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Balcony Container Gardening Part Two

Updated on January 17, 2017

Topsy Turvy Container Gardening

My second season of growing vegetables.
My second season of growing vegetables. | Source

5 Best Vegetables And Herbs to Grow in Your Topsy Turvy

There is nothing better than going out on my balcony and picking my own home grown herbs and tomatoes for a flavorful, easy, healthy salad. Basil pairs well with tomatoes so read further for the recipe.

Basil, Banana Peppers, Parsley, Heritage Tomatoes,and Hot Red Peppers are what I will be discussing in this hub. These ingredients pair well together in a salad. They also pair well together in a recipe for a zesty, delicious, red tomato sauce for pasta's. The red tomato sauce is awesome for stuffing the baked banana peppers. Planting a Topsy Turvy garden will give you an abundance of vegetables that you can grow year round. Read on to learn how.


Heritage Tomato and Parsly,

Parsley
Parsley | Source
Heritage tomatoes
Heritage tomatoes | Source

Grow Tomatoes and Herbs That Compliment Each Other in Cooking

Heritage Tomatoes are also called Heirloom Tomatoes. They came from the 1940s era.They are grown for their flavor that is a more delectable taste than in some of the modern tomatoes such as beef-stake tomato,and field grown tomatoes.

They lack a pigments that would cause other tomatoes to have the welcoming red color. Heritage Tomatoes can be pink, yellow and even purple almost black in color. They make a very colorful salad indeed. I love the flavor and the weird shapes and texture of heritage tomatoes in salads as well as in sauces.

This is my second season for growing my Topsy Turvy. Last year I grew the seeds myself from Roma Tomatoes into plants and then planted them into the Topsy Turvy. This year I am already pleased with the growth of the heritage tomato plants and the plants are loaded with tomatoes.

Basil

Basil grown with tomatoes keeps the insects away from your tomatoes.
Basil grown with tomatoes keeps the insects away from your tomatoes. | Source

Basil

Basil is one of my favorite herbs because I love it's flavor paired with tomatoes. The reason I grow it is, that it is very hard to store Basil. When you freeze it ,Basil turns brown and if you rinse Basil with water before you store it in a zip-lock bag it goes brown very quickly and rots.

Basil grows into little sections of leaves on the stem and it is very important to cut the sections of leaves off the plant rather than picking the leaves. If you don`t cut the basil plant at it`s sections, the top of the plant will fail to produce more leaves.

Basil helps to fight arthritis because it helps inflammation of the joints. Plain and simple , I grow Basil because it taste good but don`t cook basil it will turn brown and lose it`s flavor. Always put Basil in your dish at the end of cooking and just rip it up with your fingers. ( Cutting Basil also makes it go brown.)

Parsley

Parsley in one of the six outlet holes this Topsy Turvy has.
Parsley in one of the six outlet holes this Topsy Turvy has. | Source

Parsley

I have chosen to grow the curly leaf Parsley. It has more flavor than the flat leaf Parsley and growing my Topsy Turvy is all about flavor.

Parsley over the years has got a bad rap as being only good to decorate a plate. Think again, Parsley is the most popular herb to grow and is related to celery. This flavorful herb is pact full of Vitamins C&A, folic acids, and is a super antioxidant.

What does this mean? Parsley is good to detox your body, keep your arteries clean and also will clean your breath after a meal. So don't throw your parsley away from your restaurant dinner anymore.

Parsley makes a great garnish for salads, pasta dishes and I even use it on sandwiches instead of lettuce. If you look real close at the bottom right, hand corner of the photo ,you will see a green pepper that has grown from a green pepper plant still growing from last year. It is under the flat leaf.

Hot Banana Peppers

These were on the top hole of the Topsy Turvy and grew into small yellow balls. They didn't grow very big but were tasty in a salad.
These were on the top hole of the Topsy Turvy and grew into small yellow balls. They didn't grow very big but were tasty in a salad. | Source

Banana Peppers

Banana peppers are very versatile. Then can be pickled,canned, baked or sliced for a salad.

They are a mild version of the chili pepper family. I love to stuff them with Ricotta cheese, red tomatoes sauce with chunks of Heritage tomatoes then bake them in the oven. Banana peppers usually are yellow but will turn red or orange if left to ripen longer. They have a mild, tangy flavor.

