Last year I built three 3′ long planter boxes from 2×4′s. The planters worked out well but the plants I grew in them were not well suited for the sun exposure on my balcony (Eastern exposure, very direct and hot). Im trying a potted garden this year so I can move plants around depending on the weather (something that wasnt possible in the heavy 3 foot planters).
I love the way the 2×4′s weathered over the winter so I dismantled the planters and worked up this simple design. I was able to incorporate several old 2×2′ and a couple left over pressure treated 1.5″ rails. I now have much less scrap wood on my balcony and a nifty new 6′ bench with built in storage! The only down side is finding more weathered 2×4′s to make additional benches/plant stands. Hit me up if you have any and live in the DC area!
Over the last couple weeks I have been getting my porch ready for new spring planting. I was surprised by just how many plants had survived the (mild) winter. The biggest surprise was the swiss chard. The red and yellow stalks looked just as strong as they were when I ‘forgot’ about my plants mid november.
The spiky cactus things (succulents?) did really well and have a nice new purple hue.
The Mint that was thriving last winter is coming back… this little sprig has turned into a full grown plant over the last 2 weeks!
The huge warty pumpkin I left out dried out into a husk. I think something was living inside it at one point. The outside was a pretty cool texture.
After the missteps of last years potted garden I decided to build some nice deep planters. Hopefully this new configuration will end up giving the plants enough space and soil to really thrive. Fingers crossed!
Last night at dinner I served some really great Swiss Chard. Chomping on the stems is kind of amazing. The beet juices are so sweet and addictive!
Some people find the raw leaf bitter but I love it (and recommend serving it whole leaf raw with about half of the stem removed).
Saturday tradition… Giving the plants a 30 minute soak with a little miracle grow.
Every Thursday there is a farmers market on 8th st. It starts around 3pm and goes on until 7… over the last couple months I have found some awesome deals here… I got 5 medium jade plants for 2 dollars each, I got four tubs of baby heirloom tomatoes for 10 bucks, I got a whole basil plant for 3 bucks… Aside from the deals there is a great baker that sets up… he has just about everything, including Quark bread which is this awesome semi sweet german bread with Quark cheese in it. You gotta check it out. It between the Navy Archives and the Portrait Gallery. See you there!