Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Guest Blog: Planting a Rooftop Garden

Today is a guest blog post on a topic that sparked a lot of interest when I blogged about it a few weeks ago - rooftop gardening.  I encountered some roof top gardens on a trip to San Francisco last Summer and it sparked my interest ever since.  Seems many more people are just as interested in the concept.
I invited Dontel Montelbaun, the lead writer for LiveToGarden.com, who also expressed interest in the topic, to write this article on rooftop gardens for our blog.  Enjoy!

Planting a Rooftop Garden

by Dontel Montelbaun; Lead writer for LiveToGarden.com

Rooftop gardens do more than make your roof or rooftop patio look good -- they can also save you money and benefit the environment. When planting your garden, you should know where to buy plants, what types there are and what they can do for you and the Earth.
Types of Plants
A variety of plants will thrive in rooftop gardens, but remember to plant only what you can maintain. You don't need to have high-maintenance plants, but they do require regular watering (if it doesn't rain often enough). Planting hardy shrubs and surrounding them with seasonal bulbs is visually appealing and easy to maintain. 
Bamboo plants, such as Pseudosasa japonica and Phylostachys bissetti, are good for rooftop gardens because they can handle high winds; bamboo planted along the edge of your garden can even act as an environmentally sustainable privacy screen.
When choosing your plants, you need to know what your roof can handle structurally and how much sunlight the plants will get. If your roof can't handle a lot of extra weight, consider planting herbs and perennials. They require very little soil compared to shrubs and larger plants. 
Where to Buy Plants
Your local garden center and growers should be able to provide you with the plants you need. Find out what they keep in stock and see what looks healthy. Just like any plants you buy, those for your rooftop garden should come with planting instructions, such as required soil depth and amount of sunlight, that will help you take care of them. 
Rooftop Garden Sustainability 
Rooftop gardens are highly sustainable and increase your outdoor green space. They're a unique extra to any home or business and offer benefits that outweigh the cost. Rooftop gardens can:
  • Decrease the amount of noise pollution by acting as sound barriers.
  • Reduce rain runoff by absorbing precipitation.
  • Act as a natural insulator, saving you money on heating and cooling and reducing your energy consumption.
  • Reduce carbon dioxide and produce oxygen. 
Thanks to some of these benefits, rooftop gardens are increasingly being viewed as a way to fight climate change.
A Practical Choice for Homes or Businesses
Rooftop gardens do not require flat roofs. Even if your roof wasn't built for extra weight on top, check out the structural possibilities. Lightweight gardens are possible and are still beneficial to you and the environment.


Bangchik and Kakdah said...

Any effort to add green is commendable!

green building design said...

Get written permission from your landlord or condo association, and be sure to include a clause giving you the right to limit access to the roof in non-emergency situations.

wason said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
wason said...

hi buddy,
i just come across you blog and enjoyed the informative articles... i would like to link your blog to mine but would like to ask you for permission first.
if its ok with you i'l add a link to my article on the same topic: