My garden feels a lot like a great parallel for myself this 2020, slow and steady growth. I keep adding new plants and I’ve been good at continuous harvesting, composting, and removing some uninvited guests.
The most successful part of my garden this year has been my compost. After starting my garden, it seemed like the next step is too begin a compost pile. Choosing to compost on our second floor apartment is an intentional decision. After reading a few different posts, I decided to compost in a 5 gallon bucket. I started by cleaning out my bucket and drilling several holes in the sides and the bottom of the bucket for ventilation and drainage.
I started by adding dried leaves and small sticks in the bottom of my bucket and then began to add soil. And over the last several months, we’ve been adding compostable pieces to it. I have found it is important to let my compost “rest” for a few weeks.
What do I do with compost? I mix my compost with potting soil for my planters. I will need to bring my compost in once it begins freezing at night again.
The plus side to having a contained compost on our second floor patio, means I don’t need to worry about wild critters getting into it. And it is seperated and hard to get so even my pets don’t get into it.
Things I put in our compost:
- clippings from the garden
- torn up brown grocery bags
- trimmings from produce in the kitchen
- dried leaves & grass clippings
- coffee grounds
Many of my herbs this year were freebies from Trader Joes, they’ve been giving away the sad looking plants to shoppers since COVID began. I’ve acquired parsley, cilantro, lavender, and rosemary this way and I’ve been able to revive most of them. I’ve lost a few of them but many have survived!
Mint, Dill, Rosemary, & Cat Nip – trim & dried every 2-3 weeks, store in jars
Basil- trim, chop, and freeze with olive oil, every 2 weeks
Green Onion & Tomato – Bring inside and continue to grow into fall
We had some uninvited guests in the garden earlier this summer and I’m so glad I found them and removed them before they ate my entire Dill crop. I removed approximently 17 inchworms from my dill plants and 2 inchworms from my mint plant. I have not idea how they got to my garden, since we don’t have any pests. I’m not sure how they found my plants but I am glad I was able to move them before they ate my plants.
Speaking of my tomato plant, we still don’t have any tomatoes but we are getting closer. I just need to convince Shade to stop eating the leaves, which are apparently quite tasty. Anyone else’s cat like to eat tomato leaves?
This is my second year doing a patio grarden, there is something freeing and purposeful in growing plants for visual aesthetics or for eating. Getting to eat the things I grow is incredibly fulfilling.
I’ve been saving bell pepper & jalapeño seeds and once I have tomatoes I’d like to save a few of those for 2021’s garden!