So how is the Balcony Kitchen Garden coming on? Well, mixed. The salad leaves have been a bit of a disaster. They were doing well, and then suddenly collapsed - I couldn't work out why. But other things are coming on well. The courgettes are in flower, and the beans are coming on nicely - they're growing visibly each day. Something is attacking the leaves, but doesn't seem to be affecting the beans themselves. So very soon I think we'll be eating our very first home-grown veg.
The herbs are still there too, but I've been fighting constantly against powdery mildew which has attacked both the sage and the rosemary. In Italian it's known as mal bianco, which roughly translates as the White Evil. And that just about sums it up really.
I've been misting the plants three times a day, which has helped - if I miss a couple of sessions it comes back immediately - but I've also had to pick off a lot of the most badly affected leaves, leaving the plants looking a bit straggly. It's now also attacking some of my flowers too, and I'm going to try a mixture of baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) and oil - which is supposed to work. Am hesitating about trying it on the food plants though - not sure I want my salads dressed so far in advance.