As Spring has turned into Summer, and Summer into Fall, vegetable production for the Roosevelt University Wabash rooftop garden is nearing the end for this growing season. This Spring marked the second year of growing on the rooftop garden, and through trial and error, much has been learned as to what can and cannot be grown up on the fifth floor of Wabash, where the sun glares down, and where winds can get particularly vicious on windy days.
This past year has been an ambitious one, and to try and learn what could take root and grow, and what would fail to do so, we planted a variety of vegetables and herbs such as: Sage, thyme, oregano, basil, broccoli, kale, spinach, lettuce, marigolds, nasturtium, broccoli sprouts, carrots, peas, squash, okra, cucumbers, onions, watermelon, and green beans. Out of those, the basil was originally unsuccessful and had to be replanted, and the squash, onions, and watermelon fell short of growth. Others such as the carrots, peas, and green beans grew well, but produced more greenery than anything, and were not an efficient use of the space due to that fact. All in all though, through the efforts of several individuals, the garden produced about 33 pounds of produce in its second year running! Additionally, we have learned a great deal and will put that knowledge into efforts for the garden next Spring.
In addition to planting a variety of vegetables, we attempted to grow on trellises. While the wind was aggressive, the trellises were appropriately anchored down and worked rather well. However, such factors as the soil depth, water inconsistency, and the angle in which the sun hit or did not hit the garden may have played a role in why the trellised peas and green beans produced more greenery than anything.
There are several benefits of rooftop gardens as well, so be sure to check out an upcoming blog post which will include the benefits of these gardens, including the one located on the 5th floor of Wabash.
To check out any previous posts on the Wabash rooftop garden, check out the following links: http://rooseveltgreencampus.wordpress.com/2014/05/07/wabash-rooftop-garden-efforts/