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My balcony garden two months on


balcony garden glasgow

Growing my own food is something I've always wanted to do as I think it comes with the natural territory of considering myself a bit of a 'foodie'. Growing up my parents did have a curiosity about it however they did decide it was a lot of effort and wasn't a pastime they could dedicate much time to with work commitments, raising me, looking after a dog and keeping the house in order (and other hobbies) so my pestering that 'so and so's parents have a greenhouse - why don't we?' didn't go down very well. (Fun fact: since both retiring from full-time work they now are growing all sorts of small vegetables). (Also fun fact: my mum grew up on a farm so comes packaged with the kind of knowledge needed).

I have experimented with windowsill plants over the years - cress as a child and then some chives on my windowsill while I had my own flat in Dundee. But not having a garden did mean couldn't ever get particularly adventurous. However, when I moved to Glasgow I managed to tick a long-term goal off my life list when I secured a flat with a balcony and whilst I can't exactly fit a greenhouse on it I can certainly get a bit creative.

Balcony gardening and 'urban farming' have become (slightly hipster) buzzwords recently and there are growing amounts of resources such as books easily available in Waterstones and articles on the internet regarding the topic. However I got a bit lost in it all so I decided to arm myself with my mums knowledge and a 'I'll learn it all the hard way' approach.

balcony garden rocket

And within the last two months I have already learnt a few things the hard way, which I'm going to put into a handy wee guide for anyone interested in balcony gardening/urban farming themselves:

Gardening is an expensive hobby - Growing your own food might mean you cut down on grocery shopping but buying everything that is required to start (pots, hand shovel, compost seeds, watering can) can really add up. Remember how I wanted to start a balcony garden in 2013? This is the reason I didn't start it until 2014.
Think about the size of pot you'll need - rocket growing isn't quite working out mainly because the pot I used for it is cheap and small and the stems are getting tangled up amongst themselves
Rocket tastes better from the garden - Despite the fact that my attempt at rocket manufacturing is becoming a big fat fail, it did taste better than the Tesco stuff.
Chives are easy - I've grown them before and didn't mess it up back then or this time around. Great beginner herb.
Rosemary takes bloody forever - You see that plant that's just poking through the compost? That's my rosemary. I knew it wasn't a fast growing plant but I didn't expect it to be this stubborn.
It takes attention and a lot of care - even for these three plants I did have to water them everyday or every second day depending on the weather but with all hobbies if you're heart is truly in it the harder parts won't bother you.

balcony garden herbs seeds

Where I bought my stuff:
Compost - Dobbies Garden Centre
Pots - Tiger on Sauchiehall Street
Mini-fork: Burgon & Ball brand at Dobbies
Seeds: Dobbies

Next steps?
I plan to buy some bigger cases with brackets so I can hook them over my railings in order re-attempt rocket and also move onto some other plants. It's still likely to be green and leafy for a while with some considerations being spinach and watercress (but an eventually goal is mushrooms). I'm also planning to buy more small pots to grow more herbs in such as mint, basil, lemongrass and whatever else takes my fancy.

Have you ever grown your food? Are you considering it? 

Morag x
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morag | mo adore
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2 comments:

  1. Love it :) I planted potatoes, onions and carrots one year and they looked like they were doing well, but due to a change of circumstances I had to move house before I could harvest them :( last year I made a vegetable patch and grew a variety of things, lettuce, carrots, peppers, chilies, strawberries, parsnips and many herbs, it was great! They tasted much better than shop bought and just popping into the garden to pull up as much as I needed was a great feeling. Sadly I'm not home enough this year :( xx

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  2. I still haven't bought you those purple carrots I wanted to get you! You should see my new neighbours allotment. They brought me a lettuce bigger than my head the other day!

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