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How to Grow a Roof Garden

You can grow your own garden even if you don't have a yard. Enjoy fresh produce that you grew yourself by planting a rooftop garden.


  • Step 1: Set up a watering system. You can recycle rainwater simply by placing buckets out to catch rain, or you can run a hose up the side of the building and attach drip lines and a timer system.
  • Step 2: Make accommodations for the more extreme wind conditions on a rooftop by installing shields to protect your plants. Install an overhead cover for shade to compensate for heat radiated by the roof and the additional heat common at higher altitudes.
  • Step 3: Harvest your garden and enjoy the literal fruits of your labor.
  • FACT: Michelle Obama planted the first vegetable garden at the White House since Eleanor Roosevelt's victory garden during World War II.
  • TIP: Root vegetables, melons, broccoli, and cauliflower tend to grow poorly on rooftops.
  • Step 4: Decide what types of plants you want to grow. Plants that grow well on rooftops include herbs, lettuces, beans, peas, spinach, cherry and grape tomatoes, and greens.
  • TIP: Generally, you'll want to situate your garden around the roof's edges, where it is strongest.
  • Step 5: Line your garden area with plastic sheeting to prevent standing water and potential flooding.
  • Step 6: Decide whether you want raised beds or containers. If you have raised beds, you can put them on tables for easier watering.
  • Step 7: Make sure your roof is strong enough to support a garden. Soil is heavy, and wet soil is even heavier; add to that the weight of fruit-bearing plants, and you've got quite a load for your roof to bear.

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