Rooftop Gardening Ideas, Tips, and Techniques.
Today, let us get into rooftop gardening ideas for beginners. What is a Rooftop garden? The Rooftop garden also known as terrace garden or balcony garden; it is a garden that is used to grow vegetables, fruits or flowers on the terrace, balconies or roof of buildings. The kitchen garden, a standard in every Indian household, has shifted to the roof due to constraints of space, & called a terrace garden.
A Rooftop or terrace garden is a garden on the roof of a building. Rooftop farming is generally done using green roof, hydroponics, aeroponics or air-dynamics systems or container gardens. Rooftop gardens are man-made green spaces on the topmost levels of industrial, commercial, & residential structures. They may be designed to grow to produce, provide play space, give shade and shelter, or basically be there as a living, green area.
Two main divisions of Rooftop garden types exist, these are extensive and intensive. Extensive gardens require minimal maintenance & behave as another form of roofing material. They are not intended for heavy foot traffic nor do they want to meet any additional safety standards.
The other extreme includes intensive gardens formed with the intent of active human use. These gardens require landscaping & regular upkeep. In some cases, the roof structure must be reinforced during the addition of decking or additional bracing to accommodate the joint weight of soil, plants, & precipitation. Furthermore, intensive gardens may also want to comply with safety regulations regarding decks and public areas on raised structures. These regulations may need some kind of fencing or barrier to being installed with the intent of preventing people from slipping over the edge of the roofline. If you have decided to design a terrace garden, you must have collected the appropriate containers, potting mix, manure, etc. The containers used in the rooftop garden of all sizes, shapes, whether of plastic, ceramic, metal or mud can be used. One should have rooftop gardening ideas for creating beautiful garden.
Rooftop garden design tips:
Soil and compost: To start with fill the pots with potting mix and include composted cow manure. If you have enough space, you can create your own compost; place the compost bin in a corner of the terrace or roof. This way you will be using all the kitchen scraps for creating the most nutritional mix for the pots. Do not try to begin with seeds. Buy seedlings from the nursery & plant them. This way you will save at least one month, besides saving yourself from frustration because of failure in growing seedlings (increasing vegetables from seeds).
Put the pots in appropriate locations, the sun-loving plants in sun & the shade plants in shade. Most of the vegetables thrive in the sun, but there are a few which grown shade. You may plant a few seasonal plants & a few perennial plants. Put trellises on climbers such as cucumbers, bottle gourd, bitter melons, jasmine plants, and etc. You can train these vines to climb on strings.
Watering: Watering the plants deeply daily, maybe twice in the summers. Put a 3 to 4-inch layer of organic mulch such as sugar cane mulch on the soil. This will keep the moisture inside the soil & also prevent the weeds.
Add some water crystals in the soil while planting or extend them on the surface. Plant drought-tolerant plants to decrease the frequency of watering. Do not grow plants that have deep & aggressive root systems.
The plants need frequent feeding. I feed with liquid fertilizer, high in potassium and low in nitrogen every ten days. High nitrogen will generate excessive leafy growth, while potassium will encourage flowers and fruits. You may buy, a common purpose fertilizer for vegetables and flowers, a slow-release fertilizer or a liquid fertilizer.
When it comes to rooftop garden plan, ensure you maintain the diversity in the size of the plants. A few large plants, shrubs & small trees, ground covers, annuals must be there. Also, buy containers of different sizes this will provide a great look for your rooftop garden.
Add a focal point
A focal point in the gardening attracts the eyes toward it. A water feature, a tall tree, the attractive arrangement of container plants, a statue, etc.
During the evening, it is very important that your rooftop garden is well-lit. Especially near the stairwell or door, it’s nice to create more bright spots. Moreover, lighting a roof will create it look larger during dusk.
The nice floor is important
Don’t neglect the flooring. Prefer flooring type that fits your budget, suits the climate you live in and accommodate the theme of the rooftop garden.
Rooftop garden ideas:
Several Rooftop gardening ideas are given below;
Edible Roof Garden:
This is one of the most popular ideas to cultivate several edible seasonal plants on a rooftop. It can be more fruitful if you utilize good knowledge of vegetables as well as edible flora. These roof terrace garden ideas will not only fill your house with healthy veggies & fruits but can also work as a profitable business for families.
