Growing Tomatoes or Fruit on Your Rooftop Deck or Patio


Growing Tomatoes or Fruit on Your Rooftop Deck or Patio Transcript

Hi, I’m Barb Pierson, Nursery Manager at White Flower Farm. We’re here today in New York City, doing edible rooftop gardening.

There’s so many different things that you can try at home in your small space, or here in the City. We have citrus in a pot. We have a really nice herb pocket pot with all different types of herbs in it. You can do peppers in a self-watering container. Or how about a columnar apple? This looks great in a nice big pot here. And of course, you wouldn't want to do edible gardening without doing a tomato in a pot, because who doesn't want to go and pick tomatoes right from your deck? We also have strawberries. We have a strawberry jar here with lots of different strawberry plants in it. You can do lettuce. You can even do potatoes in a grow bag. All of these options are do-able and we’re going to talk today, a little bit, about how to take care of the different types of edibles in your rooftop garden. I’m going to show you how easy it is to pop a tomato plant into your container and grow it on for the season.

The first thing you’re going to do is remove the pot and take the first few sets of leaves off of the stem, because roots will form along the stem. So, pinch off some bottom leaves, then sink your tomato plant into your container. I usually use ⅔ potting mix to ⅓ compost in my self-watering containers, or any other type of container you’d like to use. So, removing the bottom foliage, putting it into the container, make sure that you always put your stake in when you plant your tomato; it’s really hard to go back later and put your stake in. Once your tomato’s planted and you have your stake in place, it’s good to have some twine on hand. As the plants growing up, you want to secure it to the stake and make sure that, when it’s on a windy day and your fruit is getting large that you’re supporting it with some twine, or any kind of tie that you have. And we really like Coast of Maine, this lobster and kelp plant food, it’s really great for all of your edibles.

Another easy edible to grow on your rooftop deck or patio is strawberries. This one is ‘Baron Von Solemacher.’ It’s a woodland strawberry, meaning it’s a little bit smaller, but very, very sweet, and it’s everbearing, meaning you’ll have strawberries all throughout the season. We’re going to pot the last little plant into the top of our strawberry jar. And in our strawberry jar, we have ⅔ potting soil to ⅓ compost, making sure that you water them and feed them, and it will be so fun to come and pick juicy, little strawberries. Another fun edible that you can try on your rooftop deck or patio are columnar apples. They’re really neat because they don’t take up a lot of space. It’s best to have two of them so you have cross-pollination.

In a couple of years, you’ll be picking apples on your deck or patio. It’s a pretty neat thing to try. Whether it’s lettuce, tomatoes, peppers, herbs, whatever you like to eat, you can grow on your rooftop deck or patio. For more information on all of the edibles we’ve shown today, go to