wikiHow to Create a Rooftop Garden

A rooftop garden is the ideal alternative way to enjoy all the virtues of gardening and outdoor space when there is no land available. It is ideal for urban environments, where ground garden space is limited.


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    Before you begin, find out if it is possible to create a garden on your roof. Make sure the regulations allow it, and if you have a freeholder - make sure they allow you to build it. You don't want to spend lots of time and money preparing for a garden/roof terrace and then find out that it is prohibited. Also make sure that the roof is able to hold the weight of a rooftop garden. For the majority of houses, flat roofs aren't strong enough for terraces/roof gardens. If so, figure out how much weight it can hold. Consult a structural engineer - you have to make sure it is not damaging your house. Remember this when making the garden and use lighter containers, soil, flooring, furniture etc.
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    Work out a comfortable access way to the roof. You may have to consult an architect, or a roof garden specialist.
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    Choose a design, figure out how you will layout the roof garden. Or use a designer to help. It is here when you have to chose your flooring too: stone, or decking etc.
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    Work out a planting scheme, with plants to work well with the natural light you have, humidity, wind etc. Or you can use a planting expert or a landscape designer to help.
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    Get containers/planters, furniture etc to finish it off. Their size depends on the size and type of the plants you chose. They also should be lightweight, but also stable. Perhaps think of how you can fix them and integrate them within your scheme.
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    Decide how you will water the garden. You can install a water storage system or an automatic irrigation system. Or, you can just carry the water up to the roof by hand, depending if your access way allows it.
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    Consider windbreaks, as a rooftop garden will be very windy. These can be trellises or other latticed windbreak, but it shouldn't be completely solid, since they will blow over more easily.
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    Remember there are various details to consider when building a roof garden, terrace or any other structure on the roof, so it is perhaps worth consulting a specialist (or a few specialists) before you start your project.


  • Heat, wind and heavy rain are the enemies when most people will want to grow on rooftops. Small wooden platforms will elevate the plants slightly above the actual rooftop to increase the ventilation around the potted plants.
  • A rooftop room can serve as store and shade.


  • Be sure you have adequate support. Large pots full of wet soil are very heavy, and in areas where roofs are not built with a consideration for snow-load, you risk structural damage to the skin or the superstructure.
  • Be sure to consult specialists where you have any doubts - it is important not to do anything that might damage your property.

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Categories: Indoor and Patio Plants