Rooftop Gardens: It Isn’t Wasted Space If You’re Using It

So many people these days are talking about the fact that they don’t have the space on their property to put the plants they would love to look at on a daily basis. If you happen to have a terrace that is only big enough to walk onto, turn around and walk back inside, or a balcony with not enough room to, as they say ‘swing a cat’, I have news for you. You have enough room. Not for a garden maybe but to put a small bush, a shrub, a plant pot or just simply some resilient plants that do not mind being exposed to the elements. If you are looking into rooftop gardening or balcony gardening then you’re in the right place, but it does require a bit of planning and a bit of knowledge about the climate and microclimates that will occur in specific locations.

For example if you live on a 6th-7th floor with a rooftop garden and a terrace garden, there will be absolutely no protection from the wind that means that your plants will dry out very very quickly in the summer due to the combination of both heat and wind. Then the winter months due to the cold and wind it can damage the bots that the plants are in, all containers are subject to the brutal environment night and day so either you will have to move the pots or cover them. You need to determine what direct sunlight your plants will be getting in a specific spot on your roof or terrace. You need to be dynamic with your garden for example if a new apartment complex was built next door you would need to alter your plant makeup if it limited your sunlight.

Indirect Light we had a terrace garden in downtown Chicago. There was a tremendous amount of indirect sunlight that reflected off the buildings. We didn’t plant full sun plants but focused on indirect light plant. Winds. This was our biggest challenge with my gardens. We had to plan for planters that were heavier than normal. The wind could possibly pick up the planters and move them across the garden. Also, we had to insulate the planter so that the heat of the sun didn’t dry out the roots and the winter winds didn’t freeze the roots. Finally, we bolted my tree planters into the decking. The tree never moved especially during the Chicago micro wind bursts. For this reason you need to get yourself some Wheelie Bin Storage
Elevator/Staircase, The condo doesn’t have an elevator. We had to bring up all of the planters, soil, and plants up 4 flights of stairs. We purchased smaller plants and trees and allowed them to grow. It was easier to plant and maintain. Also, you need to make sure the size of plant can make it into the service elevator. You may have to bend the tree to fit in the elevator.

Our suggestion is to go outside and understand what will happen throughout the year. Some plants will work well in the garden and others will not. We recommend documenting what has been working for you and let us know if you have any questions.

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