For an urban gardener, limited space is a big problem. In such a case, a rooftop garden is a perfect way of growing your favorite flowering and vegetable plants. This is a good use of your unused and wasted space.
What Layout Can I Use For The Rooftop Vegetable Garden?
Rooftop vegetable Gardens are now becoming very popular. You can dedicate roof space for plants. When you decide to create a rooftop vegetable garden then you have different options.
Before creating a rooftop vegetable garden, make sure your roof must be waterproofed and frost resistant. It doesn’t matter whether you are growing your vegetable plants in pots, containers, or raised beds.
Waterproofing is an important step before constructing a rooftop garden. This will protect your roof from leaking.
1- CREATING A ROOFTOP VEGETABLE GARDEN IN POTS OR CONTAINERS
First, you can use pots or containers for growing your favorite vegetables on your rooftop and get a continuous supply of fresh veggies. If you are a beginner then you can start growing vegetables in pots.
This is a simple and easy way of growing your favorite veggies in a confined space. The pots or containers are easily portable; you can move them from one place to another. You can easily rotate them so each part of your vegetable plants gets a full sun exporter.
The other benefit is that if you are living in a rented house then at the time of moving, you can take all your pots and containers. Simply plan the layout and work on it.
I hope you will succeed in creating a container rooftop vegetable garden. You can use different stylish and unique containers and pots for decorating your top rooftop. You can paint the containers or pots and design them to show your creativity and aesthetic sense.
You can easily maintain your plants when you grow them in pots or containers. You can use a high-quality potting mix that contains all the major nutrients for healthy veggies.
Weeds are not a problem for potted plants. You can easily stop the growth by simply picking them with your hand.
2- CREATING A ROOFTOP VEGETABLE GARDEN BY USING RAISED BEDS
Second, raised beds can be used for creating rooftop vegetable gardens. You should keep in your mind that raised beds need more space than pots. The number and size of raised beds depend on the space you have.
You can build a raised bed by using concrete for wood. No special skills are needed for building a raised bed for a rooftop vegetable garden. The most important benefit of growing vegetable plants in a raised bed is that you can grow several crops together.
You need a lot of work to do to fix raised beds because they have heavy structures. It is suggested that you should build a wooden raised bed rather than building a concrete raised bed.
The reason is that you have to fill the raised bed with soil and due to the weight of the raised bed your rooftop can be put under a lot of strain. The wood you are using for building raised beds must be water-resistant so it will not deteriorate.
A waterproof layer should be installed to prevent damage to your rooftop. If you do not do so then serious water damage will be caused to your roof. As water sits at the bottom and continuously seeps the stone it will destroy your property.
A nursery or landscape designer will guide you properly on how to create a raised bed rooftop vegetable garden.
3- CREATING A VEGETABLE GARDEN IN PLANTERS
People are confused about the term pots and planters. Pots and planters are different things. If we talk about pots, they are very small and hold a single plant.
On the other hand, planters are very large containers that can hold many plants at a time. It means you can grow multiple plants at a time. In large planters, you can easily grow small fruit trees.
This method of growing plants may be expensive but planters have unique designs and irregular shapes. They look stunning when you place them on your rooftop vegetable garden.
4- BUILDING A GREEN ROOF
Few gardeners are interested in this type of method because your full rooftop or selective part will become green like a regular garden with the help of structural engineering support.
The first step is the application of the waterproofing layer to the area where you want to create a regular garden. After that, an insulation layer or protection layer is essential for the rooftop garden.
This layer is made from PIR panels and XPS extruded polystyrene boards. For a quick discharge of rainwater, you need a drainage layer on your rooftop vegetable garden.
To separate the soil from the drainage layer you need a geotextile fabric layer. The vegetative layer is the last layer that contains growing medium soil and plants. Fertile and rich soil is needed for growing your favorite plants.
What Are The Things To Consider For A Rooftop Vegetable Garden?
After choosing the layout of the rooftop vegetable garden, you have to consider a lot of important factors before starting it. For growing healthy and fresh vegetables you have to provide them with favorable conditions. The important things you have to consider before starting a rooftop Garden are as follows.
The perfect location for growing healthy vegetables is very important. If you choose the right site for your plants then half the work will be done. If you are not the owner of your house or living in a rented apartment then you have to get permission from your landlord.
