Wrapping Up the Growing Season

I’ve posted several times before about my terrace garden. I just love it. I clearly NEED to grow things. Cheaper than therapy!

The growing season is drawing to a close here in Vienna. Yes, in early September it’s already down into the 50s at night. Brought in some good looking green beans and cherry tomatoes today. The green beans are tasty, and easy to grow, but I have concluded that it’s probably not worth growing them in containers. You just can’t grow enough in that small space to make it worthwhile.

Cherry tomatoes, on the other hand, are a definite winner. I bought two random plants at the grocery store and they went totally nuts, producing dozens of nice little tomatoes for salads.

Basil is another winner. It loves a hot metal roof. I have a freezer full of pesto, and one last plant still producing leaves for insalate Caprese, and other basil-y delights. Parsley did well too–in fact, so well, that I could hardly use it before it bolted.

Chard and spinach: check and check. Easy to grow, thin ’em out for salad, use the full -grown leaves for side dishes, pizzas, and soups. I cut them back, and another crop pops out. And there are no slugs seven floors up!

Greens are awesome. Especially when they are CRAZY expensive locally. I won’t go so far as to save my terrace garden saved money this year, but I bet it at least broke even. That isn’t difficult to do when chard is about 5 bucks for one little bunch at the grocery store.

Lettuce was another winner, if a bit delicate. I learned that it didn’t want to be on the roof. It prefers a little shade every day. That said, it is enjoying the cooler September weather, and I’ll probably be eating it for another six weeks. at least, along with the spinach and chard.

Zucchini was a problem. Apparently, there weren’t enough bees around on a city rooftop to pollinate it. I only got a couple of edible zucchini out of two plants, and you know something is wrong with that picture!

But, the main problem with my terrace garden was my annoying cat! Whose favorite hobby is digging up everything I plant. I put scraps of chicken wire over the pots, and what does he do? Sit on it and squash the plants. This cat needs a YARD almost as bad as I do. Sigh.

My latest experiment is growing sprouts.  I am kind of into this, since I am trying to be a healthy person and all. I am doing pretty well with the alfalfa and variations thereof. I like sprouts in a green salad, and in wraps with tuna, roasted vegetables and/or avocado. I just started some lentil sprouts, and ordered some mung beans for a classic stir-fry ingredient. A girl needs to grow things, after all, even over the long Austrian winter.


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