It’s time for another balcony garden update! January is probably one of my favourite months for gardening, there are so many things to grow at this time of year that seem to flourish in small spaces. That doesn’t mean it’s been all a roaring success, but that’s part of the fun!
All the herbs I have growing at the moment are incredibly happy, keeping me in constant supply of basil (two types!), mint, chives and rosemary. I’ve been making lots of pesto for quick, simple dinners and popping them in salads galore. It really is hard to beat freshly picked herbs in my mind, and they take such little work that I really don’t know why you wouldn’t grow them!
My two chilli plants are also flourishing nicely, with the chillies just starting to ripen on both. One of them is getting a little wild so I think it will need a good prune come winter, so fingers crossed I can figure out the best way to do that! If you’ve got any tips please do let me know!
For the first time I’m trying a dwarf eggplant and whilst it has flowered quite a bit it has also suffered from an attack of the spider mites so I’m in the process of trying to resuscitate things and restore some healthy colour to its poor, yellowing leaves. I haven’t given up hope yet though, so there is still a chance I’ll have some delicious homegrown eggplants to report on next time around!
The capsicum I had planted last time hasn’t had much success, with just the one little capsicum forming and ripening. I think they might need larger pots than what I have on my balcony so I might have to try something different next summer if I attempt to grow capsicums again. Ah well, learning is part of the fun!
My strawberry plant is also struggling a little, it copped a roasting early in the month which damaged some of the leaves pretty badly but it has a few teeny strawberries just forming now, so I am giving it as much TLC as I possibly can. Maybe it will be okay!
In happier news my two tomato plants are going great guns! The cherry tomato plant started fruiting first and has been giving me a couple of ripe tomatoes every day for the last two weeks which is pretty awesome. The Tiny Tim that I am trying for the first time took a little longer to fruit but is now completely covered in tomatoes which are rapidly ripening, giving me lots of delicious tomatoes to play with. They’ve been going in salads, on bruschetta, roasted for simple pastas – you name it! I’ll be very sad when they are all done and the season is over!
I’ve still got some flowers bringing some colour to my balcony too which I’m really enjoying, and I think I’ll bring in some more over autumn and winter too. Herbs and flowers are enough to keep me going over the cooler months!
If you’re thinking of getting into gardening I’ve come across two great ideas for beginner gardeners, both of which include seeds and instructions for growing all kinds of veggies and herbs. The first is the Kitchen Garden Box from A Fresh Legacy and the other is the Seeds for Seasons kit from Sow Grow Eat. I’m yet to try either out myself, so if you do please let me know what you think!