Wednesday, July 15, 2009
My Brooklyn rooftop gardening experience....
I thought that Brooklyn would be the perfect place to have a garden. Although we have no yard.... we do have roof access to our building, which is painted silver. It seemed to be perfect for a container vegetable garden! It's the middle of a densely populated urban area with no room for natural predators...right? No aphids to attack the tomatoes and no squirrels to run off with your ripening tomatoes in their little jaws--and a nice hot silver roof! Well, I have learned many things during this season of gardening.
This year I bought seeds online from The Territorial Seed Company out of Oregon (www.territorialseed.com). I bought 5 different types of tomatoes, 3 different peppers, basil, pattypan squash, spinach, black coco bush beans, and sugar snap peas. I sprouted them in damp paper towels and a ziploc bag in a dark room. Then I transplanted them to tiny Dixie cups once they sprouted, placing them under compact florescent lights inside. I loved them and talked to them...but they still resented me when I finally placed them outside. They have so far survived bouts of aphids, fungus gnats, white flies, and some little green bug I just found today on the tomatoes! I went to Sprout Home in Brooklyn (http://sprouthome.stores.yahoo.net/organiccoop.html) for some help. For the aphids, neem oil did the job. The leaves will die but they do come back as you can see in the photos of my bush beans. For the fungus gnats, they gave me nematodes which feed on fungus gnat larvae. This seems to have done the job. And worm castings are a great organic fertilizer, which they also sold to me! Check back for updates od their growth!