The garden is ready to go! Every container has been mulched, fertilized, and caged/staked. All that's left to do is to transfer the plants to their permanent home.
I initially bought granular fertilizer to add to the containers, since it's what I've been using since I started gardening, but once I saw these fertilizer spikes at HD I cleared out the entire display. Granular fertilizer is a pain to use on the roof, the stinky particles always blow back into your face and clothes, so finding an alternative that is much easier and quicker to apply made me very happy. I'll use up the granular fertilizer first and then switch to the spikes.
The hardening off process is finished for the larger seedlings. They have been outdoors all day and night since last Saturday. Last Tuesday I moved them to location that got almost full sun and wind exposure.
I was going to wait until overnight temps warmed up to the 60s to transplant, but the tomatoes are ready to go. Their roots are starting to circle their pots and it's silly to pot them up again if they're already acclimated to the rooftop environment. I'm just going to plant them now. The peppers and eggplants can wait, they haven't outgrown their pots yet.
The DIY self watering containers I mentioned in the previous post, preparing the garden, have finally been built. The container in the above photo was made from a pair of 26 gallon totes. It is now the largest container on the roof. Two Valencia tomato plants will be grown here.
The container in the photo below was made from a pair of 20 gallon totes. It's now the second largest container on the roof, the Sungold cherry tomato plant will be grown here.
Both containers are based on my 2 storage tote design, but with a couple of alterations.
To save a few dollars I skipped buying a colander and instead used two yogurt tubs with holes poked into their sides as the water wicking chambers. I also added a water bottle to act as a fill tube. I prefer using Glaceau Smartwater bottles for fill tubes because the plastic is thick and sturdy, much stiffer than regular water bottles, they're tall, so you don't need to stack bottles to reach the top of the container, and because they're narrow, leaving more room for soil in the container.
These are the last containers I will add to the roof this year. I'm sick of lugging bags of soil up to the roof!
Organic Vegetable Fertilizer Food Spikes: $45.65 (Amazon will sometimes sell these for $4.99, which is the cheapest I've ever seen anywhere.)
Organic Vegetable & Tomato Granular Fertilizer: $26.11
Running Total: $300.54