It’s been almost 2 months since I first posted about my balcony garden. I figured it was time for an update on how things are going (err.. not going…).

Things I’ve Learned

Remember when I said that our balcony only gets a ‘partial’ amount of sun? Well, this is still true. But because it’s mostly direct sun for those few hours, the sunlight actually gets reflected off the walls, ceiling, and floor of the balcony. This makes it far more concentrated than what I previously thought. This means that my plants were essentially getting an equivalent of 6-9 hours of sunlight each day. Oops.

Secondly, I also underestimated the amount of water my little plants would need. I was casually watering the group every other day or so. Given the information above (re: getting parched for hours on end) this was definitely not adequate enough. Double oops.

My Garden Now

My kale appears to be doing well. I’ve also heard that kale is a pretty resilient and hard-to-kill plant. Considering my overlooked snafus above, I’m still giving myself a pat on the back for keeping the kale alive.

Balcony Garden Update | A Taste of Trace

My spinach bit the dust. After I discovered the too-much-sun, not-enough-water mistake, it was too late. There was never enough water to plump up the permanently shriveled leaves. And no matter how often I plucked off the pending blooms, my spinach appeared determined to bolt.

Balcony Garden Update | A Taste of Trace

My romaine is kind of in a weird Schrödinger’s cat situation where it’s not quite dead, but not quite alive either. All of the leaves on the stalks shrivelled up and died, but there remain a few teeny leaves at the very tops of the stalks that are green and vibrant and determined to grow despite the fact that their fellow brethren have fallen.

Balcony Garden Update | A Taste of Trace

My oregano seems to be doing well, as does my citrus thyme. The cilantro is still as dead as ever (and I don’t have the heart to upend the container into the compost bin). In a surprising turn of events, my basil seems to have done a 180 and is now fully green and all three original plants are back in action! I mentioned in May that two of the three had more or less died, but some gardening god seems to have spared them, for now! My green onions are thriving, which is great. I’ll definitely move them inside in the fall since they’re so easy to grow!

Balcony Garden Update | A Taste of Trace

Finally, there’s a new addition to my garden! Mac’s mom gifted me a mint plant! Some leaves are starting to turn a dangerous shade of yellow, but I’m determined to not let this plant go the way of the cilantro & spinach!

Balcony Garden Update | A Taste of Trace

Moving Forward

I’ve definitely upped my watering routine and am now plucking herb & kale leaves with reckless abandon. I think my biggest issue with this balcony garden is that I’m kind of scared to harvest my veggies! There’s a mild (irrational?) fear that when I cut some leaves off they won’t grow back! Still, I’m enjoying sampling of the “fruits of my labour”* and seeing how rewarding it is to know exactly where (some) of my food is coming from!

*Fruits = a meager assembly of greens and herbs. Labour = lackluster TLC.