Daily monitoring has caught a pest in the garden, but otherwise the rooftop crops are doing well. Right now I'm watering every 3rd day, which is much nicer than watering every single day. Compact plants growing in containers with large water reservoirs is definitely the way to go for a relatively low maintenance rooftop vegetable garden. Depending on the temperature I can sometimes get away with watering every 4th day, but I prefer to err on the side of caution and stick to watering every 3rd day.
My only problem happens during the week, when I sometimes forget if I watered on the previous Sunday or the previous Saturday, which means the plants sometimes get watered every 4th day instead of every 3rd. 4th day watering is only a problem when there's been a string of consecutive hot days (high 80's or 90's). I can tell I've made this mistake when I come back from work and find wilted eggplant leaves. The large leaves of the eggplant make it very easy to notice if they're wilting. I've done this only a couple of times though so there's been no lasting side effects to the garden.
Sunsugar F1 cherry tomato. I'm pleasantly surprised by how much the windbreak has improved the health of this plant. It's noticeably taller, fuller and greener than previous weeks, and a lot more flower clusters have appeared.
Little Baby Flower F1 watermelons. I've been checking the largest melon on the right every day and it's still not ripe.
Lil Keeper F1 melons
The first wave of fruit is ripening. As these are harvested a second wave of younger fruit takes their place.
Orient Express F1 eggplant. My favorite plant to look at in the garden. Eggplant is another crop, along with peppers, that I rarely have problems with growing on the roof. I just put them in a location with partial shade and they flourish until fall.
Yukon Gold potatoes. The plants are slowly, ever so slowly, dying back.
Sugar Buns F1 corn
Orange Blaze F1 peppers
Bush Goliath F1 tomato. The container is now about a foot away from the hot tar wall.
The plant looks very much like it did last week, except now I noticed 2 more fruits forming. This plant has been stuck at 4 tomatoes for weeks, so the appearance of new fruit leads me think it was definitely too hot near the wall for fruiting to occur.
The unwanted garden visitor. Can you see him on the leaf?
Tomato hornworm caterpillar with the distinctive black horn on its end. I'm glad I caught him so early in his life cycle. If I caught him at full size he would have utterly decimated this compact plant. He was too small to pick up by hand so I used a piece of tape to get him off the leaf.
I didn't spot any more on this plant or the others, but I remain vigilant. At the end of the season I should churn the soil in this container to prevent any pupa from surviving into next year.
Giant Aconcagua peppers. I picked some of the peppers last weekend, nice and crunchy! I'm looking forward to when they turn red and get that punch of sweetness.
Pink Berkeley Tye Die tomato
The oldest tomato is starting to change color.
Cherry Tomato (Sunsugar F1): 1.375 ounces
Eggplant (Orient Express F1): 1 pound, 3.5 ounces
Pepper (Giant Aconcagua): 13.0 ounces
Tomato (Beaverlodge): 1 pound, 3.625 ounces
Total: 3 pounds, 5.5 ounces
2014 Running Weight Total: 4 pounds, 8.0 ounces
Visit bucolicbushwick.com to read more about rooftop vegetable gardening.