green roof garden

How to Start a Green Roof Garden

Are you a fan of gardening, but you don’t have space to actually build a garden because you live in an apartment building? There is a solution for you too. You can start a green roof garden. It will allow your passion to grow, and it will also help save energy in the building and reduce storm water runoff. Since this type of garden is harder to create and maintain than your typical backyard garden, we wanted to provide you with all the information you need to know before you start your own roof garden.

Prepare the Roof Area

The first thing you need to be aware of is that a roof garden requires some extra preparation, since the roof is not the normal place where you would plant a garden. For instance, you have to think about the safety of both your plants and the people passing by your building. You don’t want plants or tools to fall off the roof garden and hurt someone. And this can happen because of the strength of the wind. So what you can do is install fences, according to the regulations of your local department of buildings. As an extra safety measure, make sure all the tools are tied down.

Choose the Soil

This is an important step in building a roof garden, because your building cannot sustain that much weight. Imagine the weight of the soil combined with the weight of snow in the winter. This might damage the structure of the building. Make sure to bring a structural engineer who can tell you how much weight your apartment building can handle. Most likely, the best option for you would be to use a planting medium, and not soil.

Choose the Containers

Here too, there is the issue of weight to be considered. The best idea would be to choose lightweight containers. However, make sure that they also allow drainage. Since the idea of a green roof garden is also beneficial for the building’s energy consumption, you might want to place the containers so as they are completely flat against the roof. This will maximize the benefits.

How Are You Going to Water the Roof Garden?

The amount of watering you have to do depends a lot on the season too. For instance, in the summertime, plants need a lot of water, so you would be forced to water them daily. But if you don’t want to go to the roof every day, or if you simply don’t have time to perform this task, what you can do is bring a garden hose up the side of the building and attach a timer and some drip lines to it. This will take care of your plants daily.

What Are You Going to Plant There?

The last question you should ask yourself is what will you plant in your new roof garden? Given the different conditions here, you cannot plant everything you would in a normal garden. But here are some of the things that do work: spinach, herbs, lettuce, kale, zucchini, cherry tomatoes, pole beans, snow peas, mustard greens, or bok choy.

Now that you know what are the steps you have to go through to make a green roof garden, all you have to do is get to work. We wish you good luck with your project!

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Bonnie Enos

I spend my time in my garden trying to create the greatest outdoor space possible. My garden is my happy place and where you will always find me on a nice day. I take my experience and share it here for you to read!

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