Most city homes do not have a backyard, where you can grow plants of your choice. Roof or balcony gardens are fast emerging as an alternative to lush backyard gardens. However, a roof garden should be designed extremely carefully. A poorly designed terrace garden can cause immense harm to the structure of your building.
It is preferable to include the design of your roof top garden in your building plan, during the construction of your house. Building a roof garden in old houses require many major adjustments. Under no circumstance, you should compromise with the safety of your building. If you are designing your roof garden at the same time as building your house, install the large and heavy garden materials before finishing the interior of your house.
Before designing your roof garden, check the strength of your roof. See whether your terrace is strong enough to support excess weight. Also, check whether the building material will not become damp when it is watered everyday. You can water proof your roof by covering it with rubberized asphalt or thermoplastic membrane. There should not be any crack on the roof. Refer the local building rules and safety requirements. To ensure the safety of your roof, you might install safety railing or decks on top of the roof. Always keep the heavy pots close to the walls or joists.
Water and drainage
There should be a water supply source on your roof. At the same time, there should be proper drainage facility to prevent accumulation of water.
Use lightweight containers and pots for growing plants. Terra cotta pots are most popular growing plants. You can also use wooden and plastic containers. Modern plastic pots are designed to retain greater amount of moisture than terra cotta pots. Plastic pots are also lighter. The pots should have drainage holes. Instead of using regular garden soil, use lightweight soils specially designed for roof gardens. Hydroponics, a soil-less method of growing plants, can be used for growing plants on roofs.
The plants, which you grow in your roof garden, should be small.