May update

The apartment management made me take down all of my railing planters but things are still doing great!

   
Phacelia bolanderi covered in caterpillar poop  

 Ollalieberries 

 Baby blue eyes 

 Manzanita 

 Cream cups 

Cobweb thistle

Going back to my earlier post, you can find a great variety of California native plant starters online (and at some hardware stores) through Annie’s Annuals and seeds through the Theodore Payne foundation. 

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California natives!

Because of this terrible drought, I’ve let most of my veggie garden go and converted to low water California natives. It’s actually really lovely because I’ve chosen a lot of flowering plants that attract wildlife and have beautiful blooms all year long! We live near a marsh teeming with local birds and insects that appreciate the variety.


I’ll write a little more about the species and where to find them in another ppst, but here are a few preview pics. Enjoy!







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Garden update: mid-April

The plants are going bananas. I can’t keep up!  Unfortunately I’m super busy at school now too and don’t have a lot of time to tend to everything!

The South balcony is an absolute mess right now. I’ve still got to repot most of my bell peppers, one tomato, pull out last year’s chard, nd find room for everthing else.

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The yellow pear tomato’s stalk is as thick as my finger. It’s going to be a huge plant!

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Just got our first female cucumber flowers, which I tried to hand pollinate:

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Strawberries:

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Nasturtiums are *everywhere* and my mesclun greens are growing fast. Time for salad!

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The crabapple tree has lost most of its flowers and is dripping with baby fruits. Can’t wait till they ripen!! I’ve heard for a healthier harvest to thin or the fruit but I’m not sure if I’ll try that.

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The flowers on the olive tree finally bloomed and it’s covered in pollen.  How cool would it be to get olives this year?!

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The yarrow I planted from seed is growing really slowly. It’s still covered in bird netting because it’s so delicate. Hurry up already!

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Pole beans are growing several inches per day. I’m trying to train them up this pole:

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And, I think I have tomato blight? I’ve never seen this before but I bought some copper fungicidal spray that will hopefully clear it up. My parsley is plagued by powdery mildew so I hope to take care of that as well.

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And finally, a view from outside. Looking good!
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Garden update: end of March

Everything is getting pretty lush! Got all the tomatoes hanging now.

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Set up a little privacy wall of plants:

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Giant parsley:

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Hanging tomato:

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Radish and carrot window box:

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Cucumber tendril!

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Strawberry flowers:

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Also set up the rain gutter planter on the east balcony.

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Everything’s progressing nicely! If only I could keep the birds from eating up my seedlings! They are really struggling, hence the bird netting in some of the pics.

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Hanging tomatoes

I’m a few years behind the trend, but I’ve decided to try hanging some of my tomatoes upside down in order to save precious space on the balcony. I wanted to make my own planter in order to better control soil moisture and pot size (the topsy turny planters are notorious for drying out daily and in my opinion are too small) and save money. Buckets are the popular choice for most diy-ers, but I was worried about leaching from the cheaper buckets (food safe buckets are closer to $10/ea) and I think they’re pretty ugly.

I found pulp pots for $3 each, they’re pretty natural looking, and they hopefully won’t get super hot sitting all day in the sun. Since they’re not plastic, I needed to fashion a holder to support them rather than drilling holes. My first attempt was a macrame type holder with cotton rope and a hole in the bottom for the plant to stick out of. It was not very attractive, the knots were a pain to tie and adjust, and it took me way too long to make one.

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Then I found these hanging planters from Big Lots, which I took the fabric pot out of, and the chain part proved to be a fantastic holder. The metal strap isn’t quite flush with the pot, unfortunately, so I might stuff some coconut coir in to hide that.

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The pot was $3 and the holder was $5. I have three tomato plants, so $25 for this experiment isn’t too bad.

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Spittle bug sighting!

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On the pink yarrow. So cool!

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Flowers!

All the fruit trees except the pomegranate have flowers now! The balcony smells like perfume. Even saw a bee friend buzzing the lime tree 🙂

Crabapple:

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Lime:

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Lemon:

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Olive:

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Here’s some more fun flowers from around the garden–

Yarrow bud:

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Black sunflower volunteer from birdfeeder:

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Black sage:

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Marigolds:

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Geranium and primroses:

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Lavenders:

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bougainvillea:

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