Do you want to save on energy bills and provide fresh food to your family? If so, the answer might be a green roof garden. This practice, that is common in large cities like New York, is a little more complicated that starting a garden on the ground.
Start off with some idea of what you want to grow. Are you trying to feed your family or your entire block? How much room do you have to plant a garden?
It would be horrific for a passerby to be knocked unconscious or worse by a falling tool from your roof top garden. Roofs are normally windy; make sure you take this into account when working. Also, make sure if you use any fencing it is securely fastened down.
Potting soil is heavy. Water is heavy. Soil plus water is heavier! Make sure you don’t overload the roof. You might need to consult with a structural engineer to find the weight that is safe for your roof. One piece of advice, a planting medium is a good alternate to soil, but you still have to be concerned with the load.
What will you grow in your garden?
There are some plants that simply do better on a roof top garden. Herbs, lettuce, kale, and spinach lend themselves very well to this type of garden. Tomatoes, ornamental squash, and chard can be used here, but there may be some problems (wilting, small size). You should never plant anything like carrots, potatoes, melons, or broccoli. These plants will not work well or at all for a roof top garden.
Surely, you weren’t planning to plant the vegetables directly on the roof. Of course not, you need light weight containers that can allow water to flow out. A word of advice, this container should sit flat against the roof. A more unique idea for a plant container could be recycled tires.
Rain will take care of watering, right?
No, rain will not handle the watering problem. In order to do this correctly a drip line system maybe your best bet. Unless you enjoy climbing on your roof everyday with a watering can.
Well, there are some difficulties in creating a roof top garden. First make sure the water is not a problem, and that if you plant a roof top garden make sure it does not void your warranty.
There you have it, a fully functioning roof top garden that will increase home efficiency, increase your food supply, and increase the beauty of your roof. Just make sure you check your requirements for weight, safely, and water carefully.