Saturday, May 5, 2012

Spring Planting for Rooftop Garden

We had a group of volunteers from Levi Strauss & Co. visit CORE/El Centro this week and help with planting our broccoli and cauliflower starters on the rooftop.  I had given them three days of "practice" on the rooftop, taking them out for 3-4 hours each day so they could acclimate to the sun and wind before they took their new (and final) home on our rooftop soil.  These starters were about 6 weeks old, but most only had 2-3 sets of "real" leaves.  The typical standard for broccoli and cauliflower to transplant when they are EITHER 4-6 weeks old, or have 4-5 sets of true leaves (that is, not counting the initial set of leaves). 

When transplated, broccoli can be planted up to the first set of true leaves - the initial leaves, or cotyledons, will actually grow into roots if planted underground.  Cauliflower is best planted at the same height as it was in the seed pots, but because some of our little ones has soft stems, we planted them a bit deeper so they wouldn't be so wind-whipped.  Speaking of wind, you can see in the picture below slight wind burn on the broccoli leaves.  This picture was taken the day after planting.  I hope this is something the plants will grow out of - I'll keep posting updates as they grow and continue to acclimate to the windy conditions five stories above the street! 

The bed as of 5.4.12- spinach, lettuce and swiss chard at the far end, broccoli
andcauliflower in the middle, a nice transplant of oregano nearest the camera. 

Possible wind burn after the first night on the roof.

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