Back From Break. Balcony Garden Update.

Posted on Oct 3 2011 - 2:52am by Mike Lieberman

Damned. Hard to believe that it’s been well over a month since I took my break. Much to your delight, I am back though and back to posting.

I appreciate all the comments and feedback that were left during that time to let me know what you are liking and not liking. It will all certainly be taken into consideration.

Screenshot 2014-04-10 17.27.07

When I was gone, nobody really took care of the garden. Anita was with me for most of the trip. Since they are self-watering containers, they can survive a bit longer than most traditional containers without being watered. Though one of my neighbors said that she did sprinkle some water on the containers for me.

The two chard containers didn’t look so well when I got back. After Anita watered them, they perked up and are doing great.

The mint container which was doing amazing….isn’t anymore. It looks like crap. Hopefully it will come back around.

Now the pumpkin container, that I pruned because it was getting powdery mildew, ain’t doing well. By ain’t doing well I mean it’s dead. Was able to get a tiny little pumpkin from it though. All good.

Now it’s fall time and I have a crap load of containers and lots of space on the balcony garden to get some fall veggies growing.

Have you started your fall garden? If not, what’s up with that? If so, that’s what’s up and please share what are you growing in the comments below. Good to be back!

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

  1. Juanita Wright October 3, 2011 at 12:37 pm -

    Hey buddy, glad to see you back.  Hope you had a nice vacation and loving times with the family.  Yep, we missed ya bunches.  Yeah, your mint should come back around in a short while and be fine.  Glad you got a pumpkin from your vine.  We had loads of them but they all came on way too soon and didn’t last long enough.  Sorry to say with taking care of the rest of the garden, I didn’t get around to saving any of them.  Shame on me.  But I will do better next year.  We’re  now growing some fall greens, onions, brussel sprouts a broccoli along with some late green beans.  Still have some tomatoes on the vines, but they won’t be here long.  I really think I will try to bring one into the utility room and see if I can overwinter it and maybe have a few toms through the cold months.  I so miss tomatoes during the winter.  Oh, I made my first sweet potato bread yesterday.  That is some good stuff, now.  What you eating new? 

  2. Lesmis94 October 3, 2011 at 2:02 pm -

    Growing 2 containers of salad mix ,half eaten by some green caterpillar. Came up with a net cover for the 2nd container. What other ways can I keep my green veggies from being consumed by other creatures before I do?

  3. Elizabeth Fisher October 3, 2011 at 2:33 pm -

    Fall garden, ha ha that’s funny.  No…just trying to keep what still have warm.  Had 2 nights of a light frost so far but today is supposed to be warm again, 55 or so, and the sun is shining.  

  4. Mike Lieberman October 3, 2011 at 3:38 pm -

    Nice. Sounds like you got plenty going on. Keep me updated on the overwintering. I’m just getting back into the swing of things and will keep you updated.

  5. Mike Lieberman October 3, 2011 at 3:39 pm -

    The net cover is a great idea. Something that I’ve been lazy in doing. You can do some companion planting or make some non-toxic sprays to keep the insects away from your stuff.

  6. Mike Lieberman October 3, 2011 at 3:39 pm -

    55 or so sounds pretty good to me.

  7. Gini Lester October 3, 2011 at 3:44 pm -

    Glad to see you back 🙂 
    The mint looks like it’ll bounce back.

  8. Anonymous October 3, 2011 at 3:49 pm -

    Welcome back! Hope you had a refreshing and rejuvenating time off!

    It’s been starting to get chilly up here – but our green pepper plants are doing pretty well. We have more, larger peppers than we did earlier in the season and we have admittedly been really lazy about watering and tending to them as of late. I think the potatoes are doing well but it’s hard to tell when they are under the dirt…Tomatoes are still producing on some plants but are definitely on their way out. At this point, I think it’s too late to try to get anything else in there…time to start pulling stuff out and packing it all into the garage for the (ugh…yuck) winter.

  9. Pat October 3, 2011 at 3:59 pm -

    I spent the weekend planting lettuces, spinach,  sprouts, broccoli, peas, & beans .. drought be damned.  My landlord’s going to help me get the rain barrel working again (find someone to fix the downspout) and if it don’t rain, I can fill the barrel on Mondays and Thursdays.  

  10. Wendy October 3, 2011 at 5:09 pm -

    Welcome back! I just cleared out my garden for the winter (harvested a boat load of winter squash yay) and planted some winter onions I got from my FIL.

  11. Violet Lin October 3, 2011 at 5:20 pm -

    No real fall garden here in Wisconsin, not this year. I moved to a new place so my main thing is getting my plants out of containers and into a new square foot bed in the backyard before the cold sets in. They are all going to be crowded in together for winter survival, hostas, raspberry canes, daylilies etc. Come spring, watch out! My little balcony will be blooming with violets, tuberoses, herbs and whatever else I decide to put out there. The bigger things will be down below in my little 4×4′ square foot garden. Hopefully I will get another one built too. Welcome back! Mint is pretty hard to kill…I bet it comes back in time. I have cayenne peppers, parsley, tomatoes, which have also undergone several periods of neglect this summer, due to the move, have seemed dead, but came back each time so far.

  12. Lanny October 3, 2011 at 6:11 pm -

    I’m working on getting my garlic in the ground. Have built a raised bed 3 feet x 16 feet. Filling it with homemade compost, dried blood meal and bonemeal.  We love garlic and hoping to grow enough to give to our friends.

  13. Kathryn Grace October 3, 2011 at 6:24 pm -

    I’ve become so desperate for a garden that when a sheaf of organic mint took root in its fresh-keeping container, I placed those sprigs in a brown bottle on my kitchen window sill.

