InCaseOfZombies
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Just set up my new Urban Vegetable Balcony Garden! PICS

Hello all. First time poster here. I just set up my balcony veggie container garden. A little prematurely since the temps have dipped below 50 in my city but everything should warm up in 2 days so im hoping I don't lose anything. I have an average sized balcony and am trying to maximize my space. I added some shelves for lettuce, arugula, strawberries etc. The rest of the stuff went in 16" planters. I am using organic potting mix and will be fertilizing with castings and tea from my Worm Factory 360 in addition to other organic liquid fertilizers from the local hydro store.

The plants in the Pots are :
-Green Beans
-Celery
-Green Bell Pepper
-Early Girl Tomato
-Red Bell Pepper
-Neon Chard

On the Shelves:
-Salad Blend Mixed Greens
-Romaine Lettuce
-Bok Choi
-Strawberries

Sown in the peat pods:
-Arugula
-Mesculin

I have 2 extra Pots and am planning on planting sweet corn in one and cucumbers in the other one. I have a few pics and was curious what you guys think? The balcony gets fullish sun. Some parts of the roof cause a shadow to fall on certain parts of the balcony but I have wrapped the entire glass sliding doors with Mylar to reflect the sun's light back towards the balcony and hopefully help provide better light for my veggies.

Any tips/advice would be much appreciated Thanks! :D :D :D

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gumbo2176
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Re: Just set up my new Urban Vegetable Balcony Garden! PICS

You should do OK with the lettuces, salad greens etc. in the pots. If you planted leaf varieties of these you simply pinch or cut off individual leaves as you need them and let the plant produce more.

As for tomato and pepper plants, they need pretty large pots and do best when staked or caged for support. Tomato plants get huge and if left unsupported they will cascade over the pot onto the deck. Bell pepper plants are somewhat brittle and if they get a lot of fruit on them, they have a tendency to fall over or the stems break.

Cucumbers will climb or sprawl depending on how you want them to grow. I would not waste a pot with just a plant or two of corn. It simply isn't worth it and I doubt they would do well in a pot without falling over at some point in time.

What you have looks to be very healthy but just be aware that some of what you want to grow gets huge.

InCaseOfZombies
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Re: Just set up my new Urban Vegetable Balcony Garden! PICS

Thanks Gumbo. I was thinking about supports for the peppers and tomatoes. What would you recommend? Since I don't have actual dirt to install a larger support frame, how can I give the veggies support? Would the tomato cages be enough? Im thinking maybe I can Maguyver something that bolts onto the existing black bars behind the planters.

For the sweet corn, I saw a variety on Burpee (Corn On Deck Hybrid https://www.burpee.com/vegetables/corn/c ... 03168.html) that looked interesting. Willing to try it out. Thinking about cramming 8 stalks in one pot. It will look cool at the very least.

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That Worm Factory 360 Worm Composter looks sweet. My eyes practically hit the monitor screen when I saw your photo of the worms! :shock: I'm going to talk to my wife about getting one of those. I can compost food scraps, get fertilizer out of it and harvest worms for fishing, too!

gumbo2176
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Re: Just set up my new Urban Vegetable Balcony Garden! PICS

Thanks Gumbo. I was thinking about supports for the peppers and tomatoes. What would you recommend? Since I don't have actual dirt to install a larger support frame, how can I give the veggies support? Would the tomato cages be enough? Im thinking maybe I can Maguyver something that bolts onto the existing black bars behind the planters.

For the sweet corn, I saw a variety on Burpee (Corn On Deck Hybrid https://www.burpee.com/vegetables/corn/c ... 03168.html) that looked interesting. Willing to try it out. Thinking about cramming 8 stalks in one pot. It will look cool at the very least.

Personally, I'd let the tomato plants cascade over the pot onto the deck because it looks like space is at a premium. They shouldn't suffer the damage a plant will often sustain when coming into direct contact with the ground.

For the cucumbers, you can string some twine on the metal railings and let them climb on it. However, they will grow enough to block a lot of sunlight below the top rail of the enclosure as they fill in the space. Vining plants grow quite vigorously and take over an area in short time. Think Kudzu when planting cucumbers, pole beans, etc..

