Update on my Garden – August 7,2011

Posted on Aug 8 2011 - 2:57am by Mike Lieberman

My bad for missing last week. Some personal things going on, but all good.

It’s been a while since I gave an update on my balcony garden so wanted show you what I got going on and no matter where you live or how much space you (don’t) have, you can grow some of your own food.

I live in Los Angeles and my balcony is 13 x 4 and east facing. This means that I don’t have much space or direct sunlight (maybe 4-6 hours). That does’t mean that I can’t grow anything. Currently on my balcony, I have four self-watering containers that I built using upcycled 5-gallon containers.

In the containers I have the following:

  • 2 containers of swiss chard
  • Spearmint
  • Jack Be Little Pumpkin

I am using a tomato cage to grow the pumpkins vertically.

That’s what I have growing in my garden with some bigger plans for the fall. What do you have growing in your garden?

13 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. Elizabeth Fisher August 8, 2011 at 1:25 pm -

    What about a tomato plant?  How did you decide on what you grow?  I have yet to try chard though everyone else seems to have.  It always looks shaggy and scary at the grocer.  

  2. Mike Lieberman August 8, 2011 at 2:08 pm -

    No tomatoes because I don’t get enough direct sun. I decided what to grow based on what I eat a lot of, can grow in containers and like shade. I used swiss chard in my smoothies a lot.

  3. Lee R August 8, 2011 at 2:20 pm -

    What do I have growing? Hmm….I guess a better question might be what don’t I have growing….although I started out much like you Mike,since purchasing property,and planting four large garden beds,I’ve not only been able to supply my own house with lots of homegrown goodness,but also 6 others are enjoying the excess.I’ve been rotating who gets gifted the excess zucchini and summer squash so that not one person gets too burned out on it.

    The tomatoes are starting to come on now….

    This week’s plans are to make and can pizza sauce,and salsa,dehydrate some herbs and hot peppers for later,and hope I can find someone who loves summer squash that hasn’t already had their fill for the year(Lemon Squash goes nuts by the way).

  4. Anonymous August 8, 2011 at 4:43 pm -

    Cucumbers! So far they have been the most prolific veggie on my deck. Now that we here in the NW are finally enjoying some summer like weather, my tomato plants are finally going wild, and I’ve even had a couple of ripe cherry tomatoes! Hopefully by the end of August I’ll have an impressive tomato harvest. I’m starting to harvest some pole beans, and it looks like I’ll have more Japanese eggplant than I’ll know what to do with. Peppers are looking good as well. The only real disappointment is my patty pan squash, which appears to be a male. I will harvest the blossoms and cook them tempura style, though.

  5. Elizabeth Fisher August 8, 2011 at 4:46 pm -

    Here is how I dealt with a recent excess…our daughter had her wedding reception at our house on Saturday and I put a basket of  produce by the door and when people left offered them to take what they wanted.  What with the preparations etc I had to put off canning and freezing for a bit.  Now back to normal.

    Made big batch of spaghetti sauce last night with lots of zucchini in it.

  6. Mike Lieberman August 8, 2011 at 5:20 pm -

    That sounds amazing. I’m jealous!

  7. Mike Lieberman August 8, 2011 at 5:20 pm -

    Good stuff. Maybe the patty pan squash will eventually come through for you.

  8. Megan August 8, 2011 at 9:17 pm -

    Hey Mike!

    Your garden is looking great! if you need help with your polinating your pumpkin blossoms, try organic blossom set spray.. when all the bees were kill by my apartment complex spraying pesticides it was difficult doing it all by hand, but the spray helped. Well, still no tomatos but I hope that the benificial nematodes will kill the root maggots soon before they spread! But so far have both Asian and Chicago pickling cucumbers growing, my pumkin plant is starting to blossom, I have garden beans growing and have a zucchini plant ready for harvest!

  9. Mike Lieberman August 9, 2011 at 2:18 am -

    Thanks for the tip!

  10. WendyinCA August 11, 2011 at 5:35 am -

    I’m intrigued by the mention of chard in your smoothies.  Do you have a recipe you would share?

  11. Mike Lieberman August 11, 2011 at 1:37 pm -

    Here is a basic green smoothie that I loosely follow http://www.anitaavalos.com/2011/05/how-to-make-a-basic-green-smoothie/

  12. Christophe August 17, 2011 at 2:01 am -

    Hey Mike. I’ve been browing though you blog, great blog and videos BTW. I actually have a question. In this video you’re showing your two buckets of swiss chard. One looks great and the other one does not look that great.

    But it’s probably from the same seeds, likely the same compost and they are right next to each other so they must receive the same amount of sun exposure and water. So do you know one is doing great, while the other one is not? 🙂

    Keep up the good work.

  13. Mike Lieberman August 17, 2011 at 1:49 pm -

    Thanks Christophe. At the point in this video, they were definitely treated the same up until that point. The different results could be for many reasons, but the one that first comes to mind is that not all seeds are exactly the same. Some individual seeds might germinate and grow better than others. 

    Despite being from the same seed packet, they might very well grow differently. 

    I’m currently doing an experiment using Thrive, which is a living microbial treatment on the plant that wasn’t doing so well and just continuing to use water on the other plant. Will keep you updated.

    Make sense? 

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