When Kristen of The Kale Project held her Kale coming-out party at Verjus I was excited to pick up a packet of Kale seeds to plant on my balcony and in my neighboring community garden. I started sprouting the seeds on my balcony, reusing the small containers that my cherry tomato plants came in this Summer. They grew quite well and I decided they were ready to be released into the wild at the gardens.
I was worried about snails and slugs attacking these precious and defenseless baby greens, so before transplanting I started collecting used coffee grounds which are great in the garden because they are both rich in nitrogen and other minerals essential for the soil as well as acidic, thus providing a line of defense against unwanted garden visitors.
Once I transplanted the seedlings into their new home, I added an abrasive barrier of coffee grounds that I hope will keep nippish neighbors away and allow the Kale to flourish in its new environment.
I'm also going to grow some Kale in the big wooden containers I have on the balcony- hoping that this will take slugs out of the equation and I will only have aphids and other winged creatures to contend with.
My friend Terresa also suggested that I use copper wires as a sort of barbed-wire fence against intruders, so I think that will be the next addition to my artillery!
I'll leave you with an urban gardening success story- despite their failure to thrive in the community garden, my balcony cayenne plants are still going strong! I have two peppers and a few new ones sprouting. I'm looking forward to drying them and having some homegrown spices to get me through the Winter months!