There are so many things that I wistfully wish for in my busy lifestyle in a crowded city I call home. And one of these was having my very own backyard garden! Relaxing near the flower beds, with a watering pot and pruner, tending to the seedlings… makes room in my heart for peace and a quiet sort of accomplishment. But what is a garden lover living a crowded city with no backyard to do? And I found my answer: all I had to do was look up! And I advice you all to follow my lead – there is the space you need, right above your head: your roof. A rooftop garden means carpeting your roof with the greens, where you can not only beautify your home, but even grow essential organic veggies. Now you needn’t worry about the pesticides any more while you munch your own produce!
Having a roof garden is more complicated than planting shrubs on the ground, so you’ll need to know a few precautions, basics and a step by step process of creating and maintaining one. There are five things you need to take care of:
- Safety: Please make sure you check with your builder or contractor that your roof is capable of handling such an endeavour. Now, you need to make sure your garden will be safe. Check for higher buildings nearby and chances of something falling from there that could ruin your efforts. Install fencing and securely tie down all equipment.
- Containers: You should not put the soil right on top of your roof, else the roots of the plant can carve into your roof; resulting in leakage. You must install containers that can hold the soil. Get light weight containers that allow drainage. For energy efficiency, it’s better to have flat containers.
- Weight: Soil is heavy, wet soil is heavier. Check with your builders about the weight allowed on the roof. And when you are weighing your soil better weigh wet soil. This way your roof is out of danger.
- Plants: There are only certain plants that go along the roof gardening route; those are the ones with fewer roots. The best ones are herbs, green vegetables, beans and anything that doesn’t need too much of root space.
- Watering- During dry summers, its best to install sprinklers that will get water everywhere in regular intervals. During monsoon, you need to worry about water logging. Give a regular check on drainage and the amount of water in the soil. You don’t want your precious plants to rot.
And your very own roof garden is ready to be set up! If you are still sitting on the fence on this one, be aware of its multiple benefits other than the obvious. The fact that it’ll make your building more energy efficient is such a bonus. It will keep the building cool in hard summers, which means you won’t be using much of electricity for cooling purposes. And during monsoon, instead of rain water getting wasted, it will nourish the plants. These gardens also help with reducing heat expansion of the building, as they keep the building cool.
So, what are you waiting for? Go get your very own roof garden; and nourish the garden lover in you!