How to Build a Rooftop Garden Appropriately

Rooftop Garden Idea on Wooden DeckLimited land should not become a reason for not greening your house. You are still able to bring plants to your house through a roof garden. It is an alternative to improve the quality of the environment in big cities. In addition to the shade it creates, a roof top garden can also be used to absorb toxic gases.

To create a roof garden, you should choose light weight planting medium that does not provide excessive load on the roof. Arrange the plants in a way that the garden is not too dense. Also, the plants should have certain characteristics, e.g. able to withstand sunlight exposure and do not require a lot of water.

You might not find a lot of difficulties to create a roof top garden. Simply with a 4 x 4 square meter area, you will be able to create an adequate roof garden. More importantly, you should consider the water system, including rain water that settles in the planting media. Avoid any leakage on the concrete cast due to an inappropriate water system. One solution about the water system is to provide a certain slope on the concrete cast. This of course will make the water flow into the drain properly.

There are four stages in creating a roof garden:

  1. Coat the roof with water proofing materials. Let it stand for a day until it is completely dry.
  2. Plaster the roof. It requires one day to make it dry.
  3. Provide a drainage cell and geotextile.
  4. After the above stages have been done, then put the soil or other planting media on the roof, and you get ready to plant. Begin planting grass, shrubs, and then trees. To prevent damage on the waterproof layer and the concrete underneath, you should add more drainage cell.

Here’s how you should select plants that are suitable for a roof garden:

Characteristics of plants:

  1. Choose plants which are resistant to direct sunlight. This is important to note, given the location of the plants which is on the roof, which is closer to the sun than the usual garden.
  2. Don’t choose plants with pierced down roots such as palm. Choose the ones that have spread roots and grow slowly such as pagoda tree.
  3. Choose plants that produce flowers very often, like rose, jasmine, and bougainvillea.
  4. Choose plants that has many branches to create a lush atmosphere, such as pagoda tree and frangipani.

Type of plants that are commonly used in a roof garden:

  1. Soft stemmed plants, such as araceae, lily, yellow pandanus.
  2. Hard stemmed plants, such as bougainvillea and frangipani.
  3. Flowering plants, such as rose and jasmine.

Lastly, since plants on a roof top garden are exposed to direct sunlight, you should water them regularly.

Image credit: camacoeshn.org

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