Thursday, July 24, 2014

Unwanted Garden Visitor

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

Beaverlodge tomato

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.

July 16-23:

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

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  1. Good catch on that worm! Those will eat your whole plant for sure!

    1. I'm glad I wasn't away on vacation, imagine coming back to that kind of damage!

  2. Just found your grow blog and wanted to comment on your beaverlodge tomato plant. I've got 6 seedlings on their second set of leaves and wanted to ask you what you thought about the plants growth. Yours looks nice and compact, that's what I'm looking for. Your thoughts about that variety of tomato plant?

    1. Hi, yes these plants are very nice and compact. I grew them last year and the plant was about the same size as this year. It's a great boxlike growth that never gets taller then wider. Last year's Beaverlodge:


Thanks for sharing your thoughts!