I’ve started a little garden on the balcony, and I’m scared.
The last time I attempted a garden, my roomie and I went straight to Home Depot. With dreams of heirloom tomatoes and basil, we spent $80 on soil, pots, and seedlings. In the end, we harvested exactly one cherry tomato. It was delicious and sun-warmed, and we each ate half.
Why was it the Balcony of Death? Because the sun is a mean bitch. If you need to torture your brother for info, just tie him down on a west-facing balcony. Be sure to skip the sunscreen and Gatorade. If you want to torture a plant, put it in a little pot on the Balcony of Death with no access to the cold, dark comfort of the ground.
I carried buckets of water for over a month, and just as the first tomatoes were ripening, Satan came in the form of a raccoon. He took one dirty bite out of each tomato. He knocked over pots and uprooted peppers for fun. As the coup de grace, he left us a headless bird as a calling card. The Balcony of Death was finished.
It’s taken me 5 years to venture forth again. This time, I’m armed!
1. A water strategy: bigger pots, plastic mulch, some self-watering containers.
2. An 8th-story balcony, which better fucking not have raccoon parkour.
3. Soil fueled by homegrown worm compost.
4. Biology. Instead of planting whatever Home Depot happens to have, I’ve picked my players. I’m deploying yellow cherry tomatoes (birds mostly aim for red fruits), marigolds and mint (unkillable), arugula (the sole survivor from the Balcony of Death), and miniature roses (tougher than full-size ones).
Time for a rematch.
Image credit: Letartean