With the US Thanksgiving holiday just a few days away, it seems fully appropriate that I was able to recently celebrate my first harvest from my balcony garden. It was a limited harvest – one beet, one radish, and two cherry tomatoes – but at least it is a start, right? For those of you who have missed my videos, I filmed and edited a new one to mark this momentous occasion.
The harvest was a small one, but I was excited with it nonetheless. On the left is a golden beet, on the right is a type of heirloom radish called a watermelon radish. It is supposed to have a light green skin with a pink interior. The skin was kind of a pinkish white instead. Behind the two roots are my carrots which are slowly growing.
Raindrops on the leaves of my third tomato plant. Once we hit the start of October – the end of rainy season – the weather rapidly changed. We’ve had significant rainfall only two or three times since then and my south-facing balcony has been bathed in direct sunlight for about 7 hours a day. The plants have definitely enjoyed the sun, although I’ve had to be diligent about watering.
One curious thing is that my tomato plants – both cherry and beefsteak – have had a problem with pollination. So far only two fruits have grown. I’ve not seen any bees around my plants but according to my online research, tomato plants are self-pollinating. One technique recommended in some videos is to give the plants a good shake to encourage the pollinating. So far that hasn’t seemed to help. Plenty of blossoms come and go, but few ever become fruit.
And there they are, my two cherry tomatoes. Organic, homegrown, and mighty tasty. Now if I could just get a few more of them off my plant, which is nearly three meters tall!
Inside of the watermelon radish. It had a nice flavor, less sharp than the conventional red radishes you see at the market.
Golden beet. I have only seen red beets sold in Thailand so was very excited to have golden beets. What I’ve decided, though, is that root vegetables are a poor use of limited container space. I need to focus on vertical plants – tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, etc. – where I can get more yield per square meter of soil. Of course, I guess the tomato plants haven’t really panned out yet, have they?
Here’s the video of the autumn 2011 harvest.
The healthy salad I made from mostly store-bought vegetables and my few container garden vegetables. The shredded golden beet is on top, some sauteed beet greens, and the radish. Success! Stay tuned for more gardening developments.
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