Balcony Garden Update: early July 2019

The peas (delicious…) and spinach finished up on the balcony in June.  Now peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, a strawberry, and flowers are having their turn.

Last year, the tomato plants grew incredibly large and lush in the City Picker planters.  This year, there is a determinate, smaller size, red cherry tomato plant (“Sweetheart of the Patio”) in a City Picker planter, and a indeterminate, larger, orange cherry tomato plant (“Sungold”) in the Earthbox with a 5-ft trellis.  Right now, in early July, there are many small green tomatoes on both plants.
Last year’s lavender plants that were planted in the City Picker planters all died over the winter, due to cold temperatures.  So this year, I chose perennial plants that are hardy to one zone colder than where we live.  Hopefully at least some of these will survive next winter.  Overwintering in a planter pot (and on an exposed balcony) is tougher on plants than overwintering in the ground.
One of these new perennial plants is Red Flowered Lamb’s Ear, also known as Scarlett Hedge Nettle or Stachys coccinea Mountain Red.  It came from High Country Gardens.  This is a native wildflower, and should attract hummingbirds, but none have made it up to our balcony yet.  It has grown amazingly in a City Picker planter, though.  The first picture (below) is right after planting in May.  Now, in early July it has grown to 18” tall with 15 to 20 flower spikes, each spike having many cheerful red trumpet-shaped flowers.