Thursday, August 6, 2009

The heat is on

It is warm and muggy!! I know this isn't always something to quite so ecstatic about, but when you have gone through the coldest summer in decades, hot and muggy feels so good. The funny thing that I have noticed is that everyone is complaining. I guess you truly can't win. If it's cool out it's too cool and if it's hot out it's too hot. For us humans the cool breezy May-like summer we have been having is a blessing. But for farmers, and consequently all the food we enjoy everyday, the cool weather has been torture. It has come with the evidence of diseases that strike only when wet and cool and the slow take of warm weather veggies, like squash and tomatoes. I have hope that this year will be a long, moderate season, allowing us to dine on squash well through October.

The advantage to the sudden heat is that the cantaloupe are going crazy and so are the Italian Trombetta di Albenga Summer Squash. They are both taking over their respective beds, and starting to flower! (I promise I will post pictures soon!!) We have new ears of corn starting to form and the beans are flowering in bunches.

We have been planting out the beds like mad lately, adding new varieties of lettuce (Mascara and Sweet Valentine!) and new varieties of carrots and radishes too. I think that the addition of squash on the roof is going to prove to be a nice wind barrier, they are not minding the fact that I have them tied to the trellis system. I also love the shade they create and am planting all those new lettuces underneath their broad leaves. Just the answer to the dessert environment of the rooftop farm. As soon as the beans get a little taller on some of the other beds I'll be planting more head lettuces underneath them!

Recently I ordered some new seeds, hoping to transfer parts of the ground level beds into winter growing spaces. This year we'll try a few onions, garlic, kale, cabbages, rutabaga, turnips and parsnips down there to see how they fare come December and January. These beds are right against the building, so they should get some residual heat off the building, regulating the temperature in the soil a little more than we can upstairs. We will still be putting cold frames on some of the beds on the rooftop too, to see what we can grow throughout the winter season. Always an experiment, always fun! Let me know if you have any good winter growing tips for us!


  1. Natalie,

    Thanks for the update on what is going on with the rooftop farm. I'm one of those that doesn't like it hot because I start to melt. The cool season has been great for me and my ornamentals, but as you point out horrible for the edibles.

    Keep the updates coming.

  2. I hear ya. I don't mind being cool either. But those tomatoes sure don't want to turn red in the rain.