Leveraging Your Roof Space

Roof Top GardenIf you’re short on space because you live in an apartment building or you have a funky, flat roof at home, there are ways you can still incorporate a cute little garden or patio area for growing fruits and veggies. Here are some ways to maximize your roof top oasis.

Getting Creative

Live in a penthouse or high rise? Got a flat roof with lots of nooks and crannies? No problem. You can still incorporate a roof top garden that will satisfy your green thumb obsession. HGTV says a typical roof can handle about 40 pounds of weight per square foot. If you’re concerned about how much weight you’re placing on the roof, pick up some plastic or foam containers rather than concrete. You’ll need to ensure proper drainage, so place them up a few of inches off the floor of the roof. You could put rocks in the bottom to encourage drainage, but that will add to the weight. Better to use those foam packing peanuts instead. If you’re looking for some privacy, consider adding fast-growing clumping bamboo (it’s been known to grow up to 20 feet tall!). A small bubbling fountain will add peace and serenity to your roof-top garden.

Maximize Your Space

Cabins, cottages, ranches, or small homes with porches and balconies afford little space but you can maximize the space you do have in creative ways. Think vertical plants.  Plant some vining vegetables like zucchini and squash, and encourage their growth up a decorative trellis. Another idea is to plant cherry tomato vines at the peak of an arbor so they spill over the edge for a brilliant, colorful effect.

Bold Fragrances

For an accent that’s both beautiful and fragrant, fill terra cotta pots with flowering fruit trees such as oranges, limes or lemons and add a bit of sunshine to any roof or patio, suggests HGTV. Line the space with these pots to add a sense of privacy while still enjoying the scenery. If your rooftop gets at least five to six hours of sunlight a day, consider adding planters with patio, mini or dwarf roses for a totally different kind of scent.

Window Box Delights

If you have a window that overlooks your roof or patio, grow your own herbs in a window box. From basil and oregano to rosemary and chives, it’s easy to clip some off for your nightly dinner. If you get enough sunlight, try growing some succulent strawberries.

Patio Perfection

Got a small patio? No worries. A small decorative bench flanked by varying heights of potted vegetables are all you need to create a pretty yet functional space. Get some soilless mix for a variety of container sizes at your local home improvement store. This is great for growing vegetables like mini cucumbers and tomatoes because it drains quickly. Why not make your own fresh salsa from home-grown tomatoes or grill up some peppers for your stir-fry with veggies grown in your very own outdoor patio garden?

Get creative with limited roof space and patios. You can do a lot with a little!