It has been a while since I have written a garden update and a lot has happened since the last post. Now we are getting into the proper harvest time and I have already cooked a few times with the produce from the balcony. I love to see the plants grow, but there has also been a nuisance lately. We've made several rat sightings on the balcony and a few tomatoes have been gnawed a little. Currently we are only fighting them by sprinkling peppermint oil onto the balcony and I have also planted a few extra mint plants, as I heard that they can't stand the scent. Please share if you have any good humane rat repelling tips! I did some internet research and quite a few people seemed to release snakes to repel rats. Haha, I wonder how that would work out! I think we might get a humane trap and then will have to relocate the creature.
Now to the plants themselves. These small chillies are nicely colourful and they certainly pack a punch. I've been adding them to several dishes already and will dry the rest that I won't get the chance to use fresh.
The tomatoes are growing well and we've eaten some of them already. I'm growing tomato tigerella and koralik bush tomatoes. First I thought it would be tigerella only that came through, but now that the tomatoes are actually growing and starting to ripen, there is one bush of cherry tomatoes amongst the tigerella vines as well. It's great to have two variations growing. (p.s. the rats seem to prefer cherry tomatoes).
I've also already harvested some of the bell peppers and have four plants growing, which are all carrying fruit. They are more successful this year than previously.
The summer squashes, pattypans, are also edible and I've harvested them while they were fairly small, as then they are at their best. They look so cute and the plant hasn't taken over the whole balcony, it sits nicely in its corner.
Then to something slightly different, yet garden related. I'm always delighted to see bumble bees buzzing around my balcony, so I try to have some blooming flowers there at all times in the summer. It's horrible to think that these creatures are so much endangered. I recently donated for The Bee Cause by Friends of the Earth and they sent me this delightful Bee Saver Kit. The kit contains wildflower seeds, garden planner, bee spotter guide and step by step guide for saving bees. It's a really nice kit to get more bee knowledge and plan a bee friendly garden.
Have a good weekend!