New to site, balcony gardening

drew_dog(Columbia, S.C.)June 5, 2005

Hey, y'all. I like the forum. I'm new to balcony gardening and am trying at it this year. I live on the fourth floor of a high-rise here in downtown Cola with a small south-by-southeast facing balcony that gets fairly decent sun, especially in the first half of the day. There's an overhang and a screen (necessary to keep local pigeons, which abound, at bay).

It's been about a week since I've put out two tomato plants (Patio and Better Bush Goliath), a pot w/ crookneck squash, a pot w/ pickling cucumber, mint, rosemary, spicy globe basial, and thyme. Also, girlfriend already had some impatiens going on that are doing pretty well.

Y'all got any advice for me? Insight will be much appreciated generally or with regard to the fact that the cucumber & squash pots contain what looks like three and two plants, respectively (that's the way they came from Home Depot before I transplanted them).

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jenny_in_se_pa(USDA7 Sunset 32)

Welcome! Ahh.... Time to fill up someone else's balcony... heh heh heh

How big is your balcony?

With respect to having a couple of those named plants per container, how big a container are you using? I am trying spaghetti squash this year and have 4 in a 14-gallon Rubbermaid tote. I have some 6ft plastic bamboo stakes that I'm going to try to cobble together to make a teepee for them and will probably attempt to put some netting around that for them to climb on. Here they were this morning:

It has been abnormally cool up here and I had them out in May but had them covered with a plastic milk jug, which was ridiculous. Never had to do that here ever since I moved here 11 years ago. :\ We're finally getting some nice heat coming up this week so hopefully they will take off.

I've usually seen them sell squash and cukes with a couple seeds per market pack cell and people will often plant the whole thing and snip off the weakest or do like me and try to grow them all... LOL Mine were actually from seed I started 1 per cell. It might be trickier to leave them if they are bush types as they might crowd each other if the container is small. I have grown cukes in a 2ft long trough container with about 4 - 6 plants per that size as they vine out of the container and attach to whatever was nearby.

Most of your plants are sun lovers (although the mint is more a part sun plant and may want more water than the rest). You location will probably get hot so consider ways to maintain moisture for the plants or they may fry. I expect the impatiens will definitely fry if not moved to a shadey spot out there unless they are New Guineas which can take more sun.

Anyway, welcome to the balcony forum! I just got my first hummer of the season 18 stories up in the sky about 1 1/2 hours ago (and had the first ever that I had actually seen up here, last August). I have a bunch of hummer plants out there this year now.... heh heh

    Bookmark   June 5, 2005 at 4:11PM
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drew_dog(Columbia, S.C.)

Thanks, Jenny. The squash & cukes are in pots about a foot high and a foot in diameter. Yours are looking good, by the way. The cukes are pickling & the squash crookneck; bush/vine distinction not mentioned on pots or display at store, but there was a type of cucumber being sold called "Bush," so I'm fairly sure cukes, at least, are viny. That's good, since I've got 100 feet of galvanized wire on which to trellis them and tie off the tomatoes a la the way it's done with stakes. (I will show pictures to all if I can get my hands on a digital camera.)

It was unseasonably cool here last week too (cloudy with highs under 70), but now we are in South Cackalack in June for real (with heat index, well above 90). I've moved the impatiens toward the back of the balcony, where it's pretty shady. Balcony is approx. 6' deep x 10' wide.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2005 at 4:27PM
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jenny_in_se_pa(USDA7 Sunset 32)

South Cackalack! LOL

What a dramatic change for sure! Heat Advisory up here today in the urban areas but my squash and 'maters and tomatillos are loving it! I looked at my squash today and they looked even more full and perked up. I could just feel the warmth coursing through their poor heat-deprived stems....

You could probably put the whole cell of 2 - 3 in that size container and let them all stay. They'll vine out of the pot onto your support. One thing I found in the past whenever I grew cukes was that for some interesting reason, they wanted to attach to the decorative grill of my aluminum railing (or onto other nearby plants) and would actually flower on the outside of the rail because obviously, that is where the sun was (I face NE and get full unobstructed morning sun in summer). And THAT is where the cuke would form. It was hilareous looking over the rail to discover a bunch of 9" cukes dangling over an 18 story drop. LOL But Mother Nature amazingly made the stems very strong and I never had a cuke drop off on its own whenever it was growing in that spot. The pain was trying to actually harvest it without droppping it myself!

Yep.... looks like a little taste of summer is finally here (picture from about 4 years ago).

    Bookmark   June 6, 2005 at 5:54PM
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