Creating and Managing a Roof Garden
ROOF GARDEN: A Must For Green Homes
Those who have less space need not sacrifice their greenery. As a solution they can create a beautiful garden in their roof.
A garden is necessary to complete a home. But, a family who lives in the cities might not have the space for a garden. Even though the concept of ‘Roof Garden’ came into being for these people, those who do not have such limitations are also attracted towards the idea of roof gardens. The reason for the growing popularity of roof gardens is the availability of a little private space along with a place for greenery .
Some Attractions of a Roof Garden:
Presence of greenery for those who are living in a city with less space.
Reduces the heat inside the home.
Space to relax & a place to have friends-relatives get together and parties
Lawn on Roof Garden
Anything that grows in a normal garden can be grown on the roof . But the major part of roof garden is the lawn. The new style is to artificially create miniature hills & valleys & to attach lawns on these. To increase the beauty of these lawns we can plant other plants. We can plant the plants by filling mud on the roof itself. But it is better not to select plants that have huge roots for the Roof Garden. There are chances that the roots will create leakages in the Roof. It is common to keep trees like palms also on the Roof. Then around such trees we can keep metal rings & reduce the depth of the roots. It is most safe to keep such trees in the pots.
Since flowering plants require a lot of sunshine we can include plants like rose, bougainvillea etc in the Roof Garden. Planting in the Roof garden will help the plant to produce big flowers with rich color. Usually the attack of insects & pests is seen to be less in the Roof Gardens.
Since there is a lot of sunshine falling on the Roof grasses like Mexican grass, Korean grass will grow with a nice green color. And if we cut the grass beautifully even the buffalo grass will grow nicely. When we plant the Korean & Mexican grasses it will cost 10 to 20 $ per square feet even without waterproofing. If it is buffalo grass it will cost from 5 to 10 $ .
Those who find it difficult to maintain lawns can use artificial lawns. Even though it looks like natural lawn it is slightly more costly than the natural one.
Sculptures and Plants For Gardens In Roof Terraces and Balconies
Water Proofing in Roof
Making a garden in roof is not like making a garden round the home. If we do not handle it carefully it might affect the strength of the home also.
First step is to do waterproofing without any faults. When we build the home itself we should let the engineer or contractor know that we wish to make a roof garden. If there is a mistake in the cementing, there are chances of leakage no matter however we do the water proofing.
Since a lot of sunshine falls on the terrace we have to water abundantly. We should water in the morning before the sun is too strong or in the evening after the sun sets. Since there are dew drops in the atmosphere in the morning, it is ideal to water in the evening. ’Mist’ or ‘drip irrigation’ is good. It is enough to provide about 250 ml of water per sq. feet.
We should arrange the drainage in such a way that there is no water stagnating during rainy season.
How to Step Up a Roof Garden ?
Even if the home is built properly, still it is necessary to do water proofing.The roof should be built in such a way that the center portion is higher & slanting towards the four sides .
- First we should give polyurethane coating for this roof.
- On top of that we should put ’Geo Blanket’ made of natural materials like rope, different strands etc.
- On top of this arrange plain coconut shells i.e. without their “eyes”.
- After that we should put mud or stones & fill the gap between the coconut shells. Then we have to put Red earth on top of that.
- It is good to mix one kilo of Neopit, turmoil mix for 4-5 cubic feet of mud. Since Neopit can store & preserve more of water & fertilizer, the more the neopit , less the watering.
- Plants are planted on this layer which is about 4-5 inches thick.
Read more on Rooftop Garden
How to care for Roof Gardens
Roof garden requires regular care. We should replant at least every 5 years. To avoid leakages we can remove large roots from time to time. In rainy season we should see to it that the remains of plants do not block the drainage system.
Those who do not want a lawn can use pebbles to create a garden. If we are using he lawn then we have to create a walking path in between. Also it is good to make a place to sit in the terrace. It is necessary to use metal garden furniture. When we are doing a roof garden we have to give equal importance to the lighting also.