Plant me, go on!

I don't have green fingers

Sometimes I stand in the supermarket and ask myself: Can't I do it myself? Because often have to rely on what's currently available. If a dish asks for coriander and it's not available at the moment, you're out of luck. So, I did some research.

Admittedly, my green fingers even kill cacti. They supposedly only need to be watered rarely and are great for everyone. But this fact shouldn't stop me from giving my other fingers a chance.
The last two years have shown that experimenting is incredibly fun. During this time, I have gained experience both on the balcony and in the garden, read up on the internet, and have already been able to harvest a few things.
And I can tell you, there is no better feeling than seeing a small seed grow into a large courgette. It feels downright magical.

Ice Ice Baby

Even before the first "work" begins, there should be no lack of enjoyment. No expensive greenhouses, growing plates or other materials are required for the first attempts. A carton of (lolly) ice cream, grapes, milk, or an egg box is sufficient. As the days are already very summery, there is nothing wrong with ice cream in between. Whilst eating ice cream, we can dream about our vegetables.

Let´s go shopping

After we have decided what we want to plant while eating ice cream, we make our way to the nearest garden centre. I decide on a variety of seeds and get some good advice. I also take some good potting compost with me, it's not expensive and gives the seeds the nutrients they need to thrive. If you don't feel confident enough to grow them yet or are already late, you can also get pre-grown plants there that just need to be put in the soil. For beginners, I particularly recommend herbs, pumpkins and courgettes. These are sure to succeed, relatively easy to care for and won't make you give up after the first year (they are also all suitable for a sunny balcony). In less sunny places, the harvest is simply smaller.

Recycle it

This time I use the egg carton for propagation and make a few holes in it so that excess water can drain off easily (our plants don't like being in wet shoes any more than we do). I then fill them with the potting compost and press them down lightly. The seeds are easier to sprout if they don't feel any pressure around them. I wrap larger seeds in damp kitchen roll first and leave them in a warm place to soak for 1-2 days (it also works without it, it just takes longer). Then I plant the seeds in the soil according to the instructions on the packet. A toothpick can be helpful. I use the ice cream sticks to label my seeds. I use a (well-cleaned) old cleaning spray bottle for "watering". A normal watering can would ensure that some seeds are simply washed away and cannot take root well.

Drink coffee & wait and see

Use the grape box as a mini-greenhouse, put it in a sunny spot and now it's time to wait. Every vegetable takes a different amount of time. Although the seed packets say how long it takes, I keep an eye on them several times a day to see if a tiny green stalk is already peeking out of the soil.
Sometimes I am rewarded, and just a few days after sowing, the first tips peek out of the soil. Unfortunately, some seeds don't sprout. But that doesn't mean you've done anything wrong. It's just part of the process.
When the seedlings are big enough, you can plant them in a larger pot or directly in the soil. Bear in mind that the pots are much larger than the small plants, as they will grow bigger than you expect. You will also need to water them more often, as water is not stored as well in pots as it is in the garden. But there's no reason to miss out on a vegetable harvest because you don't have a garden.

I can't tell you how wonderful it feels to see nature flourish and to have contributed to it. Over the years, your knowledge and the diversity in your (balcony) garden will grow. Marie from Wurzelwerk also gives you lots of tips and tricks. I can highly recommend her channel.
Here in Wagrain-Kleinarl, we have launched the “Gartenfreude hoch 2” (Garden joy squared) initiative. It aims to give locals and businesses a helping hand and support them in greening their gardens. We are all pulling in the same direction. Every plant we bring into this world has a small impact on climate change. So, get out there and make the world a little bit greener.


If you would like to find out more about the cottage garden in spring, you can find this blog post here.

At the Lumberjackhütte in Wagrain-Kleinarl, among other places, there are also beautiful raised beds and gardens to look at in summer. You can find more information here.

Link to Marie from Wurzelwerk:

Bildnachweis: Amanda Schmidt, Unsplash (daniel-oberg-3sl9_ubYIno-unsplash)