Friday, July 3, 2009

Roof Garden Overview

There was some shuffling around last weekend - regular readers will note that the EB "trench" that was built based on the "tyrus" design is now being used simply to create windbreak using some leftover landscaping fabric we had on hand. Definitely not the most aesthetically pleasing solution, but the wind on the roof was really doing a number on everything. I was hoping once summer rolled around the wind would diminish, but it doesn't seem as though that will ever happen. We don't remember it being so windy in the summer but perhaps we're more in tune with it due to gardening concerns. I'm already thinking about a semi-permanent windbreak design for next year.

The back row is all bush beans, black valentines on the right and pencil pod & royal burgundy on the left. I pulled another aesthetically pleasing solution out of my hat to support the plants, which were wind-whipped and leaning over the side of the box. Cut-up old t-shirts tied to a string!

In front of the black vals remain carrots, though I will probably not attempt carrots in the future. Some of them did not survive the removal of the radishes, and that's left me with about four carrots. I may even just pull them up and put in some lacinato kale and chard seedlings I have languishing in cowpots.

You can seen our chard, kale and collards are doing well...these are real winners and we may double our EB dedication since we love them so much and they seem to grow decently well on the roof.

In front of the pencil pods & royal burgundies are golden beets. I love golden beets and their tops, but the harvest will tell me if I need to grow them again. The bonus of eating both tops and roots is a big one, but we're still only talking eight plants...and I don't think it's possible to harvest the tops while the roots are still forming.

In the bucket SIP is a Catskills brussels sprout. It will soon be joined by another bucket SIP containing Waltham broccoli.

Last but not least is the MONSTER box in the foreground, on the right. The box contains direct-sown ronde de nice and marrow squashes, with a transplanted HVSL double-yield cuke (which I just realized is not in the frame). We haven't harvested anything from these yet but judging by all the forming squashes this is a slam-dunk for a repeat effort in 2010. I'm generally not a huge fan of cucumbers and the only reason I planted them is that it was one of the early seed packs I had on hand, but maybe my opinion will change if I have fresh cucumbers at hand throughout the growing season - and ms. mapleton-bklyn loves her some half-sour pickles.

So, that was a long-winded way of saying things are growing mostly well on the roof for now. Our harvest is a bit later than what I imagine is standard for this area due to our later start on things, but it's shaping up to be a pretty good first year.


mc said...

Love the rooftop garden stuff. I'm doing the same thing, on a smaller scale, on my city porch. I have one question tho, what design did you use for your bucket SIP? Looks like you only have one bucket, what did you use for the inside?

Chris said...

mc, thanks for the comment. If you follow this link I have a pic of the components I used for the bucket SIP screen - a plastic pot from a purchased seedling and a trimmed & hole-punched mortgage financing sign made from corrugated plastic. During my last visit to Inside Urban Green's plant lab, he was using food takeout containers for the wick as well as support for wider planters, and window screen to avoid the use of two buckets.

Digging your site, how are things progressing since May? What are your thoughts on the IKEA pots (are they the sub-irrigated Fejo)? I was thinking of trying one of those adapted for the outdoors with an overflow hole and plastic cover.