Saturday, July 30, 2016

Onions and Leek

I seeded some Kale today in the space I had left in the onion container. The Spanish onions I planted in that container are doing well. A couple have stopped growing and don't look like they'll get any bigger. But the others are doing well and expanding their bulbs. We've had a few days of really strong wind so I positioned some sticks in the container to prop up the tops of some of the onions. A couple of leaves bending over is ok, but I don't want the tops to fold over entirely. Not yet anyway.

In that container I also planted a single leek. Most of the leeks I transplanted I'm growing in a bucket. But for some reason I decided to try growing just one plant in the onion container. It gets more sun than the others. I believe it was one of the weaker leek transplants I planted and after a month of thinking it wasn't growing it now appears to be doing quite well.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

First Official Harvest

I'll call this the first official harvest of the season because it's the first of the tomatoes. I've been averaging a strawberry a day for the past month now and they are still flowering. The tiny tom tomatoes are starting to ripen too but everyone around here is more interested in the black cherry tomatoes.

The scarlet runner beans are now full enough to block out the sun from the window behind the trellis. I'm constantly trimming the tops of new vines that overhang the top. It's starting to get crowded out their now. And in my attempt to tame the cantaloupes I managed to snap off the end of one of my plants. Fortunately it was already sending out secondary vines so it should be ok. The plants have some male flowers out now but the vines still have a long way to go.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Modified Water Faucet Timer

I bought this water faucet timer a while ago thinking I could use it as part of a system for watering my plants while I was away. But it requires a minimum water pressure to work properly. Using it inline with a gravity feed system won't work. It's been sitting around here not doing anything for a while now so I figured I should open it up and see what makes it work. Turns out to be pretty simple inside. And by enlarging a tiny hole in a rubber diaphragm, I was able to get it to work the way I originally hoped it would.

When active, the flow rate is something like 2 gallons an hour. That's good enough for me. And it will likely be more with more water in the 5 gallon bucket I use as a reservoir. It leaks just a little bit when shut off but that's ok. So now I can string out some waterline and tee off to a few drippers or something and actual put this thing to use watering my plants when I'm not around.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Scarlet Runner Beans

Lots of flowers on the bean plants now and the trellis is covered. But the plants are taking a beating in the high heat and wind. The leaves sustain lots of damage from constantly rubbing up against one another. I think part of the problem is my decision to use heavy cord for support. It sways around too much in the wind. Perhaps using poles that are fixed to the frame would prevents the plants from moving around as much.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Bushy Tiny Tom Tomatos

There are two tiny tom tomato plants in this container and they've been thriving. I grew these last year but they didn't get this bushy. Lots of little tomatoes. But I remember they didn't taste all that great. I had low expectations for these plants but they seem to be doing well.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Peppers and Strawberries

I planted Hungarian wax peppers and fresca strawberries in similar sized containers. I had planned to build stands to put these up higher along the balcony half wall so they could get more sunlight. But so far I haven't got around to doing that. For now they sit on stools just higher enough to get them a couple extra hours of sunlight. I didn't think it would be enough but they seem to be producing. But I still want to get them up higher.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Still climbing

The beans have crawled half way up their trellis. And the tomatoes are stretching out along theirs. By next week the beans will have reached the top of their trellis and the leaves will start to fill out. But it will be a while before I see flowers and beans. The black cherry tomato plants have set some fruit with lots more flowers to go.

The next couple of days are suppose to be really hot (for Toronto): low 30's. Things are going to get very wilted on the balcony late this afternoon. Hopefully it won't be too windy. 

Saturday, July 2, 2016


I started these leeks inside in the spring and transplanted them out at the end of May. One month later and I don't see all that much growth. Maybe they need more light. Some were leaning too much so I created small collars with wire and duct tape to help hold them up in these early going days.  The duct tape is there to protect the leaves from getting damaged by the wire collar.