– GREEN ROOF SUMMER CROPS

Some of the crops harvested from our green roof and green wall

Zucchinis take a lot of space and grow large leaves very quickly. These plants boomed before all others, covering over some eggplants, beets and edaname. We have been eating these for more than a month now. Since they grew so big we grilled most of them.

sprouting zuccinis

Zucchinis exploded almost overnight from 5″ to 15″ long

The cucumbers grew a little slower but now are producing a lot of fruit.

These cucumbers are crisper and sweeter than any we have purchased from a grocery store.
Sliced and prepared with Lemon juice, Lemon basil, a touch of white wine vinegar, Olive oil, some Radicchio Lettuce from our green wall, salt and pepper, it is an amazing Summer treat.

Watermellons were planted in one corner of the Roof Top Farm. They spread out covering a lot of ground, but some other crops like peppers, eggplants, beets and tomatoes were planted in a few spots. SInce the leaves grow so low to the ground, other vertical growing crops can be planted in the same area

Red Bell Peppers are growing prolifically as are the Hot Cheery Peppers

From the Wall Farm green wall system we harvested Onions, Garlic, Potatoes, and Red Chard

Onions and Garlic harvested from the green wall. They are small but very potent.

Fingerling Potatoes planted in a few cells as an experiment. Very tasty when oven roasted with parsley.

Red Chard growing very strong in Green wall. We pick some outer leaves to eat and let the center grow out for a future harvesting.

Green roof gardening is not without pests. First ¬†appearing were vine borers in the zucchini’s. Since they grow inside the stems of the plant they are hard to detect until a lot of damage is done. When I noticed lesions in the stem at the base of the plant, I cut open the stem lengthwise and could dig out these vine boring worms. I then made more cuts in other ares of the stems and dug out more worms and eggs. I then spray neem oil directly into the stem openings. This has ridded the zucchinis of the vine borers in one treatment. After removing all yellowed leaves and diseased fruit form the invasive cutting and digging, they quickly recovered.

Vine Borer damage to Zucchinni Stems

Zucchini Crops recovering after treatment with neem oil for vine borers. Note wilted fruit on left the result of vine borer damage

Another invader that has recently arrived is the Harlequin Bug (Murgantia Histrionica). Also known as Calico Bug or Fire Bug. It is a member of the Stink Bug family, usually Black with Orange, Bright Red or Yellow markings and about 3/8″ long

We spent a day hand picking these leaf sucking bugs off our Bok Choy plants and Broccoli Plants. They infected the Bok Choy more aggressively than other plants. We should have taken action earlier since there are a lot of yellow Bok Choy leaves.

Black and Orange Harlequin Bug on Broccoli leaves. They are very beautiful looking, but dont seduced by their looks, they will multiply and devour your leafy green food. Yellow blotches are left on leaves where they have been feeding.

Harlequin Bugs lay white eggs with black stripes in packs of 12 about 1 mm long each

Harlequin Bug eggs hatching on stems. The little black and orange bodies are now ready to eat some Bok Choy

We picked off all the bugs we could see, lifting up leaves to reveal the bug’s resting places. We also picked off all the egg clusters. Many of the adult bugs were mating. Most adults did not move too fast and are easy to catch. The smaller younger Harlequin bugs fly away very fast and could not be captured. Once caught the bugs were dropped in a cup of soapy water to kill them. Around one hundred were caught.

Soapy water for Harlequin Bugs

Harlequin Bugs in Mating position. Aint that sweet!

We have been enjoying Bok Choy from this patch all summer long. We now have removed all infected leaves and see fresh sprouts at the center of the plants, so we expect the Bok Choy plants to recover and produce more of the delicious vegetable.

Bok Choy trimmed back and ready to regrow

Well at least we have one friend in the garden. This Lady bug is a beneficial insect and will take care of a few predators

 

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