Saturday, June 4, 2011

Gardening In My Sleep

I really must be getting obsessed with this vegetable gardening thing. I seem to be thinking of vegetables even in my sleep. I had one of those nighttime 'light bulb' moments the other day. You know the kind where you wake out of a dead sleep with a great idea. What did my brain come up with this time? A rooftop garden!

I have a playhouse on the side of my property that the kids have grown out of. I am currently using it to store my bags of dry leaves. I don't know why I didn't think of it before, but the roof of the playhouse gets full sun- probably more sun than any other area of my property- a perfect spot for another growing experiment!

I had a few extra tomato and zucchini seedlings so thought, why not try it out for fun? I didn't want to spend any money, so constructed the whole thing from supplies I already had around the house. I figured I would use a vegetable soil bag as a 'grow bag', as I had success using these last year. My thinking is to have the plants 'cascade' over the roof and down. The soil bags fit perfectly into an old strawberry flat I had lying around. I had my husband construct a level platform using old scraps of wood and we screwed the strawberry flat to the platform for stability. It's actually quite strong. The structure will probably be painted at some point to help protect it from the elements and to help camouflage it a bit as well.

Right away I'm noticing a few potential problems with my rooftop garden. First, keeping the plants sufficiently watered will be a challenge. Since the roof is so hot, I've already noticed it drying out quite quickly. I can see now why many rooftop growers will use self watering containers. I may look into this option next year, but for now, I am going to try to rig up a homemade 'drip' irrigation system using a pop bottle. I just have to figure out how to keep it up there without blowing away. The other issue I will have will be access. While I can climb up to the roof easily enough, getting down is a little harder. For the time being, I have positioned a step ladder at the back, which allows me to get high enough for watering.

1 comment:

Gardeningbren said...

I'll be interested to read how this works out..it's a marvelous idea. If it ends up getting too hot, maybe Mediterranean type herbs that can take some heat?