If you’ve always wanted to design your own garden but don’t have a backyard, rooftop gardens are the best alternative for it. They don’t just have a decorative value but also serve functionality. You can grow anything on it, whether they are veggies, herbs, shrubs, or flowers. Besides enjoying the benefits of growing organic fruits and vegetables at home, rooftop gardening has numerous advantages. It not only saves on space but creates a microenvironment on your roof that keeps your home cool. Maintaining it can also improve your health, reduce your carbon footprint and promote sustainability.
Installing a rooftop garden can be quite complicated and workload intensive, so we’ve put together a step-by-step guide to help you.
Step-By-Step Rooftop Gardening Preparation
- Once you have a layout ready, you have to determine if your terrace is capable of withstanding the weight of your rooftop garden. Dirt and especially wet dirt is quite heavy, so make sure to consult a structural engineer before you plan to install one.
Sun and wind exposure
- After assessing the area to be converted into a garden, analyze the sun and wind exposure up there. Make sure to select a spot that receives ample sunlight for your plants to grow. If your rooftop receives direct sunlight without any block, you can grow plants that thrive in full sun. However, if your rooftop is shady, you can pick plants like lettuce, spinach, and kale which fare better in less sunlight,
Generally, good airflow is ideal for plants on rooftop gardens, but too much wind will dry out the plants or break them. Ensure you install some wind barriers to protect your plants from strong winds. Fences, hedges, and shelter beds can serve this purpose.
- The soil you use should be nourished and conditioned properly. You can mix soil with organic compost to create a good potting mixture. The soil you use should be somewhere between light and compact. A balanced texture is ideal and should have the ability to retain water along with ensuring proper drainage,
Use an organic fertilizer made from remains like banana peels, fruit peels, or tea compost to fertilize your soil every now and then.
- It is essential to have a proper drainage system to allow excess water to flow out. Most terraces already have a drainage system when built.
- The soil and heavy pots you use may dampen the structure of the building. So, ensure you waterproof the building by hiring a professional. The terrace being free from leakages will benefit you in the long run.
- In order to organize your rooftop garden, you may want to invest in special gardening containers. You can even repurpose old furniture or discarded materials like old cartons, paint boxes, food containers, or old bathtubs into planters.
Your rooftop garden can be your sanctuary for peace of mind and relaxation, especially if you’re an urban dweller. Investing in a rooftop garden is sure to give you many rewards and benefits.