Friday, November 09, 2018

Lettuce in the rooftop garden

Heather here, giving Dicky a week off from writing. :)

Whilst most of our crops come from the farm, I am lucky to have a sunny rooftop terrace where I do container gardening. As I'm four flights off the ground I get around six extra weeks of growing time due to the sheltered nature of the rooftop. Also it catches the morning sun which warms up the concrete under my containers.

As Dicky was busy getting the farm ready for winter, I've been planting and getting things sorted up here.

Here is my lettuce as of today, November 8, 2019! On the left is 'salad bowl' and just next to it is 'lamb's lettuce'. They are both hardier varieties. Salad bowl can be sowed into August for harvesting in October, but I'll probably get a few more weeks out of this one.

We just had some of the left one last night; it was tasty with no hint of bitterness.

Here is one of the two remaining chilli peppers that I still have going. The variety is called 'Razzamataz.' This one was a late bloomer compared to the more easy going jalapenos and habaneros.

Then it took ages for them to start to turn red.

I'd like to bring it in to try and overwinter it but I'm seeing mixed research online about chilli plants being potentially toxic to cats. For now I'll leave it as is and take my chances that it will survive the winter.

While we've had a few nights of overnight freezing in our corner of Essex, I haven't had any frost up here yet. It needs to get consistently cold, like a few days in a row where it gets below freezing and not above 5 C during the day.

The eagle-eyed among us may notice a fern-like plant to the right of the chilli, it's dill.

It came in a multi-pack of herb seeds. I don't actually use dill in cooking but I planted the seeds to see what it looked like in plant form.

Apparently it's quite happy up here. It went to seed and I composted it and magically it appeared again....and again....and again.
One more plant to show you today, my avocado! I eat a lot of avocados and put the stones into my compost bin. It gets so stinking hot up here in mid-summer (even when we don't have a 'super summer' like this year) that they sprout.

I hate to see a plant unappreciated so I sold a few on ebay. Then I freecycled some. I took them to my gym as a freebie for members. Dicky put them in the 'free' area of our allotment and thankfully our fellow gardeners took them off our hands. My final avocado plant tally was over 30!

Here is one of the last ones. They do not tolerate frost but it's another one that I am hesitant to bring indoors due to possible toxicity to the cat.

 I hope you enjoyed this little autumn tour of some of the things that are still growing on my rooftop.


Sue Garrett said...

You have plenty going on up there. Do you think you will ever get fruit on your avocado, We don’t eat them as there don’t seem to be many recipes that use them that we would like or maybe I’ve just not found them yet.

Rooftop Gardener said...

I've seen some posts where people have managed to get fruit from them in the UK. Sounds like it's a long term effort though, 8 years or more before they start and they need to be heavily sheltered or indoors over the winter.

I tend to eat them as part of a fresh salad, otherwise I wouldn't know what to do with them either. :)

Mal said...

Nice to hear about your salads! 30 Avacados???

Rooftop Gardener said...

Hi Mal, thanks for stopping by. Indeed, 30 avocado plants, it got a little bit crazy. :)