If you live in a big city, chances are you do not have enough space within your home to have a garden. Using the roof can provide the added space to have a garden, even if you do not have a yard or space within your living area. Here is how to get started on how to design a roof garden.
Is Your Roof Suitable?
The type of roof you have is one of the first things to consider when you want to design a rooftop garden. The ideal roof is one that is flat and that is easily accessible. Also determine how much of a load your roof can handle. Your roof will be holding a heavier load, due to the weight of soil, plants and the structure it will rest on.
Your roof also must be waterproofed, otherwise water could end up seeping into house. Rubberized asphalt or thermoplastic sheeting are the most commonly materials used. You will also want to make sure you use materials that are of good quality. This will prevent the hassle of having to replace the lining every few years.
Climate and Sunlight
You will need to consider the climate that you live in and how much light your roof gets before you begin planting. If you live in a high rise, you will want to determine how much sunlight it is exposed to and how windy it usually gets. This is because higher elevations typical are windier. This can dry out plants very quickly and damage them. If you have the space and your roof can support it, consider building a small greenhouse. This will allow you to control many factors that may hinder a roof garden.
Choose planters that are lightweight, which will help reduce the strain on the roof. Not only are can they be used to hold your plants, but you can also use tall and wide ones to hide any eyesores such are air conditioning compressors and water tanks.
You can also build planting beds. When you build these, you will want to make sure that frame is a few inches higher than the soil, to prevent soil from washing away. These are also ideal for plants that do not grow large or deep roots.
Choose plants that can withstand the conditions. Many rooftops will get more hours of direct sunlight and will be exposed to windier conditions. Select plants that are suitable to this climate. Cacti and shrubs do well in these conditions. High rises may experience longer hours of shade due to other buildings casting shadows. If this is the case, consider plants that do not need direct sunlight. If you build a greenhouse, you will have much more flexibility in the variety of plants that you can use.
Other Factors to Consider
You will want to consider how your plants will get watered. Will you be able to cart up water? Building an irrigation system will guarantee that they will have a water source. Sometimes a building will have a waterspout where a hose can be attached.
Also consider working with a contractor or roofing expert before you proceed. They will help you determine what your roof can handle.
Be sure that you are allowed to plant a garden on your roof. Check with rental offices or homeowners associations so that you do not violate any rules or regulations.
Visit Design Roof Garden for many other great tips on what types of soil to use and a detailed list on which plants thrive on roofs.