden updates:

Spring’s Here

16 Apr

In my first year of blogging, I followed the seasons through the produce that was available at the farmer’s market. I covered summer, fall, and winter, but somehow I never made it to spring. So I thought I’d do it now, albeit a bit differently because now I follow the seasons much more so based on what’s growing in our garden.

Most of the plants in our garden were planted recently, but we planted this huge bed of fava beans back in the winter and now all of them are flowering...

Most of the plants in our garden were planted recently, but we planted this huge bed of fava beans back in the winter and now all of them are flowering...

and some small bean pods are starting to emerge. I picked up some favas from the farmers market last weekend and made fava bean risotto, which is incredible. I can't wait to harvest these so I can make fava bean soup.

and some small bean pods are starting to emerge. I picked up some favas from the farmers market last weekend and made fava bean risotto, which is incredible. I can't wait to harvest these so I can make fava bean soup.

Another winter holdover is chard. This chard had been growing on our balcony - well, it wasn't really growing at all, just existing. So we moved it out to the sunshine and now it's doing much better.

Another winter holdover is chard. This chard had been growing on our balcony - well, it wasn't really growing at all, just existing. So we moved it out to the sunshine and now it's doing much better.

Last month, we planted a serious amount of lettuce. All of it is doing well, except for the miner's lettuce, which mysteriously got eaten overnight by some creature (along with all of our parsley and peas).

Last month, we planted a serious amount of lettuce. All of it is doing well, except for the miner's lettuce, which mysteriously got eaten overnight by some creature (along with all of our parsley and peas).

This winter, I stuck some cloves of garlic in the ground, and have recently been enjoying green garlic. So I planted a few more cloves in the bricks surrounding our vegetable bed and this is what they looked like two weeks later.

This winter, I stuck some cloves of garlic in the ground, and have recently been enjoying green garlic. So I planted a few more cloves in the bricks surrounding our vegetable bed and this is what they looked like two weeks later.

But most of the plants above could have been grown in any season. The way I know it's spring is because we've finally planted several tomato plants, like this one...

But most of the plants above could have been grown in any season. The way I know it's spring is because we've finally planted several tomato plants, like this one...

and the apple trees are starting to blossom.

and the apple trees are starting to blossom.

Monday Morning Distractions – Balcony Garden Update

8 Dec

The summer’s over, but we’re still keeping up with our balcony garden, with a whole new set of winter crops. Here’s what we’re growing now:

thanksgiving-weekend-2008-514

The spinach that we planted back in September finally looks like spinach.

We just picked up some starter beets, and they're already fitting in quite nicely.

We just picked up some starter beets, and they're already fitting in quite nicely.

We also got a bunch of chard. I can't wait to make salads with baby chard, beet greens, and spinach.

We also got a bunch of chard. I can't wait to make salads with baby chard, beet greens, and spinach.

I couldn't resist buying this purple cauliflower plant from the woman who sells plants at the Temescal Farmers Market. Mmm, purple cauliflower soup.

I couldn't resist buying this purple cauliflower plant from the woman who sells plants at the Temescal Farmers Market. Mmm, purple cauliflower soup.

Don't have a green thumb? Don't worry. Anybody can grow potatoes. Just half some old potatoes, stick them in dirt, and water them once in a while. A few weeks later, this is what they'll look like.

Don't have a green thumb? Don't worry. Anybody can grow potatoes. Just half some old potatoes, stick them in dirt, and water them once in a while. A few weeks later, this is what they'll look like.

The only plant left over from this summer is our pepper plant, which I was convinced was never going to produce any peppers. Well, in early November this pepper appeared. Not sure yet what I'll do with a single sweet pepper.

The only plant left over from this summer is our pepper plant, which I was convinced was never going to produce any peppers. Well, in early November this pepper appeared. Not sure yet what I'll do with a single sweet pepper.

Previous balcony garden updates: