Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Roof Top Gardening

This year's weather has been strange. I feel like we are living in Harry Potter's world and the dementors are causing a misty, cool weather to persist, despite it being the end of July. This past week the weather has improved a little though. It has been in the 80s and humid. We have also had a few thunderstorms, but nothing really that has resulted in a lot of rain.
Amy checked the plants for me while I was away. She did a wonderful job, I returned to a yard full of happy flowers and plants, I am glad that the garden decided to have a few goodies to offer her as she tended it for me. If you ever go away on vacation in the summer, be sure to enlist a trusted friend, preferably a gardener, to tend your plants while you are away, there is nothing worse than to come home to a yard full of desperately thirsty tomatoes and flowers!
The roof has been a great climate for the peppers and tomatoes. Both enjoy full sun and lots of warmth, something a flat roof excels at providing, especially one like ours that does not have any trees overhanging it, and too think that the excessive heat on roofs is a problem for some people, I say put tomatoes on everybodies' roofs! Anyway, plants that get the correct amount of sunshine tend to be fairly compact, those that don't, get tall and leggy, kind of like in the greenhouse when you can tell your seedlings aren't getting enough because they are leggy and scrawny. You don't have to look closely to see that all of the tomatoes and peppers are compact little plants. Granted, they were all chosen for their compact nature, but I had one left over that I planted down below. It is twice as tall and has half as many leaves!
The weather still has managed to cause some troubles. Some of the tomatoes have suffered blossom end rot. This ugly malady, luckily, should be fairly easy to remedy, or at least partially counteract. It is caused by big fluctuations in temperature and big fluctuations in soil moisture levels. It is also exacerbated by a lack of calcium available to the tomato plants. So, I gave all the plants a handful of slow release fertilizer (it's the middle of summer and everything is due for a snack anyway), I am being more careful that the plants have water on the hottest of days, and I will be giving them each a handful of crushed egg shells to help increase their calcium. Here's hoping it works because I am really getting hungry for good tomatoes!
The peppers have already given several tasty treats. We have had a few mild banana pepper like ones, and one which I found out the hard way, which had a little kick to it. My mom did warn me when she gave them to me that one of them was hot. Next year I'll take better care in labelling everything. I always think I will remember, but clearly that i not the case!
The paprika style ones are getting big. They are a pretty creamy color and stand out nicely against the dark green leaves. I can't wait until they start to ripen!
I thought that by this time of the summer I wouldn't need to worry about the bird netting any more. One night of having forgotten to tie it back closed as show that that is not the case. No major harm done, but one of the peppers on the end looks like somebody tried to land on it for a rest.
Maybe next week's post will include a picture of a blushing tomato!

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