Rooftop gardens can be a great alternative for individuals that don’t have enough space to have a normal garden. Whether you want to grow vegetables to add to your meals, some beautiful flowers, or just create a relaxing atmosphere a rooftop garden is a great choice for those without yards. However these gardens can have a few unique challenges compared to regular gardens. Not every plant that grows in a normal garden can be grown in a roof top garden for a variety of reasons. The following is a guide for the best plants for a rooftop garden.
The first and foremost thing you have to consider when choosing plants for your rooftop garden is how much they weigh. Obviously you can’t go planting trees on the top of your roof as it could compromise the structural integrity of the roof. It’s best to plant small to medium size plants in order to not overload the carrying capacity of your roof. The following are some other unique key features to consider when choosing plants for your rooftop garden.
Sun and wind exposure:
Rooftops are often different in the sense that they have their own microclimates. Depending on the height and location of your rooftop garden it will receive different amounts of sun and different amounts of wind exposure. In choosing plants for your rooftop garden make sure to choose hardy plants that can stand a lot of exposure to direct sun and handle some abuse from wind gusts.
Depth of the soil:
An important consideration when choosing plants for your rooftop garden is how much soil they require to flourish. Plants that need lots of soil are not good choices as too much soil on your roof can put to much weight on your building’s structure. It’s best to add as much soil as you feel is safe for your roof, and to enrich the soil every so often by using mulch and compost. The mix of the soil should very depending on what kind of plants you choose to have on your rooftop garden.
Rooftops can become especially hot in the summer months so it’s important to have a good watering strategy. Watering can be a chore for rooftop gardens especially if you have to carry the water to the garden. The best way to water your rooftop garden plants is to create an automatic drip system. Make sure to pick plants for your rooftop garden that don’t need to be constantly watered many times a day as this may become an issue in the summer months. If you live in a very cold area you may want to consider building a greenhouse for your rooftop garden.
After taking into consideration these following factors you will be well on your way to choosing the best plants for your rooftop garden. With the right set up you can grow just about anything on the roof as you can in a normal garden. Be patient and do your homework as to what the specific needs of the plant you want to plant in your rooftop garden are in order to flourish such as soil mixture, water requirements, and exposure to sun and wind.