5 Tips for Rooftop Gardening 5 Tips for Rooftop Gardening

Rooftop gardening has gained popularity in the country, particularly in urban areas where people have limited space for planting flowers and crops. Gardening is not only a worthwhile pastime, it is also beneficial for the environment. If you want to engage in rooftop gardening, you would fare better if you take on these practical tips on how to grow plants on top of a roof.

1. Pick plants that can grow on a rooftop garden.

First, pick plants that can grow well on a rooftop garden. Keep in mind the weather as well, since some plants do better in cold climates, while others need warm temperature to thrive. If you are planning to grow vegetables on top of your roof during the cold season, good options would include greens, peas, radishes, and broccoli. Hardy summer food crops on the other hand are perfect during the warmer seasons. These include strawberries, tomatoes, cucumbers, and squashes.

2. Select the perfect spot.

Choose a spot in the roof that enjoys about six to eight hours of sunlight per day. It is best that there is a shade to protect the plants during the hottest parts of the day, which is from 10 am to 2 pm.

3. Keep in light and safe.

It is also important that you consider the extra load that the garden will have on your rooftop. Even though the structure can take on extra weight, soil and water can get quite heavy. It would be a smart move to consult a contractor or architect for this matter. You would want to find out if the building can take on the additional weight from your rooftop garden or not. This is to ensure that you’re keeping within the safety perimeters while you engage in the activity of growing plants. Also, to keep things light, go for plastic and fiberglass containers. Stay away from using pavers. Opt for lightweight potting soil instead of garden dirt. For drainage, it would be better to use Styrofoam peanuts instead of pottery shards or rocks.

4. Install windbreaks.

Since the rooftop garden is windier than a usual garden, you would need to install windbreaks. You can try using trellises or any other latticed windbreak for the garden. These are important to slow down the strong flow of winds that can damage the plants. It is always better to use latticed windbreaks that disrupt the flow of wind rather than completely stop it. This is because solid windbreaks can easily be damaged than latticed ones.

5. Think about how you’ll water your rooftop garden.

It may be unwise to bring heavy buckets of water to the roof everytime you need to water the plants. Not only is this tiring and tedious, it is also time consuming. The smarter option would be to install a water storage system or an automatic watering system for the rooftop garden. While this would mean extra cost on your part, the investment would be well worth it, as you no longer need to bring heavy loads of water to the top of the building. 

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