The World Famous Graemenac (2016 Edition)
Container Gardening on a south-facing balcony in Vancouver B.C.
Online since 2015

Changes to the 2015 edition: The 2016 edition of the Graemenac runs in the reverse order of the earlier edition. So, most recent is on top, least recent is at the bottom. Other than that, expect the same high quality content as last year.

The move from kale/spinach to flower boxes. We went to David Hunter and bought for the 4 small hanging containers: Lobelia, Heliotrope, Petunia Sunpassion and Dahlia. For the 2 larger containers we bought Petunia (Purple) and Gazania. Finally, for the cedar boxes we bought Begonia, Verbena Sweet Dreams, Impatien, Alyssums and a Supertunia (small but cool looking petunia).
Fertilize everything.
Garden is basically set for the summer now, barring any fatalities. There is still a bit of room in the flower boxes if we see something really cool. There are also the Cayenne and Hot Banana peppers that were brought indoors for sun lamp treatment. 2 additional Fonzi melon seedlings are also still indoors should they be needed later.

Hard to see but there are 6 petals here.

New flowers from David Hunter

Lobelia and Petunia

Heliotrope and Lobelia

Cigar Flower and Dahlia

Petunia Sunpassion

Verbena, Alyssum, Aster.

Geranium and Begonia

West side planter: Geranium, Begonia, Marigold, Verbean, Alyssum, Aster.

East side planter: Verbena, Alyssum, Nasturtium, Impatiens, Pansies and Supertunias.

Remove all kale and spinach plants. Replant the surviving long-stemmed pansies from small hanging pots to cedar box with the Nasturtiums. The formerly-spinach containing box now has Geranium and Aster and Marigolds.

Nasturtium and Pansies.

Gernaium, Aster and Marigolds.

See first signs of flowers on Ring of Fire and Super Chili Peppers.

Super Chilis.

Ring of Fire.

The Cayenne and Hot Banana Pepper seedlings, along with newly planted Fonzi melons, are being kept indoors under artificial light. Meanwhile, the Fuschia continues to flourish...

Spinach feast! Decide to give up on the spinach and kale - 1 bowl for 2 people for 2 months of work is not worth it. The cedar boxes are going to become flower boxes instead!

Replant the new pepper plants into their new homes.
Harvest almost all the spinach as it is beginning to bolt.

Cuke looking good.

Melons too, but no signs of fruit.

New Cayenne, Hot Portugal and Habenero Rojo peppers.

Bolted and mostly harvested spinach.

Geranium from UBC Botanical Garden.

Notice 1st cucumber!
1 Hot Banana pepper dead. The other Hot Banana and the Cayenne that were each sharing a pot with a tomato, while healthy, were not growing very well at all and I decided to re-transplant them into their own pots. As I'm disappointed with the pepper situation - only my Super Chili is really growing well - and my plants may not produce fruit this year given their current size, I bought 3 more good sized plants from Choices:
1 Hot Portugal
1 'Long Red Slim' Cayenne
1 Habenero Rojo

Cayenne and Hot Banana pepper - so much smaller than...

these much larger Super Chili and Ring of Fire peppers.


Long Red Slim Cayenne and Hot Portugal.

First Cuke!

Fonzi melons growing tentacles.

Fonzi melons showing first signs of flowers.
Repot the UBC plants.
Repot Fonzi melon to final big pot, outdoors 24/7 now.
Repot 2 Alicia Craig tomatoes.
Plant 2 more Fonzi melons just in case the current plants don't produce fruit.

Tomato and Pepper containers.

Super Chili and Ring of Fire peppers.

Fonzi Melon.


Rununculuses are all dead, as are 2 pansies. For replacements, we go to the UBC Botanical Garden Plant Sale and buy Geranium, Aster and Cigar Flower.

Hami melon dies.

Rest in Peace Hami.

1st sign of second Nasturtium.

10 & 11Apr
1st signs of the 1st and 2nd jalepeno seedlings appear.

1st sign of 1st Nasturtium.
Transplanted all seedlings to their outdoor containers, except for the Fonzi melon which I am still bringing in at night.

Hot Pepper and Tomato pairings.

Fonzi Melon, Cactus, Fonzi Melon, Cuke.

