It may be difficult to raise a garden if you live in high-rise apartment or do not have a backyard in your home. Not to fret though, for there are other ways you can still grow a garden in your home, with a rooftop garden being only one of those possibilities. However, raising a rooftop garden is not easy as a normal garden. For example, according to the pros at Loveland Roofing, before building a rooftop garden, “homeowners should check with an expert to make sure that the home can support the added weight.” This is just one of many such considerations that need to be taken into account. Here are 9 such pointers that you need to take into account when planning your rooftop garden.
Make a clear plan
We say this is important because a proper plan will make the difference between a green oasis and an out of control forest above your head. Plan how you want your rooftop garden to look, including the layout, the water connections and of course the plants you want in it. Have this plan checked out for feasibility by a professional. This will save your hassles later on.
Allot the budget
This is really important as well, for rooftop gardens are not cheap to grow or maintain. There would be a lot of additions you would need to make to the roof, including hardscaping and structural support. So set aside a specific budget for the same, keeping aside some extra money for unforeseen costs. You don’t want to end up deserting the project midway because of lack of funds.
Get the proper permission and security checks
If you live in a rental, you would need to check with your landlord before growing a rooftop garden. Things like fire regulations, building height restrictions and accessibility would also need to be checked out before starting the project.
Check the building’s support strength
This is extremely important as you would need to know that the rooftop garden you grow does not place excess load on the roof. You would most probably not want to have the garden crash down on your head afterwards. Get in touch with a structural support engineer to find out how much load your roof can withstand.
Check for Waterproofing
Another thing you need to consider before installing a rooftop garden is whether your roof is waterproof or not. Leaks are hard to fix once the garden is established. So get in touch with the same engineer to check whether the roof is watertight as well. If not, find out solutions to make it waterproof before starting the garden.
Check for a water source
It would be difficult to run your hose all the way from the bottom of the house to the roof. Then again, you can’t lug around heavy containers of water on the roof as well. So consider installing a water source like a separate pipe line on the roof for the garden. With some additional planning, you can also opt for drip irrigation and rain water harvesting techniques to water the plants in the rooftop garden.
Check for a storage space
You would need to set aside an area to build a shack of some sort to hold all the tools, soil, containers and fertilizers to be used in the garden. There is no fun lugging them to the rooftop every now and then.
Check for sun exposure
Check for proper sun exposure on your roof. If the nearby buildings cut out the sunlight from hitting a portion of the rooftop, you would need to plant the garden in the other portion. Then again, too much of sunlight can also be harmful to your plants. In this case, you would need to build some kind of temporary shade to keep your plants from the sweltering heat. While you do that, consider building some sort of shade for yourself as well.
Check for wind protection
A rooftop garden is more prone to damage due to high winds that can easily knock down even sturdy pots and containers. You would therefore, need to check whether you can build any fencing or wall to protect your garden. This also warrants checking with the local authorities regarding building regulations.
Growing a rooftop garden is the best alternative to a standard garden if you are cramped for space. Make sure you take these pointers into consideration before starting a rooftop garden in order to avoid hassles later on.