Corn likes to be planted close because it relies on contact with other corn plants to make the ears. The main reason I don't plant corn in my garden is when it is in season, it is so cheap at the market that it makes it not worth planting. Now, if my garden was 3-4 time the current size, I'd consider growing corn. But I'd rather plant things that are more economically feasible to grow and give me the most bang for my effort.

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rainbowgardener
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No, tomato cages just stuck in your pot will just fall over. Mine do anyway, even deep in the ground. You could tie tall bars to the balcony railing bars and tie (with nylons or soft cloth) your tomato stems to those.

You will need bigger pots for the tomatoes, though, and preferably should look for some dwarf tomato varieties (the tomatoes aren't necessarily dwarf, just the plants).

It looks great! I like it. If all you have is a balcony, grow some food on your balcony! Keep us posted on how it is going.
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InCaseOfZombies
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rainbowgardener wrote:No, tomato cages just stuck in your pot will just fall over. Mine do anyway, even deep in the ground. You could tie tall bars to the balcony railing bars and tie (with nylons or soft cloth) your tomato stems to those.

You will need bigger pots for the tomatoes, though, and preferably should look for some dwarf tomato varieties (the tomatoes aren't necessarily dwarf, just the plants).

It looks great! I like it. If all you have is a balcony, grow some food on your balcony! Keep us posted on how it is going.
Will do. Thanks for the tips!

sepeters
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Hi, InCaseOfZombies!
Are you in Glendale, CA. or Glendale, AZ? If you are in AZ, please feel free to PM me anytime you have a climate specific question, we can suffer through desert gardening together! Also, MarlinGardener lives in TX and has helped me a lot with advice, so look for some of those posts! Everyone here is really nice, you'll like it!
Your balcony garden looks great! I am so in love with your worm factory! Looks much better than the one I made!
Here in Tempe, my romaine and some of my red leaf lettuce is bolting, so try to keep it out of the sun as much as possible as it's starting to warm up. :)
You can use tomato cages for the peppers, they will need the support. I pretty much agree with everybody about the tomatoes. Let the indeterminate ones grow over the railing and out onto the deck. Just stake the bushing ones and tie them off when needed.

If you find you need to cage your potted Early Girls wait until you pot them up (they will need 5-10 gallon pots) and fill the pots with soil, then push in 3-4stakes at key poinst around the rim Think triangle or square) and firm the dirt around them. Put one central stake in the middle, plant the tomato, tie it to the center stake. Then wrap those outer stakes with chicken wire or that plastic fencing used on construction sites and tie the cage to the outer stakes. I use the plastic fencing because I think the metal cages get too hot where I live. Your tomatoes will outgrow the pre-made tomato cages very quickly.

If your green beans are pole beans they will get big and will need to be caged just like the tomatoes, but the bush beans are good candidates for the premade tomato cages, as are eggplants, ffr. :D
I'm excited for you!

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PunkRotten
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There is also a Glendale CA. I actually grew up there.

InCaseOfZombies
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sepeters wrote:Hi, InCaseOfZombies!
Are you in Glendale, CA. or Glendale, AZ?
Glendale California 8)

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No advice, but I think this looks fantastic. The shelving unit is a great use of space, and you seem to have the less sun-loving greens in there. I noticed the open rail balcony - excellent for light receipt. With full sun I imagine your plants will do fine, and I suspect the mylar might not be necessary (if you say full sun, I would assume you mean southern exposure?). I did tomatoes on a porch last year and (mostly) successfully staked them with bamboo stakes. Takes up no extra space.

I'll be starting up my own balcony garden this summer so this is all good inspiration. :)

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Happy Days
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Wow! Your balcony garden looks really nice. I am a big fan of container gardening.

I have been growing some of my tomatoes in hanging bags for several years now. It might be possible to "MacGuyver" a hanging set-up by attaching a Shepherd's Hook to your railing. I use cable ties to attach such things to my wrought iron deck railing. Easy to cut off when winter arrives here.