SUN AND HEAT
Sunlight is very important for the growth of any plant. You must choose that location where your vegetable plants get 6 to 8 hours of sunlight daily. The need for sunlight is different for different plants. When you choose any vegetable for growing first you should consider its lighting needs.
If any taller building is blocking the sunlight of any side of your roof then you must not choose that part of your roof for growing vegetable plants.
When you grow plants on the rooftop then they will get direct sunlight and as a result, the temperature will rise and can reach 150 degrees Fahrenheit.
Some plants can’t tolerate this temperature as they can’t survive above 90 degrees Fahrenheit. So you will be careful when choosing the plants for your rooftop.
WATER SUPPLY AND DRAINAGE
Like sunlight, water is an important factor in the development of your plants. When you grow plants on your rooftop they get full sun exposure so they need plenty of water for their survival.
You can’t carry gallons of water up and down stairs daily. Your rooftop garden must have a proper water supply.
The urban gardeners are interested in a drip irrigation system for their rooftop vegetable garden. There must be a spigot on your rooftop, if you don’t have then you should install it.
If it is not possible for you to install a proper way of watering then you can also consider a rain collection system. Drainage is very important on your rooftop. There must be a drain and gutter system to divert the excess water from your roof.
In case you are growing plants in a raised bed then it is essential that you can apply drainage layers. If water sits on your roof then it will damage your property.
The strong wind can damage your plants in an urban environment. The average speed of wind is higher due to Urban Wind Island. If you install some barriers then you can protect your plants from the wind.
Soil is the growing medium for plants. Most people are interested in container gardening on their rooftop so they can use high-quality potting mix for filling their pots and containers.
When you grow flowers in pots or containers or raised beds then you can maintain the fertility of the soil very easily. You should avoid using the garden soil because this soil can be very compact and the roots of the plants will not get proper aeration.
A high-quality potting mix has all the essential nutrients which are important for your vegetable plants. The other qualities of good soil are well-drained, well-aerated, lightweight, sterile, and resistant to decomposition.
Best Vegetables To Grow On Your Rooftop Vegetable Garden
The following are the vegetables that you can easily try on your rooftop.
You can easily maintain lettuce plants on your rooftop Garden. Lettuce can easily grow in pots, containers, or a raised bed. 6 to 8 inches of soil is needed for their growth due to their shallow roots.
This is a fast-growing vegetable and you can harvest it after 8 weeks. To make your soil richer, you can add compost or organic material.
There is no need for any application of fertilizer for growing beans. This plant can fix its nitrogen. The roots of plants are very delicate so you should be careful when you are pulling the weeds.
Beans need a proper support structure so you can use trellises for this purpose. They will climb and give you higher production.
This is a fast-growing crop and is ready to harvest between 3 to 5 weeks after planting. Full sun exposure is needed for their quick growth. Well-drained and porous soil should be used for growing radishes.
When you see they are mature then harvest as soon as possible and do not wait. Because after some time they will become woody and give a bitter taste.
For a healthy root system, you should use a deep pot for growing tomato plants. Spring is the best time for sowing the seeds of tomato plants. It is better to install tomato cages to provide proper support to this plant.
Well-drained and rich soil is needed for healthier crops. Keep the soil moist but avoid overwatering. You can check the surface of the soil with the help of your finger, if it feels dry then this is the time to water your plant.
Peas are a cold-season crop and can easily grow in your rooftop vegetable garden. This is a climbing plant and needs proper support. Frequent watering, rich soil, and full sun exposure is the key to getting maximum yield.
If you are growing your vegetables in a raised bed on your rooftop then carrot is an ideal choice. This is a deep-rooted vegetable that needs moist soil. Continuous watering is needed for a healthy crop of carrots. Carrots are ready to harvest within 60 to 70 after planting.
Beetroot is ready for harvest within 45 to 65 days after planting. Keep the soil moist but avoid. If your beetroot plant will not get regular water then it will become hardy and tough.
Loamy and acidic soil is needed with full sun exposure. Your salads will become flavourful after the addition of beetroot.
Herbs enhance the flavor of your favorite dishes. They can easily thrive in a tough environment so you can grow them effortlessly in your vegetable garden.