My Tiny Herb Garden

As I’ve mentioned before, we live in a rather small condo in central Boulder.  That means we don’t have a backyard, just a small balcony.  I’ve discovered you can actually grow a few things, even when you live in a small space.

Our small balcony

This is my second summer growing a few herbs.  I love to use fresh herbs in my cooking, but they can be rather expensive to buy one.  Summer is a great opportunity to grow them on the balcony.  I have two containers attached over the side.  I love that I don’t have to use any precious patio space, and can still grow herbs that I’ll use.

My tiny herb garden

This year I planted two kinds of basil, parsley, thyme, sage, and dill.  I also planted a small cilantro plant.  The empty space on the end was where it was.  It, unfortunately, did not survive long.  Oh well, at least the others are thriving!

Is there anything still alive?

I also planted rosemary in a small pot to put on our table.  I did that last year, too, and really enjoyed having fresh rosemary on hand.  This year, however, did not turn out so well.  It started looking bad rather quickly.  I tried moving it inside for a bit, but that didn’t help it.  I cut it all the way down and have moved it back outside.  I’m hoping it might get going again, but I’m starting to think it’s a lost cause.  So sad!

Chocolate cherry tomato

This year I’m trying my hand at cherry tomatoes.  My starter plant has really shot up over the past couple of weeks.  I’m hoping it will start producing a few tomatoes here soon!  It’s a Chocolate Cherry Tomato plant.  Doesn’t that sound delicious?!  The tomatoes will be a dark color and are supposed to be quite juicy.  As I haven’t tried growing cherry tomatoes much, does anyone have any tips for convincing them to start producing?

Pretty flowers

I also have a small basket of flowers hanging up, just for fun.  I suppose it would be a better use of space to grow something edible, but I enjoy having flowers around, too!

I’m thinking about trying out a full garden next year.  We actually have access to a community garden just a couple of blocks away.  I’m just about ready to go for it and sign up for next season.  That will be a new adventure since I haven’t done much gardening at all, especially on my own.

Do you grow any of your own food?  What kind of space do you have?  I’d love to hear all about it!

This post is part of Monday ManiaFat TuesdayTraditional Tuesdays, Real Food WednesdaySimple Lives ThursdayPennywise Platter ThursdayKeep It Real ThursdayFight Back FridayFreaky Friday.


  1. Meghan says:

    Ooh, I love your herb containers! That’s great that they don’t take up any of your space – and they probably get more sun being out there, too.

    I’m super new to gardening, too. I think we’re getting lucky this year, though, as everything seems to be growing well. I think our plants are loving the heat, because they’ve just been growing like crazy since it got hot. Especially the tomatoes. We ate our first cherry tomato the other day. The rest of the tomatoes are all still really green, though, so I guess that one was just an early arrival.

    Have you done any fertilizer for your tomato plant? We bought our plants and supplies at McGuckin and the person who helped us there recommended getting a balanced fertilizer in the beginning and then also getting a phosphorous heavy fertilizer for any flowering plants, like tomatoes and peppers, that you apply about a month after transplanting. The second fertilizer encourages more flower and fruit growth. I’m not sure if the fertilizers are making a difference for us but we seem to be doing something right!

    • Mindy says:

      Yeah, I agree, I think the plants have definitely enjoyed this summer’s heat! I’m glad to hear your garden has been going well. :-)

      That’s a good point about fertilizing my tomato plant. I have some specifically for that, and it’s been about a month since I transplanted it. I’ll have to give that a try, and see if it gets going!

  2. Paige says:

    I got one of those little chocolate cherry tomatoes from the farmers market, too, and though mine is huge and has lots of wee green tomatoes, none are ripe yet. My sungold plant has given me a few ripe ones! I also recommend giving your tomatoes some compost or fertilizer.

    Good luck with the community garden, I have signed up for the past two years but I haven’t gotten in yet! I guess there’s next year.

    • Mindy says:

      I’m glad your sungold plant is giving you some ripe tomatoes. : ) Hopefully our chocolate cherry ones will get going soon! I’ll definitely try fertilizing it.

      That’s a bummer to hear about the community garden. Which one have you been applying to? We live in the Goss Grove neighborhood, and I’m hoping to be able to get in to that one. I know one of the gals in charge of ours always goes to our local HOA meetings. Maybe I better get to the next one in hopes of getting a plot!

  3. farmer_liz says:

    hi, I got here from Freaky Friday. Its great to see what you can produce in a small space! I have a big space myself, but I’ve been looking for posts that would help people who are just starting out and you are setting a very good example.

    As for your tomato, you need to start pinching off the growing points before it gets too tall, otherwise it will just keep going up! pinching them off will help it get bushier and keep it at a manageable height. Don’t give it any fertiliser with nitrogen, that will just encourage more foliage. You want fruit, so you need to give it some potassium. Look for a product with a name like “fruit and flower”.

    Good luck with your allotment, you’re doing so well just on a balcony, imagine what you could do with an entire garden!

    • Mindy says:

      Thanks for stopping by! How fun that you have a large space for your garden.

      Thanks for the tip about pinching them off. My tomato plant has gotten even taller since I took that photo! Do you have any tips about what I should be looking for when I pinch it off? I’ve since gotten a few more flowers so I’m hoping those will give me some tomatoes soon.

      Thanks for your advice; it’s much appreciated by a newbie like me!

      • farmer_liz says:

        no worries, just pinch off the very tips of the stems that are growing too long, just use your fingers to snap them off, this will help the plant put more energy into fruiting and flowering. Flowers are a good sign, you should get some tomatoes soon! Good luck!

  4. reb says:

    hey, i don’t know if you do azure standard (i’m pretty sure there’s a drop-off in boulder…we pick up at the one in highland’s ranch and if you go to the WAPF meetings in golden, sheri from tastefully healthy has a drop-off at her house too), but we got all of our plants starts through them this year and i’ve been very, very pleased. they were very inexpensive, arrived in great shape, and have done well despite the heat we’ve been experiencing. i’d highly recommend them for next year!

    • Mindy says:

      Thanks for the tips! I went to the last Denver chapter meeting and saw a bunch of plant starts. I’ll definitely keep that in mind for next year!

  5. Paula says:

    Hey Mindy … thanks for this! We’re getting ready to move into a place with no yard and a very small balcony. We had hopes of a yard with a garden next year, but our plans changed. But you’ve given me hope that even a small balcony can result in yummies on the table! Thanks! Love growing tomatoes … hope yours are a great success. By the way … if you grow pansies, they are beautiful and edible :-)

    • Mindy says:

      Hi Paula! It really is amazing what you can do on a balcony. : ) I have a few tomatoes actually growing now. Hopefully some others will get started soon, too! Thanks for the tip on pansies. I’ll have to think about those for next year!


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