I've also tried peppers in the hanging bags but was not happy with the results. Tomatoes do fine for me.

Sorry for the poor quality photo (shot in bright light).
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InCaseOfZombies
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Happy Days wrote:Wow! Your balcony garden looks really nice. I am a big fan of container gardening.

I have been growing some of my tomatoes in hanging bags for several years now. It might be possible to "MacGuyver" a hanging set-up by attaching a Shepherd's Hook to your railing. I use cable ties to attach such things to my wrought iron deck railing. Easy to cut off when winter arrives here.

I've also tried peppers in the hanging bags but was not happy with the results. Tomatoes do fine for me.

Sorry for the poor quality photo (shot in bright light).
Image

That's pretty cool. I thought the whole topsy turvey thing was a gimmick. Maybe I can squeeze more plants on my balcony now!

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Your neighbors must be jealous. In the 80's I lived in a third floor apartment in NOLA. My balcony was a jungle. I agree with Gumbo - you need bigger pots for tomatoes and peppers. The visual appeal is wonderful :!: Cukes should do fine in "window box" planters. I would use a 36" for 2 plants. That will give enough room for the roots to grow latterly. Give them something to climb. Maybe tack some hog wire to the balcony rail and post. Oh if you are using plastic pots take the saucers off. Your pots do not need to be sitting in water. You also do not need a mosquito breeding ground.

If you are planting indeterminate tomatoes screw cup hooks into the balcony cover and run twine to the base of the tomatoes. Keep the side suckers pinched and train the main stem up the twine. No need for cages and awesome production. You can also root the suckers for later season plants.

Your balcony is beautiful :!:

Happy gardening and welcome to the forum.
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Living and growing in Lafayette, La.

When weeding, the best way to make sure you are removing a weed and not a valuable plant is to pull on it. If it comes out of the ground easily, it is a valuable plant. ~Author Unknown

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Happy Days
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InCaseOfZombies wrote:
Happy Days wrote:Wow! Your balcony garden looks really nice. I am a big fan of container gardening.

I have been growing some of my tomatoes in hanging bags for several years now. It might be possible to "MacGuyver" a hanging set-up by attaching a Shepherd's Hook to your railing. I use cable ties to attach such things to my wrought iron deck railing. Easy to cut off when winter arrives here.

I've also tried peppers in the hanging bags but was not happy with the results. Tomatoes do fine for me.

Sorry for the poor quality photo (shot in bright light).
Image

That's pretty cool. I thought the whole topsy turvey thing was a gimmick. Maybe I can squeeze more plants on my balcony now!
I did too until I tried them. Now I buy them at the end of the growing season when stores are clearing out their gardening stuff. I think I paid $5 for them. They last 3-4 years for me and they work great with less space, weight, etc. You do have to water them a bit more frequently than some other containers, but that's about the only caveat. And I love having the tomatoes up off the ground. They are rarely bothered by pests now.

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Urban Garden Update with pics

So I was a bit worried about the greens shooting for seed so I decided to move the whole greens cage to the other side of the balcony. This way, they'll only get sun until around noon and won't be exposed to harsh afternoon sun. I also added a thick layer of mulch on all the plants that are tall enough. The eggplant and little tomato are new transplants so I will wait a bit before covering their potting mix with mulch too. Hoping this mulch will limit the amount of watering i'll need to do once temperatures hit the 100's.

A Panorama of the whole balcony
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Greens Cage Moved
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Green Beans. Supposedly don't need trellising. We shall see.
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New Brandy Wine Transplant. I'm supposed to NOT pinch the suckers on this right?
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One of the Bell Peppers
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Arugula
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Early Girl has almost doubled in size. I've been pinching the suckers.
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Chard
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Celery
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Been Feeding with Worm Castings + these two:
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sepeters
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Your garden looks so good! Everything is getting big fast! Love those mild CA winters! Good plan with the lettuce, that should keep it from bolting for a while. 8) Since you have it in containers and it won't pop up like a weed out of season, you could let it go to seed and collect them for sowing later. I usually get the best germination from the romaine seeds.