Black Hot Peppers

Black Hot Peppers. Natures surprise for me these were supposed to be red.LOL
Black Hot Peppers. Natures surprise for me these were supposed to be red.LOL | Source

Red-Hot Peppers

The Topsy Turvy has legs that span a 2 and 1\2 area on my balcony. They stick out in four different directions to support the weight of the watered Topsy Turvy Planter.

This was unacceptable for my balcony so I removed the legs and rammed the centre post into a plant container full of potting soil below the Topsy Turvy. I also had to use a plastic pull tie to fasten the top of the Topsy Turvy to the railing of the balcony to support the weight of it.

This worked in my favor because I had another container to grow more parsley and these hot pepper plants. I wanted some more color on the bottom of my Topsy Turvy but ended up with black hot peppers. That is what gardening is about , you always get one of nature's surprises in the end. No matter what color these peppers become I will enjoy drying them out for future use.

Tomato Basil Salad

Fresh Basil Every day.
Fresh Basil Every day. | Source

Tomato Basil Salad

Basil, Tomato Salad with Goat Cheese.

Thin slice the tomatoes and stack them in rows on a shallow glass baking pan. Sprinkle the top of tomatoes with hand ripped Basil( use lots, the flavor will knock your socks off), Parsley,and chunks of goat cheese ( or your favorite cheese, Feta would be great also).

Then drizzle extra virgin olive oil over the top of the whole pan of tomatoes. Sprinkle with Sea salt and cracked black pepper. Pictures of this recipe will follow when my tomatoes are ripe. This is why I grow my Topsy Turvy, hand picked fresh ingredients for a salad. It doesn't get fresher and healthier than this.

I move my Topsy Turvy planter into my dining room for the winter. The tomatoes and herbs will continue to produce as long as there is 7 hours of light in the room. Last year I ate Roma tomatoes grown inside until December than there is not enough sunlight to keep growing. For best results put Miracle Grow potting soil in the Topsy Turvy and water it every day.

This was my second year results of planting my Topsy Turvy. This is my third year of planting it. I will plant the same vegetables again this year. Happy gardening:)

Topsy Turvy Planters

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    • suzzycue profile imageAUTHOR

      Susan Britton 

      4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Maybe but I planted one of these for my friend in Maryland and it was 100 degrees every day in August and it grew lots of tomatoes. You need to water it every day tho. Thank you for your comment moonlake:)

    • moonlake profile image

      moonlake 

      4 years ago from America

      Very interesting hub. We tried this one year but with tomatoes for some reason we had problems with it. I think they may have gotten to hot. Voted up on your hub.

    • suzzycue profile imageAUTHOR

      Susan Britton 

      4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Oh @Always Exploring when people say I gave them an idea that is the best compliment. Thank you and please write and post pictures of your new garden. Thank you for always reading my Hubs and congratulations on your new home. Suzzycue

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      4 years ago from Southern Illinois

      You've given me some great ideas. I just bought a home with a redwood fence across the back yard that would make a perfect place for growing climbing veggies. Great article, thank's for sharing ideas...

    • suzzycue profile imageAUTHOR

      Susan Britton 

      4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Amen @rebeccamealey Have a great day!

      I love my Topsy turvy @ChitrangadaSharan. Thank you for all your support.

      @breakfastpop you will have so much fun growing a Topsy Turvy. Thank you for all your support and comments.

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 

      4 years ago

      I have always wanted to try this. Thanks to you, now I will. Voted up, useful, interesting and awesome.

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 

      4 years ago from New Delhi, India

      This is a wonderful idea to grow our own vegetables. And I must say that your vegetable garden looks so inviting.

      Very useful and informative hub! Voted up, pinned and shared on HP!

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 

      4 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      Amen!

    • suzzycue profile imageAUTHOR

      Susan Britton 

      4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Thank you rebeccamealey. I love to live off the land and this is the next best thing. Any time we can support ourselves by growing our own food saves us money, we can spend on other more important things.

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 

      4 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      I've seen the topsy turvey tomatoes, but you take the idea so much further. Thanks!

    • suzzycue profile imageAUTHOR

      Susan Britton 

      4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Thank you Ericdierker. Your hubs are great stuff also.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

      4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Just great stuff here, I have got to get it together.

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