So the the nasty fungal disease known as powdery mildew has attacked our zucchini, squash, and pumpkins. A few dozen zucchini were harvested before the plants were taken over but the squash and pumpkin didn’t even get a chance to flower. I tried to eradicate the disease with a home remedy of water and baking soda when I first noticed the powdery blotches, but the mildew proved too tough an adversary. There is one squash plant and one zucchini plant that survived and I’m hoping they make it through the flowering stage. For now, I’ve taken out the rest of the affected plants and disposed of them, all that remains are the empty containers.
While the plants on the rooftop farm are enjoying the twilight of their lives, new life is thriving down in the greenhouse.
The spinach seedlings are loving the coziness of the greenhouse. They’ll get some breathing and growing room once they’re thinned out.
Whatever your stance on thinning seedlings may be (whether you take mercy on them and leave them to crowd each other out, pluck them without a second thought, or any other routine), the best tool for thinning out seedlings is the human hand. More specifically, small hands. That’s where my future urban gardeners come in. They helped me sow the seed, they helped transplant some rooftop okra, and they will help thin out the seedlings. Once the amount of space remaining is determined, these young farmers will plant carrots and a few varieties of lettuce.
These young urban farmers will also help monitor the health and growth of the greenhouse plants. One young urban farmer is experimenting with the benefits of compost. Her plot is divided into two sections, one section has lettuce growing in conventional soil and the other half has the lettuce growing in soil amended with our own homemade compost. We’ll be recording the first data numbers in the next few days.
In addition to the beans, collards, spinach, and okra that have been planted in the greenhouse, our tenant farmers have transplanted some pepper and callaloo (or amaranth) that seem to be doing very well.
Please stay tuned for more updates from the rooftop farm and the greenhouse!