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Congratulations Jackie for successfully mastering the Grow Box and for sharing your experience. Now we look forward to a lush garden that was promised you in 70 or so days. I am looking forward especially to the tomatoes.


After 52 years of taking care of a house, yard and garden, my husband and I decided to move to a retirement community and into an apartment. I had always planted flowers, taken care of bushes and tried to reach that unattainable goal of having a ‘no work’ perennial garden.

This year is the balcony gardening trial. After hearing that my brother-in-law was buying grow boxes for his deck since he and my sister are not able to work their garden, I decided to give it a try. Here is the situation so far.

First search the Internet for grow boxes, which leads me to all kinds of places to grow marijuana and other associated products. Then choose a box, yea, they come with wheels too. Order the box and the recommended grow mix, not dirt or soil mind you but a specialized product called grow mix. Then wait as the order comes in three separate deliveries over five days. Anxiously opening the boxes, I start reading the directions. First assemble the box, ok. Then do something to the grow mix that requires a consultation with my brother-in-law. Two days later I am set to begin again. Go to step two which says spread a specialized soil conditioner into the mix. Another trip to the nursery section. However, I read ahead and also noted that I needed to buy fertilizer. Good work, I’m ahead of the game.

Step four says to mix all the ingredients and then place the mulch cover over the box while snipping places for the planned plants. Who had time to buy plants yet?

OK, plants in place all mixtures ready, now it is time to really plant. So today is cold and a little windy, but I am an experienced gardener and am up to the job. Ha, balcony gardening has very little room for error and no place to sweep my mistakes or messes off to. Grow mix is light and blows around with the lightest wind, water always spills into the mix making mud pies on the balcony. So now I finally place the tomato plants, kohlrabi and sugar snap peas into the container and some marigolds just for color in the corner. Get it all done while only breaking one flower bud off and get set for step 10. Water the bottom part of the container through the fill tube as the system wicks water to the mix and plants grow magically. However, one last mess, step 10 says to water until the overflow holes spill out water. More mess for the balcony floor!

Ninety minutes later, two trips into the apartment, remove shoes, get water, return, replace shoes, water and watch the overflow spill all over the floor, sit back and enjoy. That’s when I decided it must be 5 o’clock someplace and found the appropriate libation.

I will keep you updated on this effort, or I may just knock on your door with delicious tomatoes in 70 days or so.

Contributed by: Jackie King

 

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1 thought on “Balcony gardening, or it must be 5 o’clock somewhere

  1. Loved the article-full of chuckles. There is a reason for Libby,Libby Libby on the can label. I learned my lesson long ago but admire your efforts. Keeping our fingers crossed for you.

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