West side of balcony.

First Kale just beginning to poke through on Sat, 4 by end of Sunday. First 3 Spinach up Sat a.m., 5 at the end of the day, 8 by end of Sunday.
Got a temp reading in the east corner of 34.5 C Saturday so will make that the spot where I place the Fonzy melon.
Transplanted the Ring of Fire and Super Chili peppers to their containers, but will continue to harden them off for the next week.
The second planting of King Umberto tomato is poking through.
Added compost to all remaining soil containers, prepping for replanting the seedlings outdoors next weekend.

Rununculus and Pansies.

Ring of Fire and Super Chili peppers.


Planted 5 marigolds around the Fuschia to stave off aphids.
Gave up on the initial Hungarian Hot plantings and re-planted from seed.
Also planted one more tray of each of the tomatoes, just in case any of them die.

Begin hardening off the seedlings.
Still no signs of any Hungarian Hot peppers.
Transplanted a bunch of extra seedlings to give away and am going with what is at this point the strongest Berkeley Tie-Dye tomato, Cucumber, Hot Banana pepper and Ring of Fire pepper.
Replanted 2 more King Umberto tomatoes as 1 got killed and the other looks weak.
Replanted the strongest Fonzy melon into a larger pot.
Planted Kale and Nasturtium in one cedar box and Spinach in the other.

First Hot Banana pepper pokes through, a Tie-Dye Tom withers and dies.

All other pepper plants start sprouting except the Cayenne, (2) Hot Banana peppers and (2) Hungarian Hot peppers.

First hot pepper - Ring of Fire, poking through.

Daylight Savings Time begins! Hami melon is finally poking through - yay!

Considerably more action this a.m. The Fonzy melons grew about 1" overnight and the 4th started peaking through the soil. Ditto for a second cuke and King Umberto tomato. The only trays with zero action at this point are the Hami melon, Tie-Dye Tomato from last year's harvested seeds and all of the hot peppers.
Removed the top few inches of soil from the Aloe Vera plant and replaced with some compost and new soil to invigorate things a bit - plant has been in the same soil for 3 years I think.

Woke up to find that 3 Fonzi melon and 1 Cuke seedlings had started to sprout. They grew a lot during the day and some tomatoes started sprouting up as well.
With the sprouts and continued dark, rainy days in the forecast, I rigged a halogen light set-up for the little gentlemen which I will start using tomorrow.

Cuke, Berkeley Tie-Dye Tomato (2!), King Umberto Tomato.

Berkeley Tie-Dye Tomato and Alissa Craig Tomato.

Fonzy melons.

Halogen light set-up.

Bought 2 pansies at David Hunter.

Temperature reached slightly above 25C. First real spring day from the get-go and only the second really nice, warm day since 8Feb. Replanted the Primrose and Ranunculus purchased last week.

Removed the first couple of inches of soil around the Fuschia, replaced with new soil, fertilized and watered. She is looking great with large leaves and buds already.

Planted my seeds, 2 to a tray, for indoor germination - though today they sat out in the sun for a good while. Planted:
Tomato - King Umberto (2 trays), Alicia Craig (1 tray w/3 seeds), Berkeley Tye-Die Tom (3 trays total, 2 of seeds from Coombs, 1 of seeds from last year's crop).
Peppers - Super Chilis, Cayenne, Hungarian Hot (2 trays), Hot Banana (2 trays), Ring of Fire (2 trays).
Cucumber - 2 trays
Melon - Hami (1 tray), Fonzy (4 trays). Nancy bought 1 each of these melons last year when they became available briefly and I harvested the seeds. The Fonzy was very tasty, plus I love the name. Aaayyyy. Being native to Mexico, by all rights I should not be able to grow the Fonzy here but in anticipation of a warmer than usual spring thanks to El Nino, I'm going to try.

Finally, added compost to the planter boxes to prepare the soil for the kale and spinach I'm going to try this year.

Went to David Hunter and purchased 3 each Primrose and Ranunculus flowers, plus some soil and compost.

Fist bulbs showing on Fuschia.

8Feb (Family Day)
Temperature reaches 22C. Fuschia showing first leaves.

1st Crocus appear along 16th Avenue.

1st snowdrops appear in front of Highbury Manor.