Rooftop gardening has been around for as long as roofs have existed. For generations, city dwellers have been planting plants on rooftops and fire escapes. Green roofs, which are roofs that have been covered with soil or plants for many years, are still in use. No matter how much land a gardener may have, it seems that we are always looking for more. Gardening at roof of all types are becoming increasingly popular in residential and commercial settings.
Gardening at roof are a great option. They make the most of space that isn’t being used
A garden can beautify an empty space
They provide privacy
They are very eco-friendly
They are often able to get good sunlight
There are no deer, rabbits or other flying pests to be concerned about
When you are thinking about a rooftop garden, there are several options. Green roofs that are fully planted, with the soil covering the roof and plants in the soil, are great for the environment, but are too complicated for homeowners to manage on their own. Green roofs can easily weigh over 100 lbs. Per sq. per sq. ft. before adding people. To conduct a structural analysis, and possibly to have it installed by a professional company, you will need to hire an architect or structural engineer.
Containers and raised beds are the best and easiest way to grow your rooftop garden.
Container grown plants can be used to create any type of rooftop garden, from simple herbs to elegant potagers. Containers are ideal for rooftop gardens as they are lightweight, portable, flexible and cost-effective.
Although caring for container-grown plants on a roof is similar to maintaining them on the ground there are some rooftop peculiarities that you should be aware of before you move your pots outside.
Permission: Check with your landlord or the building code first. Any type of roof can be prohibited if there are questions about accessibility, height restrictions and fire regulations.
Structural Integrity: Make sure that the roof can support the load. This can be done by a licensed professional. Pots and soil are heavy and will become heavier as plants grow. You’ve probably tried to move a pot filled with wet soil.
Access: How will you get your supplies and materials in and out of your apartment? You must be allowed to use an elevator if you live in an apartment. Some cities require multiple exits and possible exit lighting, fire alarms and emergency lighting.
Water: Can you run a hose up to the roof? Containers require more water than cans, and cans can be a hassle. You might consider installing drip irrigation and a rain barrel.
Sun Exposure: Are your windows blocked by buildings nearby or on the terrace? Plants that are exposed to the sun and sweltering on concrete can pose a problem.
Heat: In addition to the sun beating down on your roof, ambient heat is also reflected off the roof surface, nearby buildings, and metal exhaust, and utility structures. Shade will be a must, even if it is not necessary for the plants.
Wind: High-rises can be swept down by wind. A wall or fencing might be something you should consider. You will need to review your building code for the required heights and structural stability. This is particularly important if you have to build safety barriers for pets and children.
Privacy: Many rooftops are surrounded with neighboring buildings. You may need to screen your rooftop garden if it is going to be visible from all sides. Plant a hedge of evergreens or vines along a trellis wall. Or, just tuck it under an umbrella table.
Electrical Wiring: Although electricity is not essential, it can make things much easier. Candles are not the best lighting option for weeding if you plan on having your garden lit at night.
Storage: Gardening paraphernalia includes tools, fertilizer and compost as well as buckets. It’s difficult to conceal a storage space on a roof because of the limited space available. You can use shelves. Some roof gardeners prefer narrow closets. To double the job, bench seating with built in storage is another option.
Cost: The last but not the least, what amount are you willing and able to spend? Start small and then increase your purchases of pots, plants and soil as you go. When you start hardscaping or building on your roof, the real cost is going to be. It can be costly to lay tiles or stone, build raised beds, boxes, add lighting, and furniture. You may also need to do additional structural work to support them.
No matter what your initial design is, whether it’s large or small, gardening at roof can be a great investment for urban dwellers. It provides hours of relaxation as well as reward.