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rooftop garden year 3 update

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rooftop garden year 3 update

Post  dstubbs on 6/20/2012, 3:02 pm

Hi all,

Haven't been on the site since last season. I am doing SFG on my inner city rooftop for a third year. I have about 36 square feet in 4 plywood boxes, all vegetables and herbs. I found that what grew well in year 1 was not the same as what grew in year 2 (totally different crops did well each year), so I'm excited to see what's going to work out for me this year. Where I live it can be very cool for much of the summer, as I'm right on the Atlantic ocean and we get a great deal of fog in my neighbourhood in the summer months. As well, it can be a bit windy on the roof (3 stories up on a Victorian rowhouse roof), and I have a surprising amount of shade as the neighbouring trees and buildings are quite tall.

One surprising change I have noticed this year is some more weeds. I used to have almost none. Some are maple seedlings from a nearby maple tree (I didn't cover my beds over the winter and maybe should have), but I think some of it may be seedlings from veggies planted in past years and/or from seeds in the compost, along with the occasional dandelion.

Since the boxes have settled a bit, I topped them up this spring with a combination of commercial seafood compost, commercial sheep manure compost, and compost I make myself in my indoor vermicomposter (great stuff but I can't seem to make it fast enough!).

Most of what I have planted is growing from seed, but I did cheat a little and get a few seedlings (some herbs, tomatos, cucumbers, and strawberries). I didn't start anything in pots indoors, which is a change from my first two years. Most of my squares have some sort of shoots coming up now, having been planted about a month ago, but I'm far from having anything edible just yet.

Wish me luck and happy gardening, everyone!
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Re: rooftop garden year 3 update

Post  Kelejan on 6/20/2012, 4:01 pm

Thanks for letting us know how you are doing, dstubbs, it is good to know that one can SFG almost anywhere.Very Happy
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Re: rooftop garden year 3 update

Post  GWN on 6/20/2012, 4:04 pm

Wow that is very cool.
being near the ocean certainly can be hard in some ways.
Sounds like you have great soil, any chance of a picture?
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Re: rooftop garden year 3 update

Post  Nonna.PapaVino on 6/20/2012, 9:05 pm

"it can be very cool for much of the summer, as I'm right on the Atlantic ocean and we get a great deal of fog in my neighbourhood in the summer months" Wow, what you're describing is what pinot noir grapes need to develop premium wine! Don't suppose you have room for some vines? (Just kidding.) Congratulations on two successful years! Makes one want more, right? Nonna

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Re: rooftop garden year 3 update

Post  cheyannarach on 6/20/2012, 11:21 pm

Great update! I am very suprised by the weeds blowing in way up there. I noticed that there were little weed seedlings in my sheep manure compost, could be the culprit in yours too! Can't wait til you get to eat something!
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Re: rooftop garden year 3 update

Post  Amethyst42 on 5/7/2013, 11:29 am

Buying started plants is not cheating! I have an small, active household of 950sqft with 3 kids (floor is out) and 2 cats (windowsills are out), and absolutely nowhere to start seedlings! Some people don't have the space, the right conditions, or the inclination, it doesn't make them less of a gardener.
Your garden looks lovely! Best wishes, please keep us updated on it.
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Re: rooftop garden year 3 update

Post  mschaef on 5/7/2013, 2:19 pm

I live in Montana and was told that because we have such a short growing season it is better to not do seed starts but buys plants. This was from a local master gardener so not sure what to think. But I did start some seed indoors cause my boys are getting excite for the gardening to start but our community garden wont open up for another week and a half.
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Re: rooftop garden year 3 update

Post  quiltbea on 5/7/2013, 7:09 pm

dstubbs......Glad to hear you are still growing on your rooftop. It amazes me where folks manage to grow crops if they really feel the need.
It would be nice to see pix this year.
As for the weeds, they are probably wind-blown or dropped from birds flying overhead. Weed seeds always seems to find a home.
Good luck with this year's bounty.
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Re: rooftop garden year 3 update

Post  jazzycat on 5/7/2013, 8:15 pm

@mschaef wrote:I live in Montana and was told that because we have such a short growing season it is better to not do seed starts but buys plants. This was from a local master gardener so not sure what to think. But I did start some seed indoors cause my boys are getting excite for the gardening to start but our community garden wont open up for another week and a half.

You know, someone grows those plants that you buy. If you have the room and the inclination, I don't why anyone would discourage you from starting your own plants indoors. It's much more cost effective, once you have all the materials you need (lights, trays, etc.). And you know how they were grown.

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Re: rooftop garden year 3 update

Post  Dunkinjean on 5/7/2013, 8:30 pm

dstubs:
Wow, I think it is so awesome that you are able to grow vegs on your rooftop!
I recently saw a video of a girl who also grows veg's on her rooftop. She has cloth wrapped around her boxes (same cloth as hoops) to protect the plants against the wind as needed. Her garden was unbelievably beautiful! You are obviously doing doing it right and well. Very Happy
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