Vegetables from a can

Who says vegetables from a can aren't healthy?


My balcony is a bit special. Special, because it's significantly bigger than most German balconies, which are under 10 m2. My balcony is just over 30 m2, and it's made even more special by being divided into two parts separated by a glass wall with a glass door. I lovingly call one area my kitchen garden, as you can get to it from the kitchen and that's where I plant my herbs, vegetables and fruit. I'll tell you about the other area—my outdoor living room—another time.

This year in my kitchen garden, I decided to use plant pots that were a bit different. Lots of things are suitable to use as plant pots, the imagination knows practically no bounds. You just need to pay attention to a couple of things. Anything that used to contain food is out (milk bottles, ice cream tubs, plastic bottles or takeaway cups).

I decided on tins. Not the normal soup tins, but the really big ones. Where do you get them from? I put on my best smile, batted my eyelids and asked very nicely at the delicatessen. I got some and they didn't cost a thing. Well, not quite. I also bought stuffed vine leaves, beans in tomato sauce, paprika-feta paste and a flatbread, so I was given the tins for nothing. A classic win-win situation and I didn't have to cook when I got home. That warms the heart of a Balconista.

The following items are needed

-       Tin

-       Screwdriver + hammer

-       Water-permeable membrane

-       Potting soil

-       Expanded clay

-       Balcony flower trowel

-       Gloves

Before starting to fill them, the tins must be thoroughly rinsed and have a water drainage hole made in them.

For the water drainage hole, I use a hammer and a screwdriver. I use these tools to punch a hole in the base, or several holes in the case of large tins.

Then I put a layer of expanded clay into the tin. The layer should make up around 1/5 of the total tin height. Expanded clay improves water drainage and prevents waterlogging. However, it stores neither water nor nutrients.

On top of the clay, a water-permeable membrane creates drainage. The membrane prevents soil and clay from mixing and earth or roots from blocking up the drainage hole. It also helps when replacing the soil.

Now I mix potting soil with expanded clay (2 handfuls of expanded clay to 5 l of potting soil). The clay in the soil functions here as water storage for hot summer days.

For flowers, I fill 1/3 of the tin with a soil/clay mix, put the flowers in and fill the gaps with soil up to about 2 cm below the rim of the tin.

But since I prefer to plant vegetables (which are a lot smaller than flowers), I fill 2/3 of the tin with the soil/clay mix and just plant my vegetables in the middle.

Whether flowers or vegetables, now just water them carefully.

And now: Let it grow, let it grow, let it grow!