More people than ever before all over the world are enjoying the advantages of growing their own food in smaller and smaller spaces and are realizing the number of benefits they get from doing so. In fact, there is even now a trend starting up known as rooftop gardening. This usually occurs on the roof of an apartment building and may be maintained by all of the tenants. Making it a great way to meet and connect with your neighbors too.
Always wanted a rooftop vegetable plot or garden and don’t know where to begin? Don’t worry! In the article below we will share some top tips for growing fruit and vegetables in a rooftop garden.
1. Pots Are Key
On a rooftop, there is no soil, so you will need to invest in some large pots to grow your carrots or your beets.
For your food roof, you will need to purchase pots that are different depths, especially if you are growing potatoes, beetroot, carrots, or parsnips. Remember to check that the pots that you choose are weatherproof and will not crack or become damaged due to frost. If you live in a warmer climate, you should try to avoid plastic pots, as in the summer these can become overheated and cook the roots of the plants you are growing. In this instance, mud pots may be a better option.
2. Potting Mixtures
You may be curious about which soils will help your rooftop allotment to grow at its best. The answer is usually a homemade potting mixture. You should avoid using heavy soils on a rooftop garden, as this can cause the roof to become heavy following rain. Aim to mix and match different soil types depending on the vegetables and fruits you are growing to get the best yield.
A greenhouse on a rooftop will usually be on the smaller side and made from metal bars and polyurethane coverings. These are lightweight and will not add pressure to the roof.
If you are aiming to grow tomatoes, chilies or other Mediterranean vegetables and fruits, they will likely thrive in a heated greenhouse, irrespective of their size. Just be sure that you have a heater that is not a fire risk and do not attempt to add wiring to your rooftop greenhouse without the oversight of a qualified electrician, as this can be a serious fire risk.
Some fruits and vegetables are planted and then left to grow by themselves. Others, like tomatoes, can suffer from pests, even in the middle of a city. So, in order to get a good yield, you will need to spray them with an organic pesticide to ensure that the plants are not being eaten. Some plants (once again, tomatoes!) will also require more regular watering to produce fruits, so aim to water them at least twice a day.
When you have got all the fruit or veg that you can for the season out of one plant, this is the time to reuse the soil. Simply add it to a larger pot, mix in some nutrients and save it for the next planting season.