Sunday, 11 December 2011

December in the Balcony Garden

View from inside looking out

Left/1st - the 'other' corner - Mr Smokey's pot
Middle/2nd - that cocoon
Right/3rd - zuchini tendrils

Work has been crazy busy (end of year usual crazy) and Matt is up in Qld, so I have enjoyed a fair bit of down time in the garden. Over the past 2 weekends some of the things I have done include:
  • Removed the nasturtiums - they were so eaten by the caterpillars they looked ugly and I wonder whether they were helping to attract the cabbage butterflies
  • Moved the thyme to where the nasturtiums were, leaving two plants in that pot (parsley and thyme) and two in the pot where the thyme was (rosemary and mint) - both pots are now flourishing
  • Harvested a tray of worm poo (compost) - added to the main planter
  • Put the box of failed mushrooms compost into the worm farm - the balcony doesn't stink anymore
  • Removed two of the broccoli/cauliflowers. I originally planted a mix of the two and can't remember which are which, now I am now using plant labels :) The broccoli/cauliflower, again, are so caterpillar eaten that they are sickly, I left the three healthiest, but they may go eventually
  • Staked and tied the tomatoes and zuchini
  • Planted some german camomile seedlings the guy at the nursery gave me after we had a chat about companion planting (they were a little sickly anyway). I have pegged them in the pot to help them develop new roots, one has definitely taken and looks really healthy now, the other, fingers crossed
  • Divided and potted (seedling pots) some onion bottoms that had sprouted - 5 seedlings from 2 onions
  • Put a couple of sweet potatoes that sprouted in the pantry in the empty pot. Trying this time - NOT planting them, just sitting on the soil and loosely covered in mulch - 3rd time lucky perhaps?
  • Watched a caterpillar build his cocoon! (while doing the above). Didn't have the heart to remove it after watching him build it - removed plenty of others. Plan is to watch this one through to hatching
  • Gave the BBQ a really good clean (this was a few weekends back) with the intention of using it more, now we have a lovely balcony area to cook and eat - but haven't yet because of late nights at work and constant rain
  • Harvested a lot of rain - in buckets - added to the tank
  • Gave the tiles a really good scrub during a storm. It was fun in the rain :) and saved using heaps of water from the tank or taps. Then, while taking the above photos and the doormat was removed from cleaning, slipped over badly - thankfully nothing broken, just body, ego and phone bruised
  • Researched organic ways to combat aphids - I now have: alfoil under the worst affected (to make light reflect up to the underside of the leaves, two little yellow pots (old lids) half filled with water - aphids are attracted to yellow apparently and then drown, have ordered some cute butterfly shaped yellow sticky traps and have plans to research making garlic soap to spray on the underside of the leaves.

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