A rooftop garden is something more than a collection of plants. A garden offers a place of serenity on the rooftop of a flat or apartment building. Especially, under the winter sun, people of all ages enjoy spending time in a roof garden. With the proper planning, you can not only grow plants in your roof garden, but also make the space suitable for social gatherings, romantic evenings, and family time. Let’s take a look at some effective tips for winter roof gardening.
10 Effective Tips to Start a Roof Garden
Urban rooftop gardens are an excellent idea, especially in winter. But before you start planting, you need to consider several things in winter rooftop gardening. Check here for the best and perfect tips to get started.
First, check your building codes to ensure that your local building codes will allow you to plant on the roof. If you are living in a rented apartment, talk to the building owners to see whether they allow gardening in the shared space.
Do you even think about access to your materials and supplies in and out? If you live in an apartment or flat and on a higher floor like 6th or 7th or more than the higher floor, make sure you can use the elevator.
Many rooftops are adjoined by neighboring buildings. If your rooftop garden can disturb others, it won’t be honest at all. So make sure your garden is just in your area.
Containers are one of the most artistic items in a rooftop garden. Take time and choose and select your rooftop containers patiently. Besides, you need to keep in mind the size, weight, and material when choosing your rooftop containers.
Remember, you will need containers that are large enough for the roots of whatever plants you choose. As the amount of soil needed will vary, research your choices before you plant them. If you search, you will find a lot of plants that will be labeled as “Great for containers.”
The weight of the container is a great issue as you need to think about how much your rooftop can support. Containers become heavier when you water them.
Containers made with traditional materials; clay, terra cotta, and cement are quite heavy. However, plastic pots and the newer synthetic containers are light naturally enough. You can lift them easily. Make sure you also consider balancing the height of your plants. For a windy rooftop, you have to choose heavier containers.
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Some think about soil in the last when they are planning to make a garden. But soil should be the first and most important part of your garden. Remember, you need good soil for healthy plants. When your soil is good and fertile, you don’t work hard for your garden.
If you are planning to grow your plants in containers and raised beds, you will have the advantage of bringing in soil. You will have huge good potting mixes on the market. Besides, you can combine 3 parts of compost to make good manure. Make sure you make a hole in each pot so that additional water runs away and keep the soil moderately wet as so much wet soil makes the plants spoil.
When you are going to choose a rooftop plant, you should consider some things. So, you have to choose drought-tolerant plants for rooftop gardens as most rooftops get very hot during the day. Besides, don’t forget to consider the sun exposure and hardiness zone.
Rooftops hold heat and so they create weather that drifts about a zone higher than a garden on the ground would be. Therefore, you have to plant plants that can handle the heat.
As a list of certified rooftop plants is not available, you need to follow some tips to choose rooftop plants. You can avoid tall trees and focus on small trees for your winter roof gardening.
You can choose plants with limited root systems that don’t need a lot of soil. They can be herbs, vegetables, and smaller to mid-sized perennials. Remember trees and shrubs require more soil, larger pots, and above all more caring that you may not afford in your busy life.
You must remember that Container plants will need regular fertilizer. A great potting mix can be exhausted over time, as plants take up the nutrients and the water leaches them out. When a plant grows and becomes large, it requires more water. The type of fertilizer you use will direct you on how often and how much you will need to fertilize through its instructions. However, fertilizing every 2–3 weeks is sufficient.
You will find many good fertilizers on the market. Make sure you choose more organic ones. A water-soluble fertilizer is also available in the market and you can choose it as it is the fastest way to get the nutrients to your plants.
You don’t need so many tools for a rooftop container garden as you would for a traditional ground-level garden. As you have to do a lot of scooping and filling, you need just a trowel and perhaps a soil scoop at first. Moreover, a small tarp will be essential for you when you are emptying soil, to keep from making a mess.
Plus, the other fundamental tool you need is a good pair of pruners, to prune and clean plants. Actually, the tools you require depend on what you’re growing and how much maintenance you intend to do.
However, you have to also remember that a rooftop garden will be subject to pests and problems also. As insects can fly and can spore, you will need to monitor your plants and try to catch problems while they’re small. You can keep your plants healthy and stress-free by feeding and watering them well. By maintaining all the possible ways you will limit their problems.
Electricity isn’t mandatory but if you have an electrical connection to your roof, it will be easier for you to take care of your plants at night and also when you are busy in the daytime. Besides, you can enjoy the beauty of your garden with your family or lovely ones. However, if it is not possible to electrify your rooftop, you can use candles that are the best lighting for weeding and enjoying the beauty of the garden.
Make a Plan
Check the space size of your rooftop as you have to put a lot of things associated with gardening including tools, fertilizer, compost, buckets, etc. If the space of your rooftop is limited, it will be hard for you to keep all things in the limited area. When your space is limited, you can consider the shelves that will help you to cover the area.
However, you have to account for how much you are willing to spend. Consider your budget first and then make a plan for your winter roof gardening. Remember, you need to buy some essential things to make a roof garden. Plus, you may need to do more structural work to support and take care of your gardening to make it look elegant.
It is a great idea to make a roof garden in winter but make sure you do proper research to learn how to cultivate fresh herbs and vegetables, keep the plants alive, use compost to make your plants healthy, and use insecticides to free your garden from pests. Seasonal roof terrace design ideas can also help you to build an amazing garden this winter.