Balcony Garden Struggles

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The heat is getting to the cilantro.

This post is by Bernie Carr,

It’s not even summer yet and the balcony garden is showing signs of difficulty.  The above photo shows the cilantro after a day of 95 degree heat.

  • I will need to start watering twice daily instead of once to see if I can save this one.
Some insects have eaten through the mint leaves.

The mint leaves which were lush and healthy just a few days ago seem to have gotten attacked by some kind of pest that is eating the leaves.

  • I have taken off a few cuttings of healthy and hardy stems and replanted them in a separate pot.  Hopefully they will take root.

A hive of wasps have invaded a corner of the roof over the balcony.   These wasps are very aggressive and we’ve already had a run-in with them.

  • I’ll buy a wasp spray with a nozzle that that can reach all the way up and eradicate the wasp nest.

My parsley seedlings that were thriving for a few days have dried up and died.

  • If at first you don’t succeed…   Keeping a balcony garden has a few challenges but I am not giving up.

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  1. Try putting your cilantro in a bigger pot. Looks like you have been growing it in a 1 gallon pot which in my opinion is way to small. Between the heat and the plant drinking bet it drys up fast. I have had pretty good luck with no 2 or 3 sized pots. Also from what I have found it is best to start a new cilantro plant every 3 weeks or so. The younger leaves taste better. Once you notice your cilantro bolting then start on the next plant. I am bad a keeping up with this and end up with lots or periods where I have no tasty cilantro for my salsa.

    1. Hey onedeadpirate, Cilantro in a bigger pot – that is worth a try. I got some seeds too and will plant some more as you said. Thanks for sharing!

  2. I feel your pain, my garden is struggling as well. Maybe we’re just in for a bad year. I hope things get better for yours and mine. My beans are looking sadder and sadder every day and my cabbage has bugs on it that I’ve never seen before. I guess it’s all we can do, keep trying and hope for the best. Good luck and thanks for sharing.

    1. Hey Chris, Sorry to hear about your garden woes. I figure experience trying to grow things has got to have some value. You just never know what works and what doesn’t until you try it. Good luck to you as well!

  3. Bernie – I am always envious of those of you that live in warm climates but I suppose too much heat can be a negative as well, I was wondering whether or not you were using potting soil or a soil-less mix. A soil-less mix (peat moss, vermiculite and compost) will typically hold the moisture a lot longer.

    Also, there are these gel thingies you can add to the mix that puff up in the soil and hold additional moisture.

    Something George does over in eastern Texas is grow a Spring corp and a Fall crop, skipping summer (and the snakes and scorpions as well).

    My greens (also in pots on the deck) have just started to take off this week. We will soon harvest fresh salads!

    Gaye . . . who has always had a very green thumb

    1. Hi Gaye, I used a potting soil this time around, but will try out the soil-less mix as you suggested. Will go the garden center to pick up those gels too. Anything to help the plants retain water! That is exciting you will have fresh salad soon! I think my green thumb needs a makeover 😉

  4. I feel your pain. I just moved to a small FEMA trailer outside Georgetown and put in my first Texas garden. Tomatoes, Tomatilla are doing well so far. Yellow beans are up and have flowers. Potatoes….not so good. Something is eating the leaves but I have no idea what. Corn went in late so it isn’t even up. 2 out of 4 squash are sort of ok. I don’t even know what I am doing but I am trying. Economically, it needs to do well. I just don’t think the Texas heat cares! Good luck with yours. I am just starting to prep. So many times I have done it and ended up using it!! Back to square one with 240 square feet. Have read your whole blog with interest! Thank you so much for addressing the challenge when there are space and economic issues!!!

    1. Hey Marilyn,
      Glad you found the blog! That is great you are able to put in a garden while living in a trailer. Nothing beats experience when it comes to growing things. Thanks for the comment!

  5. My balcony garden’s doing ok, only problem here is that the frost stayed pretty late into middle of may, sucks this far north lol

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