    The roots are taking over the bottle, and occasionally I pinch a leaf or two, to prevent legginess and encourage lateral growth, and eat it. Yummy!

    Miniscule, I know, but I am hopeful that my north-facing windows may yet prove useful in a very small way.

  14. Mike Lieberman October 3, 2011 at 8:25 pm -

    Thanks. That’s if the ants don’t finish devouring it.

  15. cherise October 4, 2011 at 1:37 am -

    Here in PA it’s been raining. And raining. And raining. 18 days of rain in September with several more heavily overcast. Rain every day in October so far. Doesn’t make me want to do anything in the garden. Lots of stuff has rotted. Tomatoes have been done for 2 weeks. Still have some greens but they too are suffering from lack of drying out. The peppers are amazing and I harvested over 100 jalepenos from 3 plants! I harvested carrots today that must’ve been 4 oz. each! I have some plants in containers that are still doing well. I plan on drying mint, rosemary, oregano, chives and thyme this week. 
    Glad to have you back. Hope your time off was well spent! 

    FYI: I threw out my Miracle Gro waterer this week and thought of you. I used compost tea on my pumpkins and squash and they are doing amazing. Done with Miracle Gro for good, replacing with the compost tea.

  16. Mike Lieberman October 4, 2011 at 3:03 pm -

    I can definitely get used to these “cold” winters here in LA 😉

  17. Mike Lieberman October 4, 2011 at 3:04 pm -

    That’s nice of your landlord. Good stuff.

  18. Mike Lieberman October 4, 2011 at 3:04 pm -

    What’s the plan for the winter squash?

  19. Mike Lieberman October 4, 2011 at 3:05 pm -

    Nice. Hopefully I’ll have some ground to plant in…eventually. Good luck and keep me updated.

  20. Mike Lieberman October 4, 2011 at 3:05 pm -

    That’s what’s up!

  21. Mike Lieberman October 4, 2011 at 3:05 pm -

    That’s dope. Any little bit matters. 

  22. Mike Lieberman October 4, 2011 at 3:06 pm -


  23. Wendy October 5, 2011 at 5:32 pm -

    Yumminess this winter as long as they last! Got any yum-o recipes??

  24. andrea October 5, 2011 at 5:47 pm -

    Welcome back!  I’ve been just about to plant some fall stuff but it has been sooooooo rainy here.  My mint is happy.  But everything else that I was hoping to get more time out of has not been able to handle all the rain.  Between the ridiculous heat wave we had this summer and all the inches and inches of rain for the past month (longer?) it has not been a great year.  

  25. andrea October 5, 2011 at 5:50 pm -

     (Oh!  I’m in Baltimore, MD)

  26. Mike Lieberman October 5, 2011 at 8:34 pm -

    I’m a fan of just straight up roasting them with some oil and sea salt. Let the flavors speak for themselves.

  27. Mary C. October 5, 2011 at 8:58 pm -

    Glad you’re back!

    Started a bit, some beans & lettuce.
    Been concentrating (or trying to) on 2012 plans for mom’s garden…

  28. Erin G. October 5, 2011 at 11:36 pm -

    Yay! You’re back! I’ve started my fall garden, some greens and broccoli, but I have a problem. My seeds have sprouted and all that, but I still have tomatoes on the vine and peppers growing, so I don’t have enough containers right now! I need to move the fall plants into the big containers, but I don’t want to buy more pots!

  29. Wendy October 6, 2011 at 2:31 am -

    That’s how I like them best as well.

  30. Mike Lieberman October 6, 2011 at 2:09 pm -


  31. Vicki Schoenwald October 7, 2011 at 2:19 am -

    Welcome back, Mike, I missed your comments.
    Not too much going on here in Nebraska.  Hot and very dry here now.  I planted some garlic and shallots to over winter.  I fell off the porch and broke my knee, so that put a monkey wrench in the machinery as far as planting anything is concerned.  I will start in the early spring in my buckets.  I will move these on my south side, and then in Feb or early March, I will cover and then amend the soil a little and then start my early lettuce and spinach.  A few years ago, I grew Long Standing spinach and then covered them with greenhouse plastic, then we had blizzards in Oct, and bittercold of -30 below and my spinach survived and was wonderfully sweet by March.  It can be done.

  32. Peggi October 7, 2011 at 1:17 pm -

    Here in the suburbs of Atlanta, I have planted several things for the fall. I have green onions in what was a flower bed during the summer.  I have 2 huge containers: one with spinach and one with lettuce. I have a small pot with radishes and a small pot with carrots.  Today is the day for soda bottle strawberries! Plan to plant garlic in a circle around a tiny crepe myrtle tree. Full of enthusiasm and hope! Good luck to you in your gardening endeavors.

  33. Mike Lieberman October 7, 2011 at 6:43 pm -

    Hahaha. That sounds like a rough problem to have 😉

  34. Mike Lieberman October 7, 2011 at 6:43 pm -

    Sorry to hear. Here is a to a speedy recovery!

  35. Mike Lieberman October 7, 2011 at 6:44 pm -

    That’s what’s up!

  36. Laureltree October 25, 2011 at 1:44 am -

    I’m in the surrounding Atlanta area. My peppers and eggplants are still growing from the spring/summer season. I just planted lettuce and lots of collards.  Quick question: What causes the powdery mildew and how can I avoid or save the plants in the future? ( I lost all of my pumpkin plants and after  10 zukes that plant had the same fate)

  37. Mike Lieberman October 25, 2011 at 1:52 am -

    I’ve read that a mixture of milk and water sprayed on the leaves will help out.

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