I never thought of growing green beans in a pot. Looks like it's going well! If they are bush beans they don't really need a cage, but will benefit from some support. I see the cage in the background of the picture and I have actually used them for my blue lake bush beans in the garden bed by turning it upside down, tying the loose prongs together, direct seeding the beans around the outside by each vertical wire. It'll grow up along it, but not necessarily attached to it. This makes the beans easier to harvest and my bush beans seem to get bigger when they have support. Don't tie it to the cage though, in your hot summer the beans will naturally fall over somewhat to protect themselves from the heat. The cage might fit in your pot that way, and will definitely fit the other way, which may work better for your plant placement.

What all are you eating from your garden so far? :D

InCaseOfZombies
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sepeters wrote:Your garden looks so good! Everything is getting big fast! Love those mild CA winters! Good plan with the lettuce, that should keep it from bolting for a while. 8) Since you have it in containers and it won't pop up like a weed out of season, you could let it go to seed and collect them for sowing later. I usually get the best germination from the romaine seeds.

I never thought of growing green beans in a pot. Looks like it's going well! If they are bush beans they don't really need a cage, but will benefit from some support. I see the cage in the background of the picture and I have actually used them for my blue lake bush beans in the garden bed by turning it upside down, tying the loose prongs together, direct seeding the beans around the outside by each vertical wire. It'll grow up along it, but not necessarily attached to it. This makes the beans easier to harvest and my bush beans seem to get bigger when they have support. Don't tie it to the cage though, in your hot summer the beans will naturally fall over somewhat to protect themselves from the heat. The cage might fit in your pot that way, and will definitely fit the other way, which may work better for your plant placement.

What all are you eating from your garden so far? :D
That's a pretty cool idea. I will definitely try that. I think the tomato cage will actually fit upside down, but if it doesn't I could get a smaller sized one maybe. The only thing thats grown enough for me to harvest so far are the salad greens. Very tasty. Wish I had more so I could eat more lol. Can the outer leaves of the Romaine be harvested too? Some of them are drooping as new growth is growing out of the inner bulb. Im dying to eat them!

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Happy Days
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Yes, you can harvest the outer leaves of Romaine. Picking individual leaves may even slow bolting.

Also, when cutting the entire heads, you can leave a few leaves on the stem and the plants may then continue to sprout new leaves or even grow some little heads. Harvest these fairly quickly, as they will bolt quickly.

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I grew chard indoors for my daughter last winter and it never had any more than three leaves at a time because I kept picking a leaf as soon as one got big enough for a sandwich. :D

You say you are pinching the suckers on the early girl tomato, but I seem to see three growing tips? It looks almost too lush to me, though I tend to under fertilize mine. Is early girl determinate or indeterminate? I haven't grown that variety in ages and don't remember. Determinate varieties shouldn't be pinched because they grow branches that self-terminate with flower trusses.

Brandywine is indeterminate. Why did you say you are not pinching the suckers? (maybe I should read the rest of the earlier posts).... Do you know if this is a "Sudduth" strain? ...usually, it's the indeterminates that are trained to a single vine by pinching the branch stems/suckers to save space. But "Sudduth" strain Brandywine has a rep for being a poor producer (though some people say otherwise) and its also a later maturing variety, though everyone agrees that when the fruits are finally ready, they are scrumptious.

Be careful not to give the tomatoes (and other fruiting crops) too much nitrogen. People who use a lot of scheduled fertilizers way there is a point when you need to switch over to high blooming/fruiting fertilizer like tomato-tone.

sepeters
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Oh yeah, harvest the outer leaves of the romaine! And the chard is good raw when it's small like that. Your celery is big enough to harvest the outer leaves, too! :D

I'd like to offer a few celery tips because I struggled with celery for many years and it is difficult to grow in warm climates. If you want the celery to get nice and big and tall with thick stalks you'll want to side dress it with some compost/manure (small amounts) or 1 tablespoon granular fertilizer/soil once this month and again next month. Then continue fertilizing it as much as you do the tomatoes. Celery is finicky and an extremely heavy feeder! Don't transplant it if you can help it. If you let it get big you'll need to blanch it too, or it'll be bitter. Unless it is a self blanching variety.

