Start Your Own Rooftop Garden

Rooftop Garden, Mindful Gardening

Having an outdoor space in the city purifies the air and helps you connect with nature; however, yards aren’t always available. Fortunately, a rooftop garden may be the solution.

Creating an outdoor space in the sky is an ancient practice. Recently more urban cities like Chicago, New York, San Francisco, and Seattle have embraced them. They are found on top of apartment buildings or schools where kids learn about gardening and supply cafeterias with produce. Some restaurants even receive tax benefits by establishing these gardens. Before you start daydreaming about having your own rooftop garden you’ll need to do some serious planning.

Here are some Mindful suggestions to help you start your own rooftop garden:

  • Permission and permits. Before beginning, you’ll need to get permission from the right people, like the owner of the building, the other tenants or the HOA. You’ll also need to research codes and permits at your local department of buildings to make sure you proceed legally and safely. 
  • Structural engineers. You’ll need to consult with a structural engineer or architect. They’ll inspect the roof conditions to ensure that it’s strong and leak-free. They’ll determine how much weight the roof can withstand which will help you plan the garden.
  • Garden designs. When designing keep a few things in mind. You may want to consider adding some sort of railing. And in order to ensure the health of your plants, you’ll need to survey the environment on the roof. Consider the wind conditions and which areas get the most shade or sun.
  • The right equipment. In consideration of the weight restrictions, you may need light, plastic containers. They may also need wheels so you can move the plants around to shaded or sunny areas. Lastly, consider setting up an irrigation system and ensure that the containers drain properly.
  • The right plants. When picking out plants for your garden you’ll need to consider the environmental conditions on your roof. Experts at Garden Designs say that small varieties of strawberries, peppers, tomatoes, and apple trees grow well on rooftops. Also consider lavender, honeysuckles, shrubs like juniper, and dwarf trees.

Bonus. For more ideas about rooftop gardens look at the basic outlines offered by the Friends of Trees Society, the Rooftop Garden Project and the Chicago Department of Environment.