Look potatoes! I actually grew potatoes on my balcony!

Look potatoes! I actually grew potatoes on my balcony!

Photo of the potatoes that grew on my balcony

Potatoes we grew!

Look! My potato plant actually produced – a hell of a lot better than anything else I planted last spring. Looks llike a bit of benign neglect pays off.

I’d forgotten about them this week. I was so busy, and the balcony has been so cold, I didn’t wandered out much. Well, mom was pottering around out there and shouted for me to come look. Lo and behold, POTATOES. I confess, you almost need a microscope to see some of them, but who knew one little potato would sprout so many?

Okay, don’t rain on my parade. I know they aren’t very big, but I didn’t expect anything to grow. Plus we didn’t put them in until sometime in June. I have this childish thrill about having grown them on a balcony, in the middle of Toronto, 20 floors up. Not a bad little crop.

… screw growing anything else. I’m going to plant a bushel full of potatoes next spring.


Of aphid wars, mutant lettuce and balcony potatoes

Of aphid wars, mutant lettuce and balcony potatoes

It’s been a bit of an odd week around here. I’ve been trying to figure out a schedule for posting on the mighty Bitter Grounds… and like a noob, I spent so much time deciding on a schedule, I didn’t get around to publishing anything. Okay not one of my more stellar weeks. I’m doomed to remain mildly disorganised.

…. and ….. they’re back … aphids. ****ing aphids. They’ve taken up residence in one of the peppers. The others have remained untouched. I think they set up a fun fair on the leaves, complete with little Ferris wheels and bumper cars. They seem impervious to everything I’ve tried so I found a lady bug to put on the pepper, thinking I was tempting it with an aphid buffet. The ungrateful little sod wandered around the plant a few minutes and then buggered off. Guess my aphids weren’t good enough for him … her ..?? how do you sex a lady bug? I’ll have to plan my next moves carefully. I suspect the aphids have hazmat suits. That’s the only explanation for their stubborn resistance.

However, my other peppers are beginning to actually look like peppers:

Photo of pepper plants growing on my balcony

A wind storm blew off some of the markers so I haven’t a clue which pepper is which. It’ll be an adventure in the kitchen.

Some of the lettuce has done something very odd. The lacy lettuce is wonderful, sweet and tender. But the head lettuce kind of mutated. I think it believes it’s a climbing ivy. I’ve cut them all down and hoping to start over. But it just wants to grow up. At least the potato is behaving. The fact it’s growing so rapidly (and at all, for that matter) is a complete surprise. I figured it would slowly rot in the planter, but it’s tripled in size over the past 2 weeks. Not sure if I should get excited but … we might actually end up with a new potato. Anyone know how many potatoes each plant produces? Or when you know it’s ready to pull? I’ll have to look that up.

PHoto of my potato plant with skyline view

Oh and our tomatoes plants are slowly starting to show itty bitty little tomatoes. They aren’t the biggest plants around, but hopefully we’ll get enough to make me happy. I’ll have to investigate how to make them bigger and bushier for next year.

And finally, our lovely, lovely rose bush: Photo of rose bush buds

It’s been popping up roses like crazy. Initially I thought we’d have 3 maybe 4 roses, but it went into overdrive and it’s covered in little buds. It’s also quite large. Not bad for a little store bought rose. I’ll take more photos on the weekend and post them. The nasturtiums are looking mighty magnificent, but I wanted to wait until the next crop of flowers appeared, that should be this weekend. Until then… later.

Was going to show you the roses on my balcony … but how about a potato instead

Was going to show you the roses on my balcony … but how about a potato instead

It was a jaw droppingly bad week, and I struggled to write anything. The only upside to the week was watching our modest little balcony garden grow.   Good news on the aphid front – I haven’t seen one in almost a week.  They little invaders seemed to enjoy the soap bath, but they didn’t survive the water spritz. I put some tomato leaves in a water spritzer and sprayed the peppers and morning glories. What do you know, it worked! Not a sign of an aphid.

I’m sure if any of my neigbours are on their balconies at night, when I’m doing my perimetre check for bugs, they must think I’m a mad woman. I mutter to the plants non stop. I’m embarassed to say, I even took a photo out to one of my under-performing pepper plants to show it what it’s supposed to look like. Didn’t help.

The little rose bush we planted is doing surprisingly well. I wasn’t sure it would. I bought it at the tail end of winter to cheer up the apartment and didn’t think it would do much. It’s tripled in size and beautiful, perfect little roses are now appearing. I tried to get a photo of the first rose, but I couldn’t get a decent shot, no matter what I tried. The colour balance was way off and the wind is a bit much today so nothing was in focus. I’ll try tomorrow.

So how about a potato instead?
Photo of potato plant growing on my balcony

We planted a potato in the late spring, more as a joke than anything. Didn’t expect it to grow and … well … there it is. Growing rapidly. If we get potatoes out of it, I think I might pass out from surprise. After no activity for a month, it’s grown over an inch in less than a week. And yes, those are weeds. Hard to fathom, but we get quite a few weeds up here on the 20th floor.

Quite happy, roses, potatos (ok, potato plant, no potatoes), tomatoes are starting to bud, one pepper plant is covered in itty bitty peppers, nasturiums in overdrive, cucumbers starting to show, herbs herbs herbs … not to bad.