Rooftop Garden


Your roof is said to be one of the largest unused areas of space in your home. What is a good use for all that open space? Have you heard of a rooftop garden? It all started many, many years ago when King Nebuchadnezzar had the hanging gardens built for his homesick wife. Born from that, came the idea for rooftop gardens. Many are making good use of their roof space by growing flowers, vegetables, and herbs on their roofs. Starting a roof garden can be relatively easy.

Can Your Roof Handle It?
First, check with your landlord and building codes. Also, check your building structure and make sure it can hold the weight of plants, pots, as well as you and your friends up there! Some roofs might require you to have a professional come and add extra roof support. Plants can add an extra 100 lbs per square on your roof. You can also have something put down on the surface of your roof to avoid cave-ins and leaks. Many roofs in the north are made to hold the extra weight of snow but it is still a good idea to have the roof checked before starting a garden.

You also want to have the roof inspected beforehand to make sure any current leaks are covered up. If left untouched it will cause more problems with a roof garden. If your roof is nearing the end of its life you will want to wait until the new roof is put on. You do not want an old roof, because as soon as you get the garden going, you’ll have to remove everything to replace the roof.

A garden on the roof means no deer or rabbits or any other critters will be able to eat away at the plants. You would also have direct sunlight on the roof. Some important things to keep in mind with this is finding plants that can take direct sunlight or have some type of shade. Many will use raised planters so that roots won’t cause damage to older roofs.

You want to have any easy way to get water to your roof. Walking up and down stairs with buckets of water just wouldn’t be worth it after a while. Having a rain bucket on your roof is great for catching water and allowing you to use it. You could also have a drip irrigation system.

Fun fact: Some business have a rooftop garden as a place for its employees to go. Some studies even say those employees work better and are more efficient when they take breaks to walk outside.

What about you? Will a rooftop garden be your next project?