What didn’t work this season in my balcony garden

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Usually there are always a couple of things that go wrong in any season when growing. It is the things you learn from. You find out if crops are right for your conditions, if the sort is one you are happy with and lots of experiences won through trial and error. I had a couple of things that didn’t work out for various reasons.

Mildew in my chamomile

My chamomile were growing fine, lots of beautiful white flowers. I was looking forward to saving a lot of flower heads for tea during the winter. But alas one day I notices a white powdery substance towards the bottom half of the plant. Mildew has come to visit and I tried a mixture of baking soda, alchohol and water to rid my self of this visitor. I don’t use chemicals in my garden, so I will try most “natural” remedies. Unfortunately it didn’t work and my chamomile got cut down to prevent spread. That is the way of growing things and not using chemicals, sometimes you loose.

Chamomile with mildew
Chamomile with mildew in my garden.

New sort of bean – Bon Bon

For the last couple of years I have had an ordinary green bean, the kind where you just buy the seeds in the supermarked. It was really good and it even flowered twice every season, so it gave me a really good amount of beans for the space. Unfortunately I didn’t save any seeds as I ate or saved most of the beans. So this year I had to find a new sort and I chose: Bon Bon – Phaseolus vulgaris. It was supposed to be a great variant, easy to grow and high yielding, but alas me and the Bon Bon did not get on well. I seeded the beans inside and that was a mistake as it did not adapt well to going outside. So that is one lesson learned – don’t seed my beans inside and then mowe them out. Sow beans directly in the permanent growing space. It did give me some beans despite the scrawnyness but they were not to my liking. So I will be on the lookout for a new sort of bean for next season.

The Bon Bon bean.
The Bon Bon bean in my garden.

My love affair with forest strawberries got flooded

I have had some really good experiences with forest strawberries in window boxes. The are high yieldig, sweet and the are producing even now inlate October. Last year was my first season growing them and the plants wintered well. I even planted another window bo with even more strawberries. But there was one thing I had not considered. I was using a selfwatering window box and I thought that was great. But what I had not considered was that when the plants stay in the box for more than one season the roots get big and might clog the overflow drain in the window box. That is exactly what happened and my entire box of lovely forest strawberries drowned. Not a pretty sight. I am not sure what I will do with the other box of strawberries as it might do the same next season. I might try to turn out the plants and cut the roots but I don’t know if that will work or maybe I just have to be really observant next season, so they don’t flood.

The drowned strawberries look sad in the garden.
The drowned strawberries look sad in the garden.

Onions, onions, onions…

I like growing onions and this year I had planned quite a lot of onions; large Mamut onions, red onions, spring onions, ramsoms, chives and Chinese chives – all in the onion family. But apparently me and onions don’t get on well. For some reason none of my Mamuts came, I planted Chinese chives twice without succes, only one red onion came and is now the size of a thumb, the ramsoms didn’t come and the chives are a sad bunch. The only onion that was just a little succesful this season was spring onions and mostly those I have replanted. You can replant the bottom of the spring onions you buy and it will grow again. So I am debating wheter to have onions next year, last season was a decent onion year; so I have not decided yet.

The sad onions in the garden.
The sad onions in the garden.

The curse of growing zuchinies in a pot

I have tried for 3 seasons to succesfully grow zuchinnies in a pot. They need quite a big pot and they have gotten the biggest pot I have. I have even tried 3 different sorts; an ordinary green squash, a yellow stribed zuchinni and this season an 8-ball zuchinni. It has not been a succes. There has been a lot of flowers and even though the flowers are a delicasy, I have not found a way to use them in my cooking. Only 2 fruits over the entire season and the dreaded mildew had another victim. The mildew came early in the season and I kept it at bay with the mixture of baking soda, alchohol and water, but eventually I gave up. So in the future you will not find the zuchinni in my balcony garden. It is to much work for to small a reward and it takes up a lot of my very limited space.

Another mildew victim in the garden.
Another mildew victim in the garden.

The only flower in my otherwise edible garden

I had gotten some Cosmos bipinnatus seeds with a magzine and though I would try having flowers in my garden. I usually only grow things that you can eat but I thought I would try. I came fine but when July came and went it still had not flowered. It was almost 2 meters high and no flowers in sight.

No flowers...
No flowers…

I though I would leave it be and see what happens and in middle of September it suddently began to flower. The lilac flowers were very pretty and I enjoyed them.

Liliac flower lighting up the garden.
Liliac flower lighting up the garden.

A week after the picture above was taken it started to storm and the 2 meter high plant was getting knocked around pretty bad. After having picked it up 4-5 times I thought I would bring it inside. It was windy and it was also getting cold and I wanted to see all the buds flower as I had waited 2 months for it to flower. It looked good for about a week or so and the I noticed that it had gotten spider mites. Within days it was completely covered in spider mites and I had to use a couple of hours cleaning everything with alchohol to get rid of the mites. So the flower were beautiful but I am strongly considering sticking to edibles from now on.

Spider mites everywhere.
Spider mites everywhere.
Even more spider mites.
Even more spider mites.

This is what went wrong for me this season. What went wrong for you this season? Please share and leave a comment…:)

Happy growing – Sara

 

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