Heated Garden Update

I thought the weekly round up would be my last post of the week, but when I woke up and looked at the news stations, everyone is saying the same thing: Stay inside this weekend!  It’s a hot one in NYC the last few days, but Friday-Sunday seems to be very high up there on the “I’m miserable” charts.    You know it’s not looking good for the next day when it’s 88 degrees at midnight.   Currently right now it feels like 103 degrees, which I know for some people sounds “normal” but keep in perspective NYC is a walkers city.  I don’t get to jump from my AC’d house to my AC’d car to the AC’d store.  No,  instead I walk from my hot house to the destination.  It’s pretty brutal and I have to pull up  my dress a few times to dab my sweating belly (let’s be real here).  The highlight is when a store has AC and someone goes into it as the doors are opening and you just feel a great breeze.  Then it closes quickly and you’re back to sobbing quietly.  Then there’s the subways underground, but don’t get me started on them, just imagine very hot and very stinky. 

The Weather Channel describes this as a “Sultry Weekly in the Northeast”.  They even made this great graphic for their website:

I don’t do too well in the heat.  I’m usually laying on our cement flooring telling Matthew I’m going to faint so he should come blow a fan on me, give me ice water and feed me a piece of cold fudge.    I’m a bit dramatic,  but seriously, it’s hot out.   If I go outside, I am known to burn pretty quickly.  The garden has hardened me up some and I have a wild shoe tan on my feet but if you leave me out too long, I’m going to burn and blister (and cry).  When we would go to the Jersey shore every summer my parents would pour sunblock all over me until I was ghostly white.  I would always be required to wear a t-shirt at the beach.    My young self didn’t think this was very fashionable but I thank them years later.  White sunblock all over my face was a big part of my summer youth….check out that 1 piece bikini too,  mixing polka dots with stripes! 

I haven’t been outside at all today yet and don’t plan on it until the sun is down so we can jump up to the garden quickly to water.    The roof is even more brutal, take some real hot sun rays and add on a silver reflective roof and you are left with a sunburn that will make you cry.  Yesterday I went to the garden to tear down the sugar snap peas as it was time.   The sugar snaps will be back in the fall, but their summertime run is over.  I will do a full post to honor their beauty soon enough!    The peas took about an hour to take down, and I was equipped with SPF and water, but 1 hour later I felt the burn.  I went downstairs and immediately saw the results which would continue to redden for the next few hours, my scalp, forearms, neck and back were bright red and hurt.    Aloe was rubbed into my skin as Matthew shook his head as he always does when I get burned (don’t blame me!).  But the sugar snap peas were down.. here’s a before and after. 

The sugar snaps ruled this year, and we have been eating them for dinner a few nights a week with pasta. YUM!

So while I have a Saturday afternoon free, here’s a quick garden update of some pictures I took in the last week.  Welcome to the garden!

Our kale plants growing.. one thing I learned last year is that kale does really well in the summer time heat.

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This is the kale last year in August.  We were pretty surprised by how great it does.  

So kale gets washed off…

Then a nice bushel gets taken downstairs for dinner later that night… we made kale pesto, it was DELICIOUS!

The corn has tassels!

The farmers saying is that corn should be “knee high by the 4th of July”.  Well folks, I think we’re doing ok!

The 2 squash plants we’re growing with the corn and beans are doing great and starting to snake itself outside of the box.

Speaking of green bean plants, this is the most bushy green our plants have ever grown!  (Knock on wood planters).   

And we have a winner, one of the plants have made it to the top and started to curl itself around.. good job bean, you win the first to the top competition!

If every single flower turned into a cucumber I would need a refrigerator dedicated to pickles.  Here are 3 baby cucumbers which just startedWP_20130626_00620130706185514.jpg
And here you see them in all sizes, small, medium and large.

The cucumbers have completely taken over both sides of the PVC structure.  It’s fun to crawl through.

The watermelons are going WILD! This one week..

And here’s one week later.  Let’s just say they are letting their presence be known!  Everyday I go around counting them as if I just learned how to count because I’m so excited.  There’s currently 19 watermelons I spotted!   I’ve been “plunking” them with my fingers to listen to their sound to know when they are ready… one is very close!

The one in the middle is the one close… I am very excited! Last year I got some of the best tasting watermelon…

Then I spotted this watermelon which the heat split.  I got real sad after I saw this and proceeded to mope around the garden mumbling sad quotes about our beloved watermelon.

We picked this cabbage and ate it for dinner, I love cabbage, don’t you?

Pepper plants, the strong guys of the garden that don’t need any additional help.  Just plant them and sing to them and they grow big.

Can you spot the 4 baby peppers just starting in this picture?

Roma tomatoes sometimes start out pear shaped, it always amuses me.

Then they turn into their regular shape. 

Big Beef guys.

And a big vine of cherry tomatoes which I’ve been snacking on crazily.

The beginning of July has officially started tomato season for us.  It’s that time of the year where a basket always needs to go up to the garden as there is always tomatoes to be picked.  Sometimes I look down at my garden shoes and spot little tomatoes in them.  Tomatoes, Tomatoes, Everywhere!

Every year this bowl sits on the counter and as the weeks continue it fills up.  This bowl eventually turns into 2 bowls, 3 bowls, 4 bowls, and then our entire kitchen island is Tomato City USA.  This is how it looked yesterday. 

And now it’s going to be even fuller because I just ran up to the garden and picked these tomatoes! 

Here’s 2 of our tomato plants.. you can see they are making their way up the 2nd stacked cage!

Here’s our soybeans.  Last year I planted a crazy amount of soybeans (50+) so this year I went a little less wild.  Edamame – yum!


Lots of orange beauties in there…

Lots and lots and lots of onions.  We are going to start another batch soon.

Pumpkin plants.  The one to the right is a Jack-O-Lantern which looks great.  The one to the right is a Pumpkin Pie plant which looks deadly during the day as it does not deal well with heat.  Once the night hits, the plant bounces back but during the day it’s sad to look at. 

There are a couple on the Pumpkin Pie plant!

And we officially got our first Jack-O-Lantern of the year! I have been working hard in the early morning to hand pollinate these.

Because of the heat, the containers have been sucking up water.  Here is a enthusiastic Matthew watering the corn.  Off to the right is the strawberries next to a coffin.  I’m going to pretend everything is normal and move along now.


So here is the July 6 garden! Grow babies, grow!

Hope you liked the garden update, thanks for stopping by!

Hope you are staying out of the heat!  Eat a ice cream cone!



Leave a comment
  • A great tour – thank you for writing it and I’m sorry about the heat! I can only imagine how hot the rooftop gets. That pepper plant is impressively full! Looks like your bowl of tomatoes and garden are reminding you that it’s salsa time! And your pic of the tomato cages reminded me that I’ve been meaning to stack cages. How do you bind the two cages together?

    • Hey Sam, it’s totally salsa time! I was just telling Matthew it’s that time of the year where we need tortilla chips always stocked!

      For the tomato cages, we zip tie them together multiple times. They’re sturdy and can handle wind this way.

  • Wow Pam love it!!! I am thinking of starting kale now – was going to wait but maybe now would be good. I love kale for green smoothies!
    thanks for inspiring me – everything looks amazing!

  • You’re amazing, there I said it. I love your rooftop garden (It must be really hot up there though). You are the very definition of an urban gardener. I have vegetable envy, seriously I wish I were your neighbor I would barter for vegetables and maybe a watermelon. You are so right, I walk outside of my house in Brooklyn and immediately become cranky and irritable. We are walkers here, no shuffling between air conditioned vehicles into air conditioned destinations. It’s brutal, I have window AC units that are spitting out warm air making cooking and baking nearly impossible. The pugs are not happy! Stay cool or try at least. I tend to be overly dramatic also.

    • Thanks Suzanne! Totally sweet, if you were my neighbor then I would leave a watermelon with a big pink bow on it outside your door. πŸ™‚ My cats feel the same way, looking around now, they’re laying on the floor saying “I’m over this heat”.

  • I loved this post! I spent a lot of time looking longingly at both the lush garden and the weather forecast! It’s warm here, but not HOT, and I like a few sweltering days myself (I know, I’m insane). Anyway, hope your sunburn is feeling better πŸ™‚ Also, did you (or can you) share the kale pesto recipe you used? It sounds amazing!

    • Thanks Nora! I will be posting the recipe soon. I just had it again last night on top of some pizza and it was delicious!

  • I hate stinky hot weather too! πŸ™‚ Hope you’re staying cool Pamela. Your garden is doing extremely well. I’m loving the veggies, especially the tomatoes and the bell peppers. Enjoy your Sunday!

  • As always your garden rocks and it’s just so healthy and full of life. I swear it’s from all of your positive and happy energy! I love that you made the lacinato kale salad and I’m so happy that you loved it. It truly has turned kale haters into kale lovers. If I had as much kale as you, I would be making a kale salad everyday. It’s so cool that you can just step outside, pick a bunch of kale and then make a salad without having to go to the grocery store.
    I am loving all those tomatoes. I could have used a batch of your tomatoes today. I made this Israeli couscous salad today that had a bunch of cherry tomatoes and cucumbers in it. I actually bet everything that I needed for the salad, you have growing in your garden. Jealous! Ok girl, I’m off to watch a movie with the kiddos! Have a great night! xoxo, Jackie

    • Thanks Jackie! The kale salad is DELICIOUS. I had it again tonight with pizza (again). I can’t get over how good it is, I’m a official kale salad lover for life now! If you lived closer I would hook you up with all the tomatoes and cucumbers you need! πŸ™‚

  • I can’t get over your garden! I am trying not to compare mine to yours….but well you win, no matter what. I know how much work that must have taken, with the set up and hauling and all that. I’d say you are lucky that you will have food for the year, but it isn’t luck. It’s skill and hard work.

    Your kale!!! Its like KALE TREES!

  • Thanks for the wonderful garden tour, I love all the gorgeous veggies. It’s like veggie heaven for me πŸ™‚ Hope you’re staying cool and enjoyed your weekend πŸ™‚

  • Your garden is so inspirational!! Seriously i ended up cleaning ours out last week.. Even though you have gotten really high heat, in Miami combine that with humidity and things were not going good..

  • I suspect you are a magician. That garden is awesome! You can’t create this without some magic. When I see your harvest, I see lots of love as well. Brilliant job my friend.

    • I hear ya.. keep me inside, locked in a refrigerated room, I’m better off that way until the heat disappears! If not, prepare for grumpiness. πŸ™‚

  • God, you garden is so freaking huge! I just can’t get over how much you grow on that rooftop of yours. That kale is AMAZING!!! And i totally didn’t think you could grow corn on a roof…i guess I was wrong πŸ™‚

  • Hello!
    I just spent last 2 hours weeding the garden we have and I came inside to check my email and found a comment from you on my blog on the cabbage casserole.
    Your garden is so cool, I love and as you mentioned in the previous comment is is a lot of work but look at your produce, it can’t get fresher than this. Congratulations and thanks for stopping by. Hani

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