I find blanched celery to be bland so I don't bother blanching mine anymore, it takes so long to grow large that I rarely harvest an entire head, except when it is time to get the seedlings out. I cut off all the outer stalks before they get too big and stringy and it grows more inner stalks. The leaves have a nice pungent celery flavor as well.

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Happy Days
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Thanks for the celery tips. What varieties do you recommend?
Last edited by Happy Days on Fri Feb 15, 2013 12:41 am, edited 1 time in total.

sepeters
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Happy Days wrote:Thanks for the celergy tips. What varieties do you recommend?
Tango is the go-to variety and would probably grow very well in your area. It grows smooth, juicy stalks, is more upright than many other varieties and responds well to blanching. It likes the cold and doesn't tolerate drying out at all, so I think your humidity would be good for it. It is a short season variety, but you will still need to start the seeds indoors. I start mine 2 months before I put it outside when it is beginning to cool down for fall, but you could probably start yours in the spring in your climate, if you get them sown asap. :wink:

I started with that, but it did not do well in the hot dry summers here and would go to seed prematurely.

Switched to a to a variety called red venture a few years back, the stalks don't get as thick as the tango and it is not very upright at all, but it is still pretty juicy and doesn't bolt til it's supposed to. It is more bitter in the summer months, but I mainly use it for soup or saute at that point. I have also started growing celeriac, which gets nice celery tops and has large, exceptional bulbs, that are not as fibrous as regular celery roots.

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Happy Days
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Thanks again. I also use celery mostly in soups and cooking but I do like to eat it raw sometimes.

I have thought about the celeriac and do believe I will try that. Are there varieties and, if so, which do you recommend?

sepeters
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Happy Days wrote:I have thought about the celeriac and do believe I will try that. Are there varieties and, if so, which do you recommend?
Happy Days- I am going to start a separate thread about celeriac so we don't take up too much room in here, and also so we can get the input of others. I myself have only grown one kind and am new to growing for the root. Lets see what everybody has to say! :wink:

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Good idea. :mrgreen:

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I've been pinching all the flower clusters on all the plants and feeding veg nutes to keep them in veg. I know eventually I will need to switch the tomato to fruiting nutes but I want to veg it as much as I can. Last year my balcony consisted of a single early girl tomato plant which I maintained in this way. The fruit was incredibly bountiful and delicious. Believe it or not, ALL suckers have been pinched. None of what you see in the pics is a sucker. If it looks "too lush", I will credit the nutes :-)

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The time has come to switch some of the plants to flowering nutes. The bell peppers and early girl tomato have been growing well. I've been pinching all their flowers so far. Wanted to keep them in veg as much as possible. Here are the new nutes I will be be using:

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My mixing bucket with an airstone. The main purpose here is to evaporate the chlorine but it does a fine job of keeping the mixture aerated and the nutrients evenly dispersed. Stinks up my kitchen with all the kelp and whatnot.
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One of the Bell Peppers looking a little sad. I think I overfed this past week:
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Early Girl Tomato:
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The rest of these guys will continue on their regiment of high nitrogen nutes.

The brandy wine has almost doubled in size:
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Chard and Zuccini off to the right:
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Romaine has already been picked twice (outer leaves). Had an outbreak of aphids. Those scum bastards. Neem oil did absolutely nothing so I had to use non-organic stuff unfortunately but it worked and the nightmare is over:
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Mixed Greens and Arugula sprouts seem to be growing slower than i'd like. I think they need more sun:
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Has anyone else used these nutes before?

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applestar wrote:I grew chard indoors for my daughter last winter and it never had any more than three leaves at a time because I kept picking a leaf as soon as one got big enough for a sandwich. :D

You say you are pinching the suckers on the early girl tomato, but I seem to see three growing tips? It looks almost too lush to me, though I tend to under fertilize mine. Is early girl determinate or indeterminate? I haven't grown that variety in ages and don't remember. Determinate varieties shouldn't be pinched because they grow branches that self-terminate with flower trusses.

