Time to kick-off our rooftop garden.
Did you know that we grow some of our own herbs, edible flowers, and vegetables on our rooftop? Now that spring has finally sprung, we are getting our plantings primed. We started with seeds from Rooftop Ready, a cool Brooklyn company started by urban farmer Zach Pickens—who tends the rooftop farm over at Riverpark. All of the seeds that they sell are chosen because they do well in our particular urban environment and microclimate, and are great in window boxes, milk crates or shallow buckets – all the tools and terroir of rooftop farming! The seeds are culled from the sturdiest specimens in urban farms, including from Zach’s own Brooklyn rooftop. So far this year we are growing tomatillos, Aji Dulce peppers for hot sauce, pale yellow heirloom tomatoes, and borage – a pretty blossom that tastes a lot like cucumbers and is the classic garnish for a Pimm’s Cup cocktail.
We started the seeds from Rooftop Ready indoors first. We began planting them in containers on April 3rd and now nearly 3 weeks later we have strong seedlings that are ready to face the outdoors. If you are planning your own edible garden for this summer, it is not too late to start your own seeds. If you start now, you will have sturdy little plants to put outside for mid-May when the temps are plenty warm and ideal for baby plants. We are taking our lead from some instructions on the Rooftop Ready website.
At first we will be putting our baby plants in their containers outside during the warmer part of the day this week, and bringing them in at night so that they don’t get chilled. Hopefully by next week, with nighttime temps staying above 50 degrees most days, we can actually plant them. When we do that I will also be putting down last year’s compost on top of the soil, as a fertile bed for the seedlings and new plants.