The Garden Share Collective: Summertime and recycling materials

All this warm summer weather in Brisbane means I get to enjoy a little sunning on the balcony amongst my planters over the weekend. And it seems my plants are relishing it too! Everything is so much greener, but requires a more careful eye to ensure their soil doesn’t dry out. Fresh sugarcane mulch has gone in to help keep things nice and moist.

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This hasn’t stopped one trough of lettuce from bolting though. I don’t mind this so much, seeing as I’ll need more seeds for the next planting. Do you save your seeds?

I’ve picked up styrofoam boxes from the farmers market to use as planters. Styrofoam isn’t great for the environment and will deteriorate under sunlight, but it is perfect for the balcony garden as it is lightweight, insulates the seedlings from the worst of the afternoon heat. And it’s free. It also saves it from the landfill.

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This one is currently home to my baby salad leaf veggies – beetroot, lettuce, mizuna (Japanese version of rocket) and tatsoi. The scattering of seeds was initially more biased towards the beetroot seedlings, but the tatsoi has come out tops.

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A couple of the beetroots were moved to attempt growing them to maturity in a separate planter, and they’ve done well thus far. Not sure they’re ready for harvesting just yet though. How do you tell?

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I’m trying to sprout more tatsoi and mizuna seedlings for the garden, but they are a lot slower to grow than the beans. Perhaps they’re getting too much sun? They get plenty of water.

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The purple king beans have also been given a go, but out of the 15 beans I’ve tried to germinate; only 4 has sprouted. That’s less than 30%. This is such a disappointment and I won’t be buying seeds from that company again. These beans will grow tall, so any stockings I’ve put runs into the past winter have been cut up in preparation for helping to train them on the trellis.

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Sharing the planter box with the beans is a single marigold. This was also gifted before any buds were showing. I was worried it didn’t have enough roots to establish itself, but stuck it into the planter anyway. Not only has it survived the transfer, it looks like it’s ready to bring forth 3 bright blooms!

Laura from Our Wee Farm suggested we in the Garden Share Collective do a seed swap, so here’s my lists of seeds I can offer and what I’d like to try growing on my balcony.

Seeds I have to offer Seeds I’d like to have
  1. Nasturtium (assorted)
  2. Alyssum (assorted)
  3. Cos Lettuce (mixed red and green)
  4. Dwarf sugar snap peas
  5. Beetroot
  6. Sweet basil
  1. Marigold (any)
  2. Fancy lettuce
  3. Chives
  4. Peppers
  5. Chilli

 

TheGardenShareCollective150pixThis blogpost is part of the Garden Share Collective, a group of bloggers who share their vegetable patches, container gardens and the herbs they grow on their window sills.

Got a balcony or small space garden and care to share its progress? Join us at the Garden Share Collective.