Urban gardening update

Hey everyone – I bet you’re just dying to know how things are going on the urban gardening front!  :-) Well, look no further: here’s an excruciatingly detailed update, from a very proud gardening mama. Wait, don’t go away yet! There’s lots of nice pictures of plants and stuff.

So, after the last post, the herb garden got a few new add-ons since we decided to adopt a pepper and two tomato plants. They were small and dainty, and I thought we could lovingly raise them on the windowsill till it became warm enough to move them to the balcony.

young tomato plants

They apparently felt quite cozy in front of our very sunny window, and after getting used to their new home they started growing like mad! We moved them out on the balcony as soon as it was warm enough, where they proceeded to flower,

Tomatoes flowering

and grow some more:

growing tomato plants on the balcony

We get a lot of sun on the balcony, and with consistent watering, some pruning and more and more soil, both the tomatoes and the pepper were thriving. We had to keep replanting them all the time, since they outgrew every single pot we put them in… Look at how big those babies have become!

Growing tomatoes on the balcony

Growing Pepper Plants on the Balcony

Growing Tomatoes on the Balcony

Since the summer was very slow to join us here in Freiburg, this balcony vegetable patch has also been quite the late bloomer, but we did get some tomatoes, that I obsessively watched grow from green…

Green Tomatoes

…to a sort of greenish red (whilst remaining quite small, to be honest):

Tomates reddening up!

And the pepper is not doing too bad either! We had a little accident and knocked off a branch with about three peppers on it, but the one pepper that survived kept growing at a dizzying speed (well, so to speak).


And here’s the first harvest! One pepper, and three tiny but delicious tomatoes. Notice the cracks in them – apparently tomatoes crack mainly due to irregular watering patterns. Hmm… I guess we still need to work on the “consistent watering” bit. Travelling around is apparently not very good for the plants…

Balcony harvest

And it looks like there’s much more to come, if the weather holds out just a little bit longer (though it doesn’t look like it will).


Growing tomatoes on the balcony

Growing tomatoes on the balcony

Soo… the tomatoes were absolutely delicious, and the pepper was quite good, and it did feel pretty cool to have a proper home-grown salad. I enjoyed watching them grow and rubbing their leaves in the morning to get that intoxicating tomato vine smell. But my true favorite in that balcony garden lies somewhere else. I was tending the basil seedlings one morning, when I noticed something strange – something else was growing in the basil pot!


growing lemon trees at home

After looking at the three strange and seemingly very robust seedlings from all angles, I suddenly realised – they were lemon trees! Tiny, shiny, healthy mini lemon trees. Some time ago, following this advice, I had planted a few seeds from the lemons I’d brought from my parents’ garden in Greece in that pot, hoping they’d sprout. They were taking sooo long, so I gave up on them, scrapped the project and replanted the basil seedlings in the same pot. And then suddenly, weeks and weeks later, there they were!  I was so excited, and kept telling everyone about my three lemon trees – which led to some confusion, let me tell you, since people kept trying to figure out how I could possible have three lemon trees on my balcony. I let them hang out with the basil a little bit longer, since they clearly liked it there, and watched them grow from day to day…

Growing lemon trees at home

…till they were big enough to move out and get their own place:

How to grow lemon trees at home

And now, hardly a month later, look at how they’ve grown (the two others are also doing fine btw, this one just happens to be more photogenic)!

Grwoing lemon trees from seeds

I couldn’t be more proud.

Growing lemon trees from seeds

So that’s the riveting story of my greatest gardening accomplishment to date. Now that the little ones are established and look like they’ll make it, I can start thinking of names :-). Any suggestions?

And here’s the basil, by the way: also loving the balcony life. Time to find a good pesto recipe!

Grwoing basil on the balcony

Growing basil on the balcony

Tell us what you think!