4th of July weekend

The holiday weekend started Thursday evening with stormy weather of gusty winds, heavy rain, lighting, and thunder. We had to secure our tomato plants from being blown over, and bring down our young plants that were sitting on the mahogany desk. A few were knocked over in the process due to strong winds. We got slightly wet because the winds also blew the rain into the balcony while we were tying up the tomato plants. While securing the tomato plants, I noticed many tomatoes were growing from where blossoms used to be. It was a pleasant sight despite the terrible weather we were facing.

Baby tomatoes!

Baby tomatoes!

When the rain passed, I decided to transplant the long purple cayenne pepper plants into one of the trough containers. When I went to gather up the supplies, I felt something touch my back. I thought I had brushed up against one of the tomato plants. When I turned around, something flapped away.

We have a pigeon problem on the balcony. TH has long suspected that these pair of pigeons are trying to make a nest especially in the vicinity of the mahogany desk. He wasn’t able to find a nest and they would return every so often even after we try to shoo them away.

Well, that evening, I found the nest. It was underneath the desk. I told TH about the nest and he came out with the broom and dust pan. He stuck the broom under the desk and tried to sweep the nest out. Bits of nesting material was swept out but a bulk of it still seemed to be jammed under the desk. TH tried harder to sweep the contents from under the desk. To our surprise, he swept out a chick. Yes, a pigeon chick! There were two chicks hiding out underneath the desk. Both chicks were removed but there was more work to be done to fully get rid of what the pigeons had established. I moved the desk some more and revealed a smelly mess that required cleaning solution, bleach, and a heavy duty hard bristle brush. Ugh!

The long purple cayenne pepper plants were transplanted that evening. The cayenne pepper plants were started from seeds. And of the ones I planted, four grew to be successful plants. These plants have purple blotchy markings on the leaves and stems. I’m looking forward to harvesting cayenne peppers in the fall.

Long purple cayenne plants

Long purple cayenne plants.

I remembered to bring the make up brush and made another attempt to pollinate the dragon’s egg cucumber blossom. Female blossoms that were not pollinated wither and will eventually fall off the stem. There was one female blossom that was open. Hopefully, I was successful.

*****

Shishito pepper plants

Shishito pepper plants.

Independence Day was not spent all in the garden. TH did clean up the pigeon mess. He also helped me to amend the potting soil, which we used when transplanting the shishito pepper plants to another trough planter. Three shishito plants, and another set of three shishito seedlings were transplanted to the trough container. These pepper plants were slow to start and establish, which is why I have plants at two different growing stages. Hopefully now that they’re in a more spacious and permanent growing container, the seedlings will catch up with the more mature plants.

I harvested more beans from the Calima bean plant. With the harvest from this past Sunday and today, I had enough to serve as a side dish with our BBQ chicken and potato salad. The beans tasted great especially the Rocquencourt beans.

Calima string beans

Saturday was spent away from the garden, not to my dismay. 😉

Sunday was busy reorganizing the balcony so young plants that were recently transplanted got optimal sun exposure. Our balcony faces west so we’re already not getting the best direct sun exposure. We also needed to maintain an aisle so we may get to all the plants with our 1.3 gallon watering can. And the plants needed to be spaced in such a way that they get good circulation around the leaves otherwise, the plants will be susceptible to disease like powdery mildew. Disease can spread quickly when plants are placed too close to each other.

Rhapsody Garden

The balcony garden filled with plants producing tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, and beans.

We were able to give a few plants away so that was good. I transplanted a few remaining plants into a large planter (half barrel) that used to hold a Japanese maple tree. I’ve got a couple of tomato plants, pepper plants, and basil in this container. I may sprinkle some herb seeds.

Dragon's egg cucumber blossom

Female blossom of the Dragon’s Egg cucumber plant.

Male cucumber blossom

Male blossom of the Dragon’s Egg cucumber plant.

Can you guess which one was successfully pollinated by hand?

One of these blossoms was successfully pollinated. Can you guess which one?

The Dragon’s Egg cucumber blossom that I pollinated was a success. I noticed the blossom had withered and the bulge is bit bigger today. This encouraged me to pollinate the other blossoms, which also included the Sour Mexican Gherkins. These guys are so tiny!!

Sour Mexican Gherkin blossom

I love how tiny this is!

I discovered more tomatoes growing, and was able to identify them as the German Red Strawberry tomatoes. As the name suggests, these tomatoes are shaped like strawberries.

German red strawberry tomatoes

The shape of these tomatoes helped me to identify which variety I’m growing.

The following are some miscellaneous photos of the balcony garden.

Sour Mexican Gherkins

The Sour Mexican Gherkins growing like crazy.

Dragon's Egg plant

Planter with Dragon’s Egg cucumber plants.

Lavender plant

Lavender plant surrounded by tomato plants and other herbs, click on the image to read more.

Alliums and marigolds

Planter with marigolds and alliums, click on the image to read more.

I can’t believe the weekend is over! Here’s to happy gardening.

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