Brandywine is indeterminate. Why did you say you are not pinching the suckers? (maybe I should read the rest of the earlier posts).... Do you know if this is a "Sudduth" strain? ...usually, it's the indeterminates that are trained to a single vine by pinching the branch stems/suckers to save space. But "Sudduth" strain Brandywine has a rep for being a poor producer (though some people say otherwise) and its also a later maturing variety, though everyone agrees that when the fruits are finally ready, they are scrumptious.

Be careful not to give the tomatoes (and other fruiting crops) too much nitrogen. People who use a lot of scheduled fertilizers way there is a point when you need to switch over to high blooming/fruiting fertilizer like tomato-tone.
Because I saw a few youtube videos advising not to pinch brandy wine suckers. Anyone can make a video though. Was hoping for a more concrete answer. Should I? There are two tiny suckers forming and if its necessary i'd like to pinch them now.

Thanks!

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Happy Days
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I haven't used those particular nutrients but your plants are looking good! I am always big on fish emulsion and such.

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You do know the Neem oil is not a poison that kills on contact? It works after ingestion, as a biodisrupter, interfering with the insects' processes, including ability to eat & procreate. It takes a little while to see results. It may be that the Neem was working fine and you just didn't give it enough time.

However it has to be ingested, so it works better against leaf eaters. The aphids are suckers not chewers, so they may not ingest enough just boring through.

Soapy water should work against the aphids. Or you can just squish them -- they are slow and stupid and just sit there and let you do that. I have a couple plants that get covered in aphids every spring. I just go over them with a tissue, squishing everything. That seems to take care of it, and they don't come back until the next spring.
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InCaseOfZombies
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rainbowgardener wrote:You do know the Neem oil is not a poison that kills on contact? It works after ingestion, as a biodisrupter, interfering with the insects' processes, including ability to eat & procreate. It takes a little while to see results. It may be that the Neem was working fine and you just didn't give it enough time.

However it has to be ingested, so it works better against leaf eaters. The aphids are suckers not chewers, so they may not ingest enough just boring through.

Soapy water should work against the aphids. Or you can just squish them -- they are slow and stupid and just sit there and let you do that. I have a couple plants that get covered in aphids every spring. I just go over them with a tissue, squishing everything. That seems to take care of it, and they don't come back until the next spring.

I used it for a week straight before I resorted to chems. Guess you are right, the aphids are suckers they don't eat the leaves.

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Re: Just set up my new Urban Vegetable Balcony Garden! PICS

Here's a quick update!

The whole garden
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The brandywine has tripled in size!
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Up close shot of Brandywine Flowering:
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The Early Girl being trained up 5 stakes:
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And up close:
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Chard has already been harvested 2 times. So delicious:Image

Eggplant has started to bud. You can also see what's left of the Romaine off to the right:
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Strawberries. I wish I had more space to plant more! 1 treat a week is too much of a tease:
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Zucchini:
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This herb garden is the most recent addition. Apple Mint, Regular Basil, Boxwood Basil, Sage and German Thyme:
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How does it look?

Dillbert
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Re: Just set up my new Urban Vegetable Balcony Garden! PICS

how does that look? spectacular - nice work!

ref
"The brandywine has tripled in size!"

some dude in a shark movie said it best when it comes to Brandywines....
"You're gonna need a bigger boat . . . "

mine routinely go to 5-6 high & 6-8 feet in diameter.
pruners,,,, pruners are your friend (g)

JayPoc
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Location: Virginia, The mountains Zone 6a/6b

Re: Just set up my new Urban Vegetable Balcony Garden! PICS

It looks awesome, but I can't help but wonder....how much did all this cost? With planters, and soil, and fertilizers, and treatments, etc., etc.

I think at the end of the day it looks like you're gonna spend about 300 bucks and a lot of hard work to raise about 200 bucks worth of veggies...

sepeters
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Joined: Sun Jan 06, 2013 3:24 pm
Location: AZ, zone 9

Re: Just set up my new Urban Vegetable Balcony Garden! PICS

Everything looks great! Is that the zucchini to the left of the romaine? Or the eggplant? (I must be goin blind.) I was wondering if I could put squash in a pot...now I know! :mrgreen: I love how we all learn from each other here!

