Archive | February, 2013

2011 “Harvest” Recap

28 Feb

First, some gratuitous beautiful herb shots. Taken with my micro lens. (Most photos I take with my iPhone, however, so the quality and detail will vary.) Mint, thyme, and rosemary were in terra cotta pots, while chives and both basil varieties were in the box. I totally squished the basil in there. Too much in one square. These photos are from July 1, 2011.

DSC_0458DSC_0461

<—– Lovely thyme (common)

            Lovely rosemary —->

Funky purple basil. The flowers are sweet and spicy, so I let it flower just to eat them.DSC_0452

I began to sample the fruits of my labor in the early summer. Herbs, a few spring onions here and there. I was really excited to see what would happen with the tomatoes. I had planted four different kinds in these buckets; grape, cherry, yellow cherry, and a deep purple red that was supposed to yield 2″-3″ fruits. Meh.

These tomato photos are from early July – mid August, 2011.

The following gallery pretty much wraps up the first 2011 experimental season. These photos are from late July – late October, 2011. The grape and cherry tomatoes were the easiest ones to grow, so I decided to stick with the smaller varieties for the future.

Another note about water. Again, it’s really hot and dry up on the roof, and I don’t have a water up there. Tomatoes are thirsty plants, and between light rain and regular watering, I probably added about a gallon to each container every day, and a gallon and a half to the box and herbs. I used these “self-watering” containers (just the container, not the whole kit) with four gallon reservoirs. It really did help, but it was still pretty tough. When I was able to collect enough rain water, I filled the bottom of the tomato buckets all the way. I usually brought water up twice a day, morning and evening, after letting the municipal water additives dissipate or whatever they did, as someone had suggested. The plants did seem to like the water that sat around for a bit more than the water right from the tap. Rain was best, of course.

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Another 2011 recap

26 Feb

I was pretty happy for the first few weeks with the garden in 2011. My neighbors were garden sheetvery concerned about the wee baby plants being exposed to sun, and before my week long absence in mid April, they insisted I create a cover of some sort. Despite my assurances that plants, do, in fact like the sun, this is what we came up with. The sheet didn’t last too long, and the plants lived after all. Everyone was happy.

All went along smoothly for the next few weeks. At this point I was happy with the garden’s progress. Things were growing and I was starting to be able to pick here and there for tasting. Rain was falling on a fairly regular basis. My municipal water is a bit on the swimming pool side, so I had a watering can that I’d fill up in from the tap in my condo and allow to sit for a few hours before watering if it got too dry up there.

Also, the bugs. I’m five floors up, surrounded by air conditioning units, Trex decking, and very few actual trees. Any bugs were welcome. I wanted them to all talk to each other and come to my garden to pollinate things and do whatever it is that bugs do. The lady bug below was a minor victory, even if it was just lost.

The photos in the gallery below are from late April-early July 2011. The close ups were taken with the Nikon 60mm f/2.8 d af micro lens that my brother got me as a grad school graduation gift that year. I HAD to play with it, and what better subjects? I’m quite pleased with the way they came out, actually.

2011 garden – first recap

25 Feb

Before starting anything in 2011, I checked with my neighbors about taking over a corner of our communal finished roof for the garden, and I was met with excitement. Only 8 units share it, and we all wanted to make the space an enjoyable, relaxing place. They thought a garden would make the rooftop homey. Everyone was on board.

I decided to try the square foot gardening method, which seemed ideal for my small space in a container box. The potting mix they recommend is 1/3 peat moss, 1/3 vermiculite, 1/3 compost, which I was able to get from a friend who ran a farm.

I started with seedlings inside and then planted them outside after a few weeks. These photos are March – April, 2011. Click to see a larger image.

2011 and 2012 growing recaps soon

24 Feb
2012 pickin'

2012 pickin’

I will begin to write some posts about my first two years of rooftop gardening so we know what we’re starting with.

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