By Liliana Usvat
Fact: Studies have shown that 150 square metres of “plant surface area” produces enough oxygen for one person for a day.
Fact: Rooftop gardens help to insulate buildings, decreasing rooftop temperatures from 60°C to about 25°C. A reduction in air conditioning use translates into savings in electricity.
Fact: Rooftop gardens help to reduce the amount of water lost to evaporation and run-off, with plants absorbing much of the rainfall, thereby alleviating the pressure on the city’s network of sewers.
Fact: Gardens, whether they be rooftop gardens or a traditional planting bed help to evoke a sense of community, and contribute to reducing external and internal stresses.
A roof garden is any garden on the roof of a building. Humans have grown plants atop structures since antiquity. Besides the decorative benefit, roof plantings may provide food, temperature control, architectural enhancement, and recreational opportunities. Available gardening areas in cities are often seriously lacking, which is likely the key impetus for many roof gardens. The garden may be on the roof of an autonomous building which takes care of its own water and waste.
Aeroponic tower – This container will take the form of a bucket with inert substrate suspended over a reservoir of nutrient solution. A small aquarium pump will force air into a tube that is submerged in the solution. When bubbles come up, they will transport small quantities of nutrient solution to the surface. This solution will percolate through the substrate, feeding the plant with water and nutrients before returning to the reservoir.
Aeroponic towers allow vertical gardening without the need for soil. Gardens are lightweight, easy to maintain, and clean.
The Tower Garden is a state-of-the-art vertical aeroponic growing system. It’s perfect for rooftops, patios, balconies, terraces—just about any relatively sunny place outside.
Using aeroponic technology, it grows almost any vegetable, herb, or flower in less time than it takes in soil.
The Tower Garden gives you more control of your health by making it easy to grow nutritious, great-tasting vegetables and fruits at home. And it’s a smart choice, both environmentally and economically.
Traditional Container Gardening
Easy to build and maintain
Superior quality and yield
This is where gardening at altitude starts. A container is perforated to ensure good drainage and filled with potting soil enriched with compost and fertilizer.
Generally, the deeper and more voluminous the container, the more the garden will yield. On the other hand, a 20 cm depth of 20 to 40 L of growing mix will be sufficient for a determinant tomato. For lettuce varieties, a 15 cm depth of 6 to 10 L of growing mix will guarantee great results.
Like any roofing system, positive drainage is very important. Minimum slope should be 1/4 inch per foot. Structural slope is preferred over tapered insulation. The drainage layer not only provides a means for stormwater to exit the roof, it also can provide air movement under the growing media to help dry the insulation. Vegetative green roofing systems should always be internally drained. Edge draining should be avoided to prevent loss of components and growing medium at the building perimeter during high wind or precipitation events.
Consideration should be given to the types of insulation used in a vegetative green roof application.
Avoid the use of porous insulations and focus on closed-cell-type insulations to avoid trapping moisture within the roofing system. Porous insulations to avoid:
- Wood fiber
- Expanded polystyrene
Recommended Closed-Cell Insulations:
- Extruded Polystyrene
- Gypsum based Dens Deck
Getti Museum rooftop gardens and other gardens
One of the most interesting gardens I have seen in the Getti museum in Los Angeles.
This can be a source of inspiration for those that want to plant something anything.
Learn from the experts. They have something nice to teach.