Creating a garden on a rooftop is innovative and fun. With overpriced land prices in the city, many people have opted to practice rooftop gardening on their properties since they cannot afford a backyard garden.
You can grow different types of plants in your garden ranging from vegetables, herbs, and dwarf trees. Rooftop gardening usually comprises of:
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Intensive Rooftop Gardening
The system makes use of several soil layers to make it thick. The layers are then spread across the upper part of the roof. This type of garden allows the growth of larger plants such as vegetables, and dwarf trees. However, they require stable building structures to bear their weight since they are so heavy. They also require more maintenance.
Extensive Rooftop Garden
The planting medium is thinner compared to intensive rooftop gardening. Varieties of plants that are grown here range from succulents to grass varieties, which are drought tolerant. This system requires less maintenance compared to intensive rooftop gardening.
Some countries like Singapore are setting up rooftop gardens on buses. In some cities, the authorities require developers to install rooftop gardens to upcoming buildings. First of all, it is not complex to design. Some of the benefits a rooftop garden offers to include:
Increases the value of the property
The value of a property that has a rooftop garden will be higher than that of one that does not have. If you wish to sell your property or rent it out in the future, set up a rooftop garden. It will attract a higher value.
It is a good source of fresh produce
Imagine getting vegetables or herbs just next to your building? You are assured of safe products. It is you to dictate the type of fertilizers and other chemicals to be used in your garden. Growing your own vegetables will also save you money and time for commuting to the market. If the garden is big enough, you can practice commercial gardening where you will sell your products to other people and earn profits. Fresh produce contains more nutrients and tastes good. You have no control over the freshness of produce in the grocery store.
It offers a functional space for relaxation
A garden offers a good area for relaxation. Garden décor will make your garden even more beautiful. A fountain or waterfall will be a perfect option for this. Apart from the plants in the garden, add small pebbles to enhance its beauty. The cool air and smell of flowers give calmness, especially after a long day. Get some furniture for your garden where you will rest. Make sure the furniture you choose will withstand climatic variations of your area. Shades will also add to the comfort of the garden when the sun is scorching. Surprisingly, doctors advise people suffering from depression and anxiety issues to spend some time in the garden. The feeling of taking care of a garden you own is satisfying too. It also enhances family bonding, especially when working in the garden together. Watching your plants grow from scratch to maximum maturity is also fulfilling. Working in the garden is an excellent form of physical exercise too.
Some of the kitchen waste will be used as compost in the garden. This will help reduce environmental pollution. Also, plants are known to absorb carbon dioxide, an air pollutant, and emit oxygen. Less carbon dioxide means a less polluted environment. It also helps maintain the carbon equilibrium in the atmosphere.
The plants and their growing medium act as insulators
In summer, temperatures can get very high. Without an insulation layer, the heat will simply pass through the building and make it hot and uncomfortable. The rooftop garden usually reflects sun rays, unlike a bare roof that absorbs it. This helps lower the temperatures during summer. In turn, this saves money on air conditioning costs. The combination of plants and other substrates act as sound Insulators too since they absorb and sound waves. The thicker the garden, the more sound it will absorb. Rooftop gardens also reduce the urban heat island effect. They do this by reflecting heat from the buildings leading to lower temperatures in urban areas.
Additionally, plants release moisture to the environment. In turn, this leads to reduced temperatures. Watering the plants provide moisture that reduce heat in the building.
The plants and the growing medium delays rainwater runoff
Runoff water may cause leakage in a building, which may have tremendous effects in the long run. The planting material usually absorbs rainwater, reducing the probability of leakage in the building.
The idea of setting up a rooftop garden in your building may seem complicated and costly. However, once you design it, you will thank yourself later. Just a little bit of maintenance, and you enjoy all the good things that come with a rooftop garden. However, for you to enjoy the maximum benefits rooftop garden offers, you must consider these factors:
- Get a qualified landscaper to help you design a garden. The gardener will advise on the best plant varieties that do well in your area.
- Keep in mind that different plants need different amounts of water.
- If you choose to grow your plants in containers, ensure that you use high quality containers and make holes on them to avoid water-logging. Do not forget to add compost from time to time.
- Construct a store for your garden equipment. You do not want to be carrying equipment from your house to and fro the garden. It will be tiresome.
- Get water storage materials. Storage water tanks are essential, especially in dry areas. You will need to water your garden frequently. Also, don’t forget to get irrigation materials such as hosepipes and watering cans.
- Get rid of unwanted weeds. Weeds compete with other plants for water and nutrients. It is essential to remove them so that your plants get the maximum hydration and nutrients.
- Add compost to the garden. Compost ensures that the plants get the required nutrients for maximum yields.
- Be cautious about the amount of water you put on your plants. Remember, your garden is on the roof, and you do not want to exert excess weight than your building can withstand.
- Check whether there are pests and get rid of them. Use safe pesticides for this. Pests weaken your plants and lead to low yields.
- If your area experiences strong winds, install windbreakers to reduce the speed of the wind. This will help prevent the breakage of the plants. Similarly, if the sun is too hot, erect shades to help the plants retain moisture. Mulch your plants also to conserve moisture.
- Cover your plants in winter to protect them from frost, which may damage them.
- Construct a drainage system so that there will be no water-logging in your garden. Excess water can damage your plants.
- Use a high-quality membrane as the first layer for your garden. Make sure it has been put in place properly. Changing a membrane can be tiresome since all the other materials on top of it have to be removed first.