Rooftop Gardening: How to Start and Tips For The Busy Gardener

Rooftop Gardening: How to Start, Tips For The Busy Gardener

rooftop gardening

Like To Do Rooftop Gardening? Start Now!

Want to try rooftop gardening?

As an urban gardener who has just started out creating a small garden in my home, I soon ran out of space. I had filled my balcony, my small outdoor plot and even my living room with plants! A friend soon told me that one of the potential gardening spaces in the house is the rooftop! I tried it, and it works! If you are wondering on how to start on rooftop gardening, read on!

There are a lot of explanations why you should start a rooftop garden. One is to make use of extra space. Another is the beauty it brings to the eye. A rooftop garden can also bring you privacy and it is also environmentally friendly. Plus, your plants will have more sunlight exposure.

So, how do you do rooftop gardening? Here are some tips:

Related: Benefits of Growing Your Own Food: 25 Amazing Ways

How To Do Rooftop Gardening

Use Containers

The simplest and most personal approach to rooftop gardening is using containers and raised beds. You could create any sort of rooftop garden with plants growing in containers, from a couple of easy herbs to vegetables.

Containers are excellent for rooftop gardening due to the fact they are lightweight, portable, flexible and are of low-cost.

Plant containers come in myriads of styles and brands. When selecting pots for your garden, remember the final size of the plant you’ll be developing, what the pot is fabricated from, and some critical capabilities you can’t do without.

Choose Your Pots

Gardeners can choose from clay pots, glazed or no lot; plastic pots or timber pots, massive or small. And that’s just the top of the iceberg.  In most cases, pots which might be bigger in terms of width and extent are better, particularly for growing huge plants like tomatoes. It should have lots of root space so that your plants are less probable to get cramped; they’ll additionally be easy to water and fertilize.


A half of whiskey or wine barrel is a huge, less expensive container that can keep some veggies — ten heads of lettuce, ten bush bean plants, one or  small tomato plants, or 4 or five small cucumber types. You should purchase these boxes at garden centers and nurseries.

Pot Material

What a pot is made of can have an effect on how regularly you need to water and how long the container lasts. Pots fabricated from porous substances like clay dry out quickly than the ones made from plastic or wood, so that you must water the plants in them more frequently, especially in hot or windy climates. If you choose wood boxes, make sure they’re manufactured from rot-resistant substances like cedar or redwood; otherwise, they won’t last.


Polypropylene bags are a current innovation in vegetable gardening. Felt-like polypropylene is a breathable fabric that forestalls overwatering and promotes desirable aeration. The bags are available in diverse sizes and depths, and they fold flat for storage.


All the pots you use for growing vegetables ought to have drainage holes; luckily, almost all do. But because some don’t, you have to drill your own holes in the bottom of the field (8 to 10 calmly spaced, 1-inch holes ought to be best). If pots don’t have drainage holes, the soil turns into a swampy mess, the roots drown, and the plants die.


A saucer collects water that runs out of the holes within the bottom of a pot and stops the pot from staining anything it’s sitting on. You can find saucers fabricated from similar material as your pot or ones manufactured from clear plastic. Plastic saucers are least possibly to stain.


Most nurseries promote wheeled systems that you place underneath large pots to transport them effortlessly. Otherwise, you need to carry the heavy pots or cart them around on a hand truck.


A particularly useful type of pot is a self-watering container. This kind of pot is made of rubberized plastic and has a false bottom and reservoir under the soil that may be filled with water. You pour water into a pipe at the top of the pot or through a hollow inside the pot to fill the reservoir. A wick attracts water up from the reservoir and into the dry soil so that you don’t water as frequently.

Ask Permission

First, verify with your landlord and/or construction/building code. Accessibility, building height restrictions and fire laws can restrict any sort of roof use.

Related: “It’s as simple as saying Hello.” Discover our step-by-step planner for building your garden from scratch!

Assess Roof Integrity

Ensure the roof can hold the load. Get an authorized professional to do that. Soil and pots are heavy to start with and can get heavier when the plants grow. If you’ve ever tried to move a pot full of wet soil, you will understand the weight water can bring in the pot.

Think of Access

How will you get your gardening supplies and plants inside and out? In case you live in a condo or apartment, ensure that you are allowed to use the elevator. Some cities require multiple entry/exits and potentially exit lighting, fire alarms and emergency lighting.


Will you be ready to run a hose out to the roof? Watering cans can emerge as a nuisance and containers require a lot of water. Don’t forget to put in a rain barrel and drip irrigation.

Related: When Should I Start My Garden?

Exposure to the Sun

Are you shaded by neighbourhood structures or the terrace on top of you? Even ordinary sunlight could be a problem when plants wither in a concrete ground.

Consider Heat

Besides the sunshine down on the roof, there is ambient heat that is being reflected by the surface of the roof, its surrounding structures, automobiles and exhaust and other utilities. You’ll often wish to provide some shade, if not for your plants, then for you.

Consider the Wind

Wind can course along urban streets, chiefly on high-rise buildings.  You may need some sort of wall or fencing. If this is the case, you ought to examine your building code once more for required heights and structural stability.


Most rooftops have neighbouring buildings. If your rooftop plants will be in full view, you may also wish to plan for screening. You may plant some evergreens, or vines up a trellis wall or conveniently have an umbrella table.


Featured image form @celanogreenhouse

About the Author


Mr Urban Gardeners Republic is the best gardener at UGR! He's crazy about Urban Gardening and can't stop talking about that. You can connect with him on Facebook, Pinterest or Twitter but the best way to see his amazing works, is to find him on Instagram.