My First Garden! On a Balcony?!

Now that I’m actually planning on staying somewhere for more than 10 months for the first time in 6 (!!!) years, I can finally, FINALLY have a garden! Oh wait, I live in Berlin, a major city. While there are tons of community garden plots and city gardening efforts here, even for free, my life feels to busy and crazy at the moment to go somewhere else to garden, so balcony garden it is! When my flatmate and I were looking for apartments, we had two goals: That her room would be big enough to hula hoop in and that mine would have access to a balcony so I could grow things on it.

I have a small and humble balcony and it doesn’t even face south, but damn, I’m going to make use of it!

This is apparently the darkest winter in about 50 years in Germany, in fact it snowed last week, in April (kill me) so we got off to a late start. I have a day off today so I finally decided to get my garden going. I already have some mint and scallions going that I grew from cutting and kept inside over the winter. Some friends in northern Germany (their blog: Altenstühlen), whose farm I volunteered on through HelpX twice already, in January 2010 and again August 2012, were nice enough to send me some of their own seeds, after I mentioned how delicious their veggies were in an e-mail. Well, I finally got around to planting the seeds today!

Unfortunately I realized half way through I didn’t really have enough pots, so I stole my flatmate’s egg containers (thanks Nicole!) to use to get the tomatoes and peppers going. In the yellow one egg container I have two different types of peppers, in the brown one two different types of tomatoes, in the black bigger pot to the left is another type of tomatoes and to the right I planted a few Brutzwiebeln (bulbs?) of garlic. I think it’s the wrong time of year to plant garlic, but I’m going to try anyway. In fact, I just learned when looking up the German word Brutzwiebel, that there’s no exact equivalent in English (Incubation onion? hah.) I swear I’m not going to be able to speak any language soon.

So here is what I plan to somehow fit on my balcony:

– Tomatoes
– Peppers
– Garlic
– Jalapeno Chilis
– Thai Chilis
– Mint
– Scallions
– Cilantro
– Feldsalat (translator says mache or lamb’s lettuce? Sorry friends, all the packaging is in German and sometimes I’ve never seen these things in the States! #expatproblems)

I think I’ll also get some basil and kale out there, I’m going to browse Amazon.de for the seeds now!

What have you grown on your balcony? Any advice? I am totally new at this, but I’m super excited to finally have a garden of my own, even if it’s on the 4th floor of an apartment building!


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  1. Two years ao I tried one tomato plant. Big mistake. Basically it didn’t have a lover to cross pollinate it. We got one baby tomato… in October. It never ripened.

    This year I’m planting foxgloves (for decor) and baby lettuce for my bunny to snack on.

    Charlotte / Reply
  2. Oh no! I have 10 tomato seeds platned right now so hopefully some of them come up! Still nothing, but I guess it’s only been a few days! I am eagerly awaiting the results! Buying some kale and need to buy some pots for my chili peppers and then that will go this week! Good luck with your plants!

    Nicole / Reply
  3. […] chilies…all on my little balcony! Posts from my balcony garden’s infancy can be found here and here. There is no room for people anymore, you can clearly see my […]

  4. […] with me about writing something for the blog about microgreens. As you may have realized by my obsessive tendencies around my balcony garden last year, I love growing things…especially things I can eat. I […]

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