Friday, June 30, 2017

Portulaca Grandiflora - Excellent Choice for the Budget Balcony

my neglected Moss Rose
One of the difficulties with growing plants in containers on a balcony or patio is trying to keep up with watering them sufficiently. Plants in containers tend to dry out more quickly so they tend to need more frequent watering. It doesn't take long for a container plant to wilt and die from lack of water. Fortunately, I have found that the Portulaca Grandiflora (Moss Rose) continues to thrive on my balcony, even when I've not watered it as I should.

What are Portulaca Grandiflora?

Portulaca Grandiflora are also called Moss Rose. In the past, I wasn't very attracted to the moss rose
plants I've seen. Then one year, I saw these amazing, white Moss Rose flowers. Since then, I've had a pot of Moss Roses on my budget balcony each summer. And each summer I've been pleased with them.

I have recently returned from a week away from my apartment, during a heatwave, and the Moss Rose continues to do well while my other plants have either wilted or nearly died. I hadn't thought of asking someone to water my plants while I was away. Drought-tolerant is only one of the good traits about the Moss Rose.

  • does well in full sun
  • tolerates heat
  • prefers desert-like conditions
  • is an "easy" care plant
  • is easy to propagate (self-seeds or from cuttings)
  • is an annual, so it does not need overwintering care
  • is inexpensive and easy-to-find

the white Moss Rose that made me fall in love

Successful Budget Balcony Gardens

While gardeners who enjoy the act of gardening, budget balcony gardens are more successful with plants that are appropriate for the conditions found on your balcony or patio. My balcony is covered, so rainfall does not benefit my plants. My balcony is exposed to direct sun for the vast majority of the day. Plants that do the best on my balcony can tolerate full sun, heat, and sometimes drought. If you explore the plants that are suited to your balcony, you too can have a successful container garden on your balcony.

A brief video I found on Youtube about Portulaca Grandiflora:

*This article may contain affiliate links. If you shop via one of the affiliate links, I may earn a small commission - at no additional cost to you.  I am very appreciative of every reader who visits my articles. Thank you

Friday, June 16, 2017

Container Potato Experiment Update

The potato plants had withered away, so I planned on digging them up  this morning.  I was not sure whether they had died from the heat wave that had gone through or whether they had died as a natural part of the life of a potato plant.  I dug them up and this what I've found. I'll share what I've learned from this budget balcony potato experiment.

In February,  I decided to plant the potatoes that I had found sprouted in my kitchen and the Budget Balcony Garden Potato Experiment began.

What I Learned from My Potato Experiment

On my budget balcony, I tend to move my plants around frequently, depending on how they seem to be responding to the amount of light they are getting. I have learned that potato plants are very brittle and can break easily.  I broke two of the plants during re-positioning of the container. In the future, I will place the container where I want it and leave it alone.

Due to these potato plants being more brittle than other plants, their tendency to hang over the edge of the tub, and my nosy dogs, I will use a tomato cage to keep my plants upright and off the floor of the balcony (and out from under the feet of my nosy dogs) during my next potato experiment.

After reading about companion plants, I planted green beans in the container also. The beans are doing great. I will plant them this way in the future. But, I will not start the potatoes in the center of the tub.  I will plant the potatoes more to one side.

Having the green beans so close to the potato plants made digging the taters a bit more difficult. But only a bit. I'll spread them further apart next time.

Other than the proximity of the bean plants, the taters were so easy to dig! Much better than my failed attempts in gardens in the yard.

In the future, I will continue to plant potatoes in containers.  I like the ease of care, lack of bugs, and had the best-looking potato harvest I've ever had.  I think with practice, it will only get better.

container garden - half taters, half beans

*This article may contain affiliate links. If you shop via one of the affiliate links, I may earn a small commission - at no additional cost to you.  I am very appreciative of every reader who visits my articles. Thank you