Thursday, October 11, 2012

Balcony Garden - Week 5 - Good & Bad

My garden is still going well, and this week I really feel like it "leveled up" as I added little bamboo tee-pee's to the mystery pea and yellow boy tomatoes from Helen. I also bought a Cherry tomato plant and some Thai Chilli seedlings, and planted some more basil, some coriander and some carrots.

The reason for the tee-pees was that the mystery pea plant pretty much doubled in size in a week, appearing to grow about two inches each day - I'd come out each evening and be surprised how much it had grown in the previous 24 hours! Here it is one week apart (from slightly different angles so it's tricky to see, but it's about double the size at least):


However, not everything is going swimmingly, and I was hoping somebody might be able to suggest what's gone wrong here, but my oregano is looking REALLY sad. I noticed last week that about 2/3 of the oregano plant has died, and then today it's looking even worse again. Below are a series of photos of the oregano:

(22nd September)

(30th September)

(4th October)

(7th October)

(10th October)

What have I done to it???! It looks like it was doing fine until I added the mulch, but I thought mulch was supposed to be good the plants?! when I first noticed I stuck my finger in the soil to check they had enough water (although they're in a self watering pot) and it felt relatively dry, so I've been watering from the top rather than just adding water in the bottom like the pot says, but it doesn't seem to have helped. I haven't watered it too much I don't think either. I have fed the plants with seasol seaweed extract at fortnightly intervals (as instructed on the bottle), but surely that's not bad for it?  I've closely examined the other herbs that are in the same tub (Rosemary, Thyme and Sage) and they're all doing great (the thyme in particular is doing really well).

Anyone? Help! Please!


  1. Hmm... I'm not 100% sure. It almost looks like frost damage but you would get that on the whole plant. Perhaps some fertiliser and more watering from the top? I have no idea!

  2. I'm going to guess that it is too wet at the bottom because of the mulch? So it's not getting a chance to dry out and is staying too soggy...maybe clear a circle around the base back to just dirt, cut off all those crunchy bits and see if that helps. Maybe let it dry out a bit. Once it is back on track you can pinch out those buds so it bushes up again. Just my 2 cents :)

  3. Hi there, it could be a combination of things, the mulch and too much water. I read somewhere that sugar cane mulch depletes nitrogen from soils which can cause nitrogen depletion in some plants. Also oregano likes dry soil, see this link:

    Try using some fertiliser such as dynamic lifter and liquid fertiliser such as Nitrosol or Aquasol weekly/fortnightly.
    Hope you get bumper crops of everything.


  4. I'd agree - probably too much water. Also, when you mulch, keep it away from the stems of the plants or they can get rot. Chop off the bad bits and see what happens!

    Do you want some more oregano? I've got heaps - happy to pot some up for you!

  5. I reckon Thyme is a weed - grows like one at my house, it has to have a whole pot to itself!
    I have a super yummy Donna Hay recipe for roast pumpkin and sage in burnt butter on pasta - soooooo delicious.

  6. I posted a link to your site on my post recent post. Your oregano is interesting as the leaves seem to be variegated. Thanks your inspiration. Also do you have Indira Naidoo's book on balcony gardens?


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