Starting a Rooftop Garden: A Basic Guide for all Gardeners of all level

Starting a Rooftop Garden: A Basic Guide for All Level Gardeners

starting a rooftop garden

Starting a rooftop garden? Why not?

When I was starting my urban garden, I found out I was soon running out of space. So I looked for other places around the house to grow my other vegetables. What I discovered was essential—I soon found out that I can actually grow some plants in the rooftop! Yes, starting a rooftop garden is convenient and easy. If you want to find out how to do it, read on!

You may want to consider creating a rooftop backyard. Rooftop gardens are an ideal manner for an urban gardener to broaden their space. Rooftop gardens also make use of typically unused and wasted space. There are, nevertheless, just a few things to keep in mind when making a rooftop garden.

Related: You don’t know where to start? Meet our experts to get Professional Guidance

Starting A Rooftop Garden: Find and Study Local Rules

First of all, find out how neighbourhood ordinances, property regulations or home ownership organization rules say about a rooftop garden. Starting a rooftop garden could also be prohibited or require certain rules and it is normally good to know these things before you spend your time and money.

Related: Starting a Garden from Scratch: Tips for Gardening Success

Seek the Advice of a Contractor

Get an architect or contractor as soon as possible in starting a rooftop garden. You don’t want the architect or contractor for the entire garden construction; however you will need them to tell you if the rooftop is safe and sturdy enough to construct a garden on.

Some buildings cannot resist the further weight that a rooftop garden would add. Different structures could take the additional weight but could be in a position to take a restricted amount of weight. An architect or contractor will tell you if you will be starting a rooftop garden in your building.

Prepare Your Environment

When you’ve established the area in starting a rooftop garden, there are some further environmental factors to keep in mind. Before outlining the form of your garden, consider sun and wind exposure on the roof.

First, you need to buy a few things before proceeding with the task. Pond liners may be used to prevent the roots, water or greenery from entering the roof. Making use of root membranes in the garden prevents the increase of weeds below the decking. They could also prevent dust from coming into the lower surface of the gravel and facilitate drainage.  A moisture blanket might assist in maintaining the moisture in the soil. You also want to shop for the compost and the top soil which goes to be your plant’s nutrition. Finally, you need to buy those plants.

Next, you need to pour gravel. The gravel needs to be brushed into place and rolled over the foundation membrane. Now, pour on a few more gravel if you want a thicker layer.

Once the gravels are in place you want to spread out the moisture blanket. While doing this, make certain to leave 6-8 inches’ area around the corners. You can even make use of antique garments, towels and sacks as a moisture blanket considering they’re going to stay damp for a long time. Now, you need to pour another layer of gravel over the moisture blanket. Large portions of pebbles and gravels may unfold round the rims of the terrace. This would cause proper drainage and prevent the plant life from entering your home. Finally, make use of flashing tapes to connect the pond liner to the corners of your house. This will make sure that no water is going to get underneath the pond liner.

Now, let us go to making ready the soil for the garden. The first step is to unfold out the bark at the floor of your roof. Once the bark masking is complete, you want to start setting on the compost. Pour it first after which rake it around the entire surface. Similarly, pour on the top soil and rake it around. If you’re looking forward to a layer of soil, then you can strive stomping it down. Lastly, you need to install a few paved slabs so that you can without problems stroll for your lawn without treading on the plants.

Now, go to your nearby nursery and choose the plants which might be sufficient to live with little care. Let me give you the varieties of plants you can go for. Plants like Azure bluet, chamomile, sedum hispanicum, Sedum reflexum, thyme, misty butterfly, and blue haze arctic fire are good for a roof terrace. If you’re planting them deep, ensure to preserve the patches well so they can spread.

Sunlight Exposure

Definitely, sunlight shall be a major component in growing any sort of plant, so make certain you have a good concept of the daily and seasonal sun exposure and shade in your rooftop garden.

Also, sunlight exposure determines which vegetables, flowers, herbs, and veggies you would be able to grow. Most likely, rooftops acquire more direct sunlight, so if that’s the case, there are numerous choices based on the fact that most veggies develop well in full sunlight at a minimum of six hours with unobstructed, direct daylight.

Nevertheless, if you happen to live in a building that blocks sunlight in your rooftop, more vegetables that grow on shade such as kale, lettuce, and spinach will fare better.


Roofs may experience more windy conditions than conventional gardens. You should have a plan for wind protection, both for the garden and passersby below.

A rooftop garden with excellent airflow is satisfactory for most plants, but highly windy areas can dry out the plants or smash the stems before they are able to mature. Aside from broken plants, the final thing you need is for substances or instruments to blow off into the street beneath.

Related: How to Start Gardening At Home: 7 Best Tips

Drainage and Waterproofing

After you have deliberated out your garden’s measurement and dimensions, the next step is to ensure water resistant and prepare a correct drainage method.

Reducing corners on rooftop drainage and waterproofing is a big mistake. You could have a soggy garden with drowned roots and you could place yourself at risk for structural injuries.

You can set up a tapered layer of insulation to the rooftop to channel the extra water into a storage tank or drainage on the bottom. This may, of course, rely on your living conditions. It’s also wise to add a weatherproofed rubber layer. A pond liner may be used; however you can also spend money on a sturdier option like a rubber membrane.

Starting a rooftop garden required good methods: you can find ours in our Step by Step Garden Planner


Our tips are very useful to you as a gardener. Contact us now!

Featured Image from @brooklyngrange

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.

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