Betcha can't wait to eat those brandywines!!! :lol: The romaine is getting tall because it is beginning to bolt and will flower soon. Do you plan to collect seed from it?

Sure, you may have spent more money on the initial investment of the pots, soil, ferts, etc, than you will save the first year, but that is typical of any first year garden. You'll be able to use all that stuff for several years to come with only a small investment to amend the soil and buy new fert. Besides, there are few hobbies as rewarding as gardening and the benefits you reap are much larger than the harvest ever will be.

InCaseOfZombies
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Joined: Tue Jan 29, 2013 10:08 am
Location: Glendale, CA

Re: Just set up my new Urban Vegetable Balcony Garden! PICS

You guys are all correct. The initial investment cost me about $200. I did not start this project as a means to save money. Truthfully it was a combination of watching The Walking Dead and Doomsday Preppers that got me wondering about what would happen if there was some kind of a disaster (see my username)? I live in the city. All the supermarkets would be empty in a week. Not owning a home or having any kind of land to cultivate I was curious if I really could survive on my own. Granted the plants I have right now will not produce enough food to keep me alive for long but I wanted to see if it was even possible to grow food in such a small space. This was mostly an experiment and also a hobby. I work in the high-stress industries of real estate and finance. Watering the plants "in my garden" is remarkably good therapy and helps me get my mind off things. :-() :-() :-()

InCaseOfZombies
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Joined: Tue Jan 29, 2013 10:08 am
Location: Glendale, CA

Re: Just set up my new Urban Vegetable Balcony Garden! PICS

Dillbert wrote:how does that look? spectacular - nice work!

ref
"The brandywine has tripled in size!"

some dude in a shark movie said it best when it comes to Brandywines....
"You're gonna need a bigger boat . . . "

mine routinely go to 5-6 high & 6-8 feet in diameter.
pruners,,,, pruners are your friend (g)

I was told not to remove the suckers on this particular variety of tomato. The early girl however does not have any suckers. They have all been pinched. Im glad you are experienced with this variety....please give me any tips or suggestions. Thanks!

InCaseOfZombies
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Joined: Tue Jan 29, 2013 10:08 am
Location: Glendale, CA

Re: Just set up my new Urban Vegetable Balcony Garden! PICS

sepeters wrote:Everything looks great! Is that the zucchini to the left of the romaine? Or the eggplant? (I must be goin blind.) I was wondering if I could put squash in a pot...now I know! :mrgreen: I love how we all learn from each other here!

Betcha can't wait to eat those brandywines!!! :lol: The romaine is getting tall because it is beginning to bolt and will flower soon. Do you plan to collect seed from it?

Sure, you may have spent more money on the initial investment of the pots, soil, ferts, etc, than you will save the first year, but that is typical of any first year garden. You'll be able to use all that stuff for several years to come with only a small investment to amend the soil and buy new fert. Besides, there are few hobbies as rewarding as gardening and the benefits you reap are much larger than the harvest ever will be.

Yes. I am going to attempt to harvest seeds from everything I grow if possible. I've never done it before though. Any tips? Th anks.

Dillbert
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Location: Central PA

Re: Just set up my new Urban Vegetable Balcony Garden! PICS

>>removing suckers
everybody has a theory on this one. I've never seen any definitive "proof" one way or the other that removing / leaving suckers does "X"

I've grown Brandywines since the '70's - most years they go gangbusters; now and then they don't - likely more weather related during fruit set than anything else.

I don't pinch out the suckers on any of my tomato plants - because I'm too lazy and I always have more tomatoes than I can eat . . . .

frequently a tomato will send off a limb in the bad / wrong / inconvenient direction - which I promptly prune off. but that's all they get in terms of 'artificial' management.

>>saving seeds
I didn't take note earlier - but if you're growing hybrid varieties, seeds won't come true - making that exercise not so valuable.

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