My little urban achievers — May update

Well we are a month in and so far so good.

My little condo balcony herb and vegetable garden sprouts are working their way out of their cozy little dirt beds and up into the sweltering heat of an already roasting growing season. It’s gonna be a hot one so I hope no one gets burned out too soon. They say it is better to burn out than fade away but I would rather just eat a salad.

The catnip, mint, oregano and rosemary are not from seed. They were well established when I put them out. The catnip is a really trooper. Despite getting plucked more than once daily, it just keeps trucking. The cats however are now pretty chronic now and every now and again I come home to stoned cats and Cypress Hill on the iPod.

The peas are just growing like my grade five science project. I am hoping to see more flowers shortly. While I won’t be graded on these ones I will be eating them and I am a much harder grader than my grade five teacher.

You may have noticed I am not finished my little chair painting project. I ran out of paint and time so I plan to finish in the next couple of weeks. Two chairs done and two more and a table to go.

Bless these carrots. They get bashed around in the breeze but they are growing very well. I am sure, just like my goldfish Leroy (#RIP Leroy), they will only grow to the size of their container, I am expecting great things.

The tomatoes are behind due to our little spring starter mishap but they are coming along nicely. I expect great things. I also expect other people to eat them as I only like tomatoes in ketchup, salsa or other forms of sauce.

Now the lettuce is growing but the heat of our west-facing balcony might be a bit much for it. I may re-evaluate and place it indoors somewhere or bring it in for parts of the day. “Lettuce” wait and see shall we?

The herb collection is going squirrely already. I’ve got too much “thyme” on my hands now. But thankfully this week’s Freshly Pressed contribution showed me how to make thyme lemonade so that may be the solution.

That’s the May update for my little Urban Achievers. We will be back in June.

The brave companions

OK so you can tell from the title of this one I’ve been reading too much George Martin of late. Hey what can I say? I spent the long weekend at the schoolhouse all by my lonesome and it was either read some more Storm of Swords or watch Aspen Extreme on VHS. I think it is time to upgrade our multimedia options up there.

I was nervous to leave my city sprouts unattended but they came through and even grew a good deal in my absence. I am hopeful for my herbs and tomatoes but we will see how the lettuce and peppers fare.

Since I got back early I started doing a little research on gardening and found this infographic on companion planting. While pots of plants are close together and I have introduced everyone I don’t think that actually counts as the same thing. Perhaps next year I will get bigger pots and let everyone get to know each other a little better.
Plant companions

It was so easy going green

Our four-year old patio furniture from Ikea has had it.

We have a little set we use on our balcony at the condo. That brown acacia stuff that we have just doesn’t weather very well. With each passing year it gets more and more decrepid looking. For awhile I kidded myself and thought it was just maturing and would turn a lovely darkened colour. It went gray and scaly. So I decided it can’t get any worse and tried my hand at painting it.

And yes for all my safey friends out there, I did wear all the appropriate personal protective equipment, except for a mask. I didn’t even make a mess except a small patch of grass I will cut next week anyway. At least the paint went downwind.

I think it went well. This test chair worked out to be very simple and I hope to get the rest done next weekend. This might inspire me to do more for the schoolhouse. I’d love to get some nice old Kawartha chairs (yes we call them Kawartha chairs ’cause we ain’t in Muskoka!) and do them up nicely. Wait and see!

Feeling blue? Maybe.

We are still working on condo paint colours.

Around St. Paddy’s day I started thinking about green. It would be great but now our kitchen is blue and I think maybe we should go with blue throughout?

So I’ve been looking up samples. There are light blues that work well and can still be paired with reds or greens. But a deep blue has impact. What does everyone think? I need ideas! Please comment and throw your ideas around. Especially if you have seen our kitchen blue.

Source: via Ariel on Pinterest

Source: via Ariel on Pinterest

From tiny seedlings…

Alright I have officially planted some plants. Now it feels like spring.

Last weekend I pulled out all of my planters up at the schoolhouse but I know it isn’t quite the right time yet to plant anything there. But on my way home I may have stopped at Richter’s Herb Farm in Goodwood (really that is the name of the town).

It is very hard not to go completely mental in here. Maybe it is the heat of the greenhouse or the crushing scents of herbs and flowers you haven’t smelled all winter but I always leave with a carload of stuff.

Rosemary, basil, thyme, sage and chives oh my!

This trip proved no exception. Here you can see I’ve picked up rosemary, basil, thyme, sage and chives. My giant rosemary that lasted the winter indoors is heading north for the summer for cokking purposes. I may chance it and try to put it outside as well. This combo will serve us nicely on the balcony in the city though.

It ain't summer without Mojito mint!

And while you might notice the oregano peeking out in the background here, the real star of the show is of course the Mojito Mint. Used it like crazy last summer and whil this year’s hot weather is proving to be Pimms, you can’t go wrong with mint.

Peas please.

And while my seedlings turned out to be a bust this year I did manage to get some peas. I’ll stake them when they look like they might survive.