Monday, April 23, 2012

balcony update: week 7

container gardening

I'm very pleased to see green progress of the plants I'm growing on the balcony. It's seems like everything had a growth spurt within the last week. Almost all the plants doubled in size. Their leaves are full and green! It may be due to the warm and sunny weather we've been having.


I'm especially happy to see how well the astilbe, dahlias, and hollyhocks are doing from planting them as rhizomes. They are extremely easy to grow out of the bag. I'm looking forward to their gorgeous blooms when they blossom later in spring or early summer. The pictures on each packaging are very seductive!


The starter tomato plants are getting bigger and taller. They were staked last week because some were falling over. I'm especially pleased how well the tomatoes I planted from seeds are doing. Last week, I thinned out a few sprouts and repotted the rest into individual coir pots. I'll eventually plant the whole thing in a larger pot with other herbs. I also have another set of tomato sprouts to separate into individual coir pots.

The strawberry plants I got from The Strawberry Store are getting fuller and fuller each week. I clipped off some of the flowers, which I think helped establish bigger and more foliage, which in turn is helping them produce more flowers. I also planted borage seeds at the top of the strawberry planter. (I may have a separate post about seeds I've acquired.) They should germinate after a week.

strawberry flower

The best update from the balcony is the peach tree. When I bought the peach tree, Mr. Van Houten had advised me that it would produce peaches this year. And you know what? It is!! I was so surprised to fuzzy green buds from where the blossoms once bloomed. I am so excited about this tree producing peaches! Now, let's see how well they develop and if they taste good.



I also received the package of 7 gallon root pouches with handles. Root pouches are fabric pots that are biodegradable. They are also supposedly better for the plants because the fabric allows for better air circulation and the roots do not become root bound. I'm excited about this product! With the root pouches, I repotted the Tamukeyama and Koto No Ito, and then placed them each in a planter. I've planted the oxalis along the planter perimeter of the Koto No Ito. I'm going to have to get more or another low growing and shade loving plant to fill in the rest of the perimeter.



The Tamukeyama also has a similar planter condition after being re-potted. I haven't figured out what to plant in that area. It might be Scotch moss of some other low and shade loving plant. I might try to acquire some stones and place them there. I have also read that azaleas are cultural companion plants for Japanese maples. Not sure but I still have some time to figure it out.

I also planted the starter herbs and plants into a couple of root pouches. They each included a tomato plant I grew from seeds. I will get into more detail in a separate post.

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