Thursday, June 16, 2011

Managing the Growth Spurt

Bucolic Bushwick Rooftop Vegetable Garden 2011

Last week's mini heatwave did wonders for plant growth. Especially the melon plants, they have really taken off.

Melon plants have a natural tendency to grow out and down, in a sprawling manner, but I want them to grow vertically, so I've been training the vines to grow up and back toward the reed fence. Once a vine gets long enough I tie it to the cage, wait for it to grow longer, and then tie it to the fence.

I recently tried hand pollinating a couple of the female flowers, I'll let you know if it works.

Bucolic Bushwick Rooftop Vegetable Garden 2011

Bucolic Bushwick Rooftop Vegetable Garden 2011

Bucolic Bushwick Rooftop Vegetable Garden Pepper Plants

The smaller pepper plants have finally hit their stride. They're much bushier compared to last week.

The 2 Atris pepper plants in the Southern Patio container have set fruit. I noticed the fruit on Saturday , June 11th, so according to the seed packet green peppers will be ready by August 8th (58 days to maturity) and red peppers will be ready by August 15th (65 days to maturity). My harvest history, however, leads me to think that green peppers will actually be ready by mid July. If I'm snacking on red peppers by the end of July these seeds could be the new top pepper plant in my greatest hits list.

The Sungold cherry tomato plant is growing beyond the cage so I'm supporting some of the branches with rope. As a branch grows heavier with fruit extra support is needed to hold the branch up. If left alone the wind, combined with the weight of the fruit, will snap the branch off the plant. Use something wide and smooth so it won't dig into the stem once it bears weight. I used nylon clothesline, panty hose are also a good choice.

I only do this with tomato plants, I have not yet grown an eggplant or a pepper plant that requires such extra support for their branches.

Bucolic Bushwick Rooftop Vegetable Garden 2011

Lots of flowers for the eggplants, some fruits should appear very soon.

Every single tomato plant has fruited. Yay!

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  1. That's fantastic! Everything looks great! The heat wave and all the rain here have definitely helped. The Sun Gold cherry tomato plant that you gave me is enormous, strong, healthy, happy, and has about a dozen dime-sized fruits so far - SO exciting! Thank you so much for sharing a seedling with me! I ran out of pots earlier this summer and planted it in an old 5-gallon pickle bucket that I drilled drainage holes into - it seems to have enough soil and space to do its thing so far...

    My peppers also just took off this last week. I am not on a roof, but they seemed stunted a bit - smaller than everything else even though they were starting to flower. In the last week they've grown a lot, though.

    Your melon plants ought to be in a magazine - gorgeous!

  2. Thank you both. Everything is doing so well I'm waiting for disaster to strike! So far my daily checkups have been uneventful, I hope it stays that way.

  3. Hi there,
    Just wondering if anyone has been experiencing any blossom drop- I'm trying to narrow it down cause it might have to do with the temperature, I'm growing heirlooms that might not be liking it so hot, or it may be because of my weekly miracle growing. I'm going to try hand pollinating this week. Hopefully these buds will bear!

  4. I have blossom drop on my melons and cukes, but I think that has more to do with poor pollination than heat. Hope you figure out the source of your problem.


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