A roof may be a very different environment from a garden at ground level. In fact, you’ll probably want to urge professional help before getting started on a project like this.
- Benefits of building a rooftop garden:
- Reduce stormwater runoff
- Reduce your air-conditioning costs
- Reduce your heating costs
- Create habitat for birds, butterflies, and bees
- Provide outdoor space for you to enjoy
- Beautify the built environment
- Improve air quality
- Allow you to grow food
- Earn LEED credits
What makes designing roof gardens different?
First, consider the climate on a roof, which is more severe than on the bottom. It’s often quite windy in summer and really sunny and hot. But if nearby buildings are tall, the garden is often in shade all day, which is just too dark for several plants, or quickly switch from deep shade to intense sun.
Designing a Luxury Rooftop Terrace
Never use regular garden soil for a roof garden; it’s much too heavy and doesn’t stand up well or offers poor drainage. Use a light-weight artificial soil often called a “soilless mix” in your containers.
Plan on building some wooden or lattice screens on the to windward of your plants to stay them from developing a permanent lean. Lattice also can provide some shade, especially for southern or western exposure.
Rooftop Garden Guide & Checklist
Also, install automatic drip irrigation. Container plants need far more frequent watering than plants within the ground. Sun, heat, and wind will compound the water requirement. By midsummer, if not earlier, you’d got to hand-water a minimum of once each day and in extremely popular weather, twice each day. That schedule is almost impossible to take care of a day all season, which is why a drip system is crucial.
Finally, it’s essential that you simply get approval from your landlord or building co-op board and therefore the local committee. they’re going to probably require that your roof be examined and authorized by an engineer or architect, who will stipulate required changes to the surface of the roof and therefore the weight limits for your structures, containers, and plants.