A Growing Garden

Dan and I have a pretty spectacular balcony garden growing. It turns out, California winter really is mild enough for plants to thrive.

Last update, we had a few plants growing; most of them had yet to germinate. In the last few weeks, the growth has been tremendous. I also got a little bit excited and purchased more seeds to fill out gaps in the garden. Many of those seeds will go into the ground during the summer months, after the first solid harvests.

To track what has been planted and how much, I came up with this handy spreadsheet:

It tracks what I've planted, when I planted it, how much I've planted, when it will germinate, and when it should be ready to harvest. Of course it isn't all accurate. My green beans should be ready to harvest in 5 days, but many don't even have 3 leaves yet. The cold weather has definitely slowed growth.
So far, the radishes and the mesclun are absolutely thriving. I also have the lettuce inside, which is growing quite nicely. One of my cabbages has died, and I'm trying to decide whether to replant or repurpose the pot.

The carrots are showing minimal above ground growth, but I imagine they are working their magic underground. They are just about ready to be thinned again so that I can check their progress.
The beets were planted recently, but quickly shot up bright red stems. I expect they'll continue to grow nicely, as they're definitely cool weather plants.

In addition to the plants listed, we have several herbs--cilantro, basil, thyme, chives and potentially parsley. (I planted a slew of herbs and gave up on them before they germinated. They're now sprouting up in an otherwise abandoned section.)

We also have three citrus trees--a lemon tree, a lime tree and a kumquat tree. The lemon tree is absolutely thriving in the California climate.  It has grown tremendously and is starting to display the early signs of fruit.

Baby lemons.
The lime tree was less happy about CA winter. Once we disposed of our Christmas tree, I brought the lime tree indoors to take its place. It has since started to grow rapidly, including an abundance of new branches. A little bit of reading about proper watering also improved its health.

The kumquat tree is a recent addition, purchased with fruits already adorning its branches. I have it in a reasonably sunny location, just hoping the fruits ripen fully. I haven't had an opportunity to buy a larger pot for it, so it's currently living in the black nursery pot it came with.

The cucumber and tomato seedlings are growing well in our living room. I'm looking forward to transitioning them outdoors, and seeing if they survive the shock.

I still have enough soil and space for a few more plants, but I'm waiting until the weather is a bit warmer. I'm hoping to plant some in early spring (mid- to late February) for an early summer harvest, and again in late spring once the winter plantings are harvested.

Let me know what you think by leaving a comment or emailing me at piquantprose [at] gmail [dot] com.

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