Cedar Patio Type Rooftop Garden:
A striking form of the roof garden is a design using cedar patio furniture. It will keep you cool in the summer & be comfortable in other seasons as well. This design is gaining popularity nowadays, as one can incorporate attractive greenery, small trees & some brightly colored flowers to make it a dream design.
Rooftop Garden with Lighted Ornamental Plants:
If you are thinking of designing a rooftop with scenic beauty, several lighted ornaments will serve you best. Add some properly cropped ornamental plants to the area & fit some attractive spotlights at different corners in unique colors. Creative lighting can be relaxing & romantic.
One of the most imaginative rooftop garden ideas is to install an open-air kitchen with an amazing garden all around. It is the best option for barbeque lovers & they can install a well-furnished kitchen in this area in order to enjoy a pleasurable cooking experience.
Grow tall plants and trees:
Growing bamboos & grasses is a good combination if you want to make it low maintenance, otherwise, your options are unlimited, develop shrubs and trees.
Create raised beds:
If your roof supports, make raised beds adjacent to the walls is a good idea. You can add wooden raised beds or the ones that are prepared from metal. If you like, you can construct the concrete raised beds 2 feet deep and wide would be a great size, in them, you can even grow tall shrubs and small trees & with the regular maintenance, pruning, and root trimming in every few years can control the plants.
For these raised beds ensure you use waterproofing membrane & lay thick root barriers that can block roots and prevent damage to the roof. One more idea is to create slightly elevated raised beds from the surface that way the raised beds do not touch the surface & roots of the plants may not be able to penetrate.
Plants suitable for Rooftop gardening:
Roof area can be used to create decorative vegetation or edible garden or to make a low maintenance garden. The rooftop garden is satisfactory to grow various forms of vegetation like shrubs, grasses, annuals, perennials, herbs, vegetables & even dwarf fruit trees depending on what you wish to grow, climate, budget, available space & the functioning of the building.
List of plants that can be grown on a rooftop garden in order to make a perfect look to your roof garden plans;
Dwarf Hinoki Cypress: Yellowish green colors with fanlike foliage are two well-known characteristics of this plant. These plants take a long time for complete growth & demand a regular watering schedule with extended care.
Blue Star Juniper: This Blue star juniper plant shines like a blue star with skinny needles; it can grow up to three feet tall and provides a superior accent to the area.
Kousa Dogwood: This is an excellent selection for rooftop gardens because it can cover a large amount of space & is very attractive. These trees look awesome, with pink color and white color flowers at the peak spring season.
Fanal Astilbe: This is the best choice for shadier rooftop spots. It grows with lovely crimson flowers that usually blossom in the month of July. It grows up to one and a half feet tall & needs properly moist soil for normal growth.
Lavender: This Lavender plant is loved by all for its outstanding scent. Lavender looks amazing with its small height & lovely purple flowers. It can simply be grown in containers as well as in full-fledged beds in a garden.
Vegetable Plants grown in Rooftop garden are;
Beans, Beetroot, Bitter melon, Bottle gourd, Carrots, Cucumbers, Eggplants (brinjals), Lettuce, Okra, Onions, Okra (Ladies Fingers), Peas and Potatoes.
Herbs grown in the Rooftop garden are;
Perennial Herbs Plant, Turmeric, Rosemary, Mint, Annual Herbal Plants, Coriander, Fenugreek, Garlic, and Ginger.
Medicinal Plants grown in Rooftop garden are;
Aloe Vera, Curry Leaf Plant, Stevia (Sugar substitute), Tulasi or Basil.
Fruit plants grown in Rooftop garden are;
Perennial Fruits Plants, Blueberries, Strawberry, Guavas, Lemon, Oranges (Mandarins).
Flowers grown in Terrace or Rooftop garden are;
Arabian Jasmine and Queen of Night Jasmine, both climbers, Begonia, Bougainvillea (climber or bush), Dianthus (Carnations plant, The Flowers of God), Geranium, Gladiolus, Hibiscus, Lavender, Anthurium, Bromeliads, Coleus, and Crotons.
That’s all folks about Rooftop Gardening Ideas and Tips.