When Claudette moved in Selection St-Jean, she chose her unit according to the amount of sun she was getting on her balcony. As an avid vegetable gardener at home, she was able to grow more than a thousand garlic plants each summer in her former backyard. And stopping everything while retiring was not an option! A master in the art of maximizing her outdoor space, Claudette is indulging every week from her green creations made straight of her very own balcony. She teaches us her precious knowledge and talks about the best vegetables to cultivate in small spaces.

 

How is gardening is a part of your summer happiness? 

“ Cultivating our vegetables, but mostly seeing them grow, is fascinating. From the seed to sprout, I enjoy watching the entire cycle. Nature, when you give yourself a chance to inspect it, is very complex and a beautiful thing in itself. I would even say that it teaches us a lesson. For the rest, the right ingredients are passion, sun and lots of water!”

Which vegetables are the best to grow on a balcony?

1 — RADISHES

“ During spring, I recommend starting with radishes. They only take 21 days to grow, and at this very moment, they reach their ultimate taste.”

2 — SPINACH

“ It is the same thing with spinach, you plant them early in the spring or end of August for an optimal taste, without bitterness.”

3 — CHERRY TOMATOES

“ Contrary to bigger tomatoes, a cherry tomato plant can be very prolific. Furthermore, the plant might be more resistant and can produce from 400 to 500 tomatoes per single plant.”

4 — SWISS CHARD

“ I just love this vegetable! It does not take that much space, and you can cut the fresh leaves from it all summer. You must know that you need to collect them from the outside to the inside, so it keeps on growing all season.

5 — EGGPLANTS

“ A single plant can produce between 7 and 10 eggplants in one summer.”

6 — FRESH HERBS IN FLOWER POTS

“Sow the herbs and aromatics in a flower pot of your choice; it's that simple. Personally, I like to go with a few basil plants, some thyme, and rosemary. If you want to grow mint, keep it separate, because it may invade the other herbs next to it. ”

 

BONUS : TIPS FOR A HEALTHY-LOOKING BASIL

“ For basil to carry on its growth, you always need to cut the parts that are on top of two distinctive leaves. While cutting below two leaves, we are preventing the plant to produce new stems.”

What are some of your advice on maintaining a garden?

“ Having a garden is constant engagement. Morning and night, you need to observe it and water it up to twice a day, especially when it is hot or extra windy outside. The ultimate tip: by inserting a finger in the soil, you’ll notice if your finger is dry by the second joint. If so, your plants need water.”

How much should you invest, and how do you equip yourself?

“ With the pots and the seeds, you can get away with approximately 75$ to 100$. Good to know: the height of the pots for the elderly who experience back pain or anyone that needs to work sitting down, like me, is 24 inches. Anyone who can work standing up will easily be able to bend over a pot of 18 inches.”

Want to meet more passionate retirees? Click here!

Find your new home

Search now