Thursday, July 1, 2010

Roof farm progress

Well, it's growing...

Above, the watermelon's flowers, below, the cucumber.

Frank's suggestion of a horizontal trellis of sorts (it has to be very cheap, and must not blow away) will be applied this weekend, for the watermelon, which is running away. I don't see the vines or fruits (please-may-it-make-fruit) being very happy on the blistering tartop. And maybe for the alleged bush cucumbers, too.

If the cucumbers make fruit I will turn them into pickles. We had delicious pickles at Buttermilk Channel last night, which, aside from my cheese at the end of dinner, and a very good lady maitre d', were the best part of the meal. A very meh meal.

These are my grown-from-seed Mexican heirlooms, which came up on the terrace earlier in the year. They seem very happy. To my horror, I snapped the central stem off one while trying to poke it back into its cage. Loss, and shame.

I want more.


  1. for 2 summers I grew sugar baby watermelons in a strip of dirt about 6" wide, up a chain link fence.

    I got melons! Trust me you'll get 'em too.

  2. Looking good. Somebody is catching the urban rooftop fever. It is exciting to extend one's growing space and master new growing conditions. uh?
    I know it all too well :)

  3. what about a heavy layer of straw or salt marsh hay to cushion the very vining veggies from the hot roof? could be cheaper and safer (no windblown projectiles) than the trellis.

  4. No. Absolutely not. We are not moving to a farm in the Midwest. ;-)

  5. How bout a farm in the MidBrooklyn?

    My guess is these vines can grow . If they do, you'll be chasing vines everywhere with trellising.

    For everyone, cheap means something different, but here's my cheapest off the cuff idea:

    4 16-inch-long 4 x 4 posts or 2x4 studs, any kind (you can probably get those from work, no?)
    Anyway, then four younameits for horizontal support, attached in some newfangled way to the four corner posts. Could be 2x4s or 2x3s, or 3/4 inch metal, plastic, or whathaveyou pipe, or even rebar.

    And here's the kicker that makes it not fly off the roof: Twine strung everywhichway to make a mesh support. Or you could use metal or plastic mesh fencing if you can find that for free (know anybody in Parks?).

    If you use twine you may need additional central horizontal support, just add another whathaveyou.

    Not exactly aesthetic, but...

  6. I'm hoping that as the vines run across the roof, they'll shade it enough to protect themselves from the heat (I'm occasionally prone to wildly wishful thinking). Watering will be the challenge.

  7. Pam at "Digging" uses cattle panels for trellis material. It's a strong wire grid. Tractor Supply has it.


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