Archive | Container Gardening RSS feed for this section

Balcony Garden of Eatin’ – Part 3

12 Jul

By Linda Kay Harrison

The weather has been warming up, staying fairly consistently in the 70’s, so our balcony garden is growing like crazy.    Koby’s  buttercrunch lettuce has grown so well it is over taking the marigolds in the center.  Koby is ready to make a salad.

The radishes Koby planted are growing well too.  She was so excited to see those first green leaves poke up through the soil.  When I had to thin them out, she was quite concerned that I should not be pulling those tiny seedlings, but look at them now!  Another two weeks and we’ll get to add radishes to our salads!

We have also added cucumbers to our ‘garden of eatin’.  Because space on our tiny balcony is limited, we’re trying them in a Topsy Turvy.   That’s a nifty little item that is usually used for growing tomatoes upside down.  (Dennis 7 Dees has these available for just $9.99.)  I’ve used them for tomatoes and they work great.  So we’re going to give it a try with cucumbers.   We’ll keep you posted on the upside down cucumber progress!

 

Let’s Talk Succulents!

6 Jul

Aloe

Oregon seems to have two types of environments, moist shade, and dry sun, with very little in between.  I’ve written previous post about plants for shade, but what about those hot dry areas?  Well,… let’s talk succulents!

‘Succulent’, literally means ‘juicy’, and is a term used for many types of plants like sedums and sempervivums that have a wonderful ability to hold moisture in their thick, fleshy leaves and stems.  This ability to retain moisture enables them to grow in hot, dry conditions with a lot of sun and very little water. Most are hardy to zone 3 or 4, and some are even evergreen. Succulents are perfect for rock gardens, xeriscapes and other dry areas with poor soil. However, they do not like clay soil, so be sure amend clay for better drainage. (Note: never mix sand with clay soil. Sand + clay = concrete.)

Cobweb Sempervirens

Ogon Sedum

There are hundreds, maybe even thousands of species of sedums, and many cultivars within each species.  They come in an amazing variety of textures and colors and usually have lovely, delicate blooms during different parts of the summer.

In addition to rock gardens and dry soil areas, succulents are fantastic for planters.  They look great in an old tin bucket or glass milk jug.  I’ve even seen them spilling out the top of an old boot.  They make great wreaths and topiaries, too.  With succulents, you are limited only by your imagination.  Just make sure they have plenty of sun, good drainage, and take care not to over water them.

Living Roof

 

Chicks & Hens

Succulents are also used for ‘living roofs’ which are becoming more and more common every year.  Living roofs on buildings have several benefits. They remove pollutants from the air and replace it with oxygen.  They use the rain rather than have it become a bothersome run-off.  And succulents are perfect for living roofs because they can withstand long periods without water, and have shallow roots, so it doesn’t take a lot of soil to grow them, keeping the weight on the roof to a minimum

Oh, and two more words on why succulents are so wonderful,… DEER RESISTANT!

Join us for a hands-on succulent container gardening workshop on the following dates: Saturday, July 14th – 10am @ Lake Oswego – Register Now! Saturday, July 14th – 10am @ Seaside – Register Now! Saturday, July 28th – 10am @ Cedar Hills – Register Now!

 

%d bloggers like this: