Edible City is where I muse about urban gardening and share tips from my new book City Farmer

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Rooftop Veggies

My garden gets shadier every year (not surprising--I planted 30 trees when I moved in--this in a regular-sized downtown Toronto lot), so it's hard to find a sunny spot for tomatoes. My solution was to colonize the roof.

There's a section I can reach with a small ladder, and that part of the roof has just a gentle slope. I hoisted a couple of bags of topsoil up there, cut 2 slits in each and planted heritage tomato seedlings in each slit. Couldn't have been easier. I watered them every day (and with compost tea every week or so) and harvested a bumper crop of tomatoes. Forget the 100-mile diet; this was the 0-foot diet.


  1. I'm thinking you didn't have many pests that thought to look on a roof for tomato plants?


  2. Hi Lorraine :)

    You inspired me to redo my garden this year.

    I took back my regular plants and put in some tomatoes. I also planted some hot pepper plants in cardboard juice containers and 2 in a rim from a car. I lost 3 though due to some cute baby bunnies or one crazy muskrat - but one is doing great and already sprouting a little pepper.

    I also planted a few fresh herbs and have used some basil in my tomatoe sauces :) So much better when it's fresh.

    I love the rooftop idea such a great idea.
    I think next year I am going to try a raised garden in the backyard and make a really good screen around it for rabbits and cats.

  3. Hi Stacey,

    Thanks for writing.

    One trick I've found that helps to keep cats from digging in my veggie bed is to "plant" small sticks around the vegetable plants. I use fallen twigs from trees and shrubs and they blend right in!

    cheers, Lorraine