Start Your Very Own Rooftop Veggie Garden


Kai Magsanoc

Flowers That Attract Pollinators


Kai Magsanoc

February 7, 2021

Living in the city should not hinder you from pursuing your love for all things green. Here’s why you should do it and the factors to consider to maintain it well.

Not all of us are lucky enough to live in a farm, or in a space with a yard that can be turned into our very own farm. There are those who live in apartment or condominium buildings, and the closest we have to having a garden is the rooftop. If you are considering starting your own rooftop veggie garden, you have come to the right place.

It may seem like a simple project but there are considerations you may need to check out and work on with the help of experts. (And where experts or suppliers are needed, you’ll find all of them on

A rooftop garden is not only good for you; it’s good for wildlife, too. Butterflies, bees, and other pollinators may find their way to your garden. This, in turn, will be good for the planet. A rooftop garden can also absorb rain water, and can be your refuge if you ever need alone time or for entertaining guests (plus points when shared with neighbors).

Great reasons to start a rooftop garden

When your plants are on your roof, there is no way animals like deer can come and munch on your greens. If you are not yet convinced, here are 5 more reasons to finally get you to begin:

1. They utilize under-utilized space A rooftop garden ensures that no space will go to waste.

2. They make the space beautiful Whether you plant flowers or veggies, green always beautifies any space.

3. They provide safety to your plants There are no passers-by who might step on or throw trash onto your plants.

4. They are good for the environment Rooftop farming is a hobby you can pursue that will not harm the planet.

5. They receive a good amount of sun You won’t have to worry about your plants that thrive in sunlight.

Factors to consider when planning a rooftop garden

A garden begins with the first plant. But when it comes to rooftop gardening, there are other factors to consider, especially when you live in a building shared with numerous other neighbors. Be sure you are open to sharing your garden with them.

1. Make sure you are allowed to build a rooftop garden Talk to your building admin or your landlord. Check accessibility, building restrictions, and fire regulations. Your roof might actually be off-limits and you don’t want to find out too late.

2. Make sure the roof can actually support the weight of a garden Hire a professional who can assess the structural integrity of your roof. A number of planters with soil with plants that can grow high might prove to be a lot of weight for your roof to carry, collectively.

3. Make sure there is easy access to the roof Whether it’s through a service elevator or a flight of stairs, check how you can bring plants and supplies to and from your roof. This way, you can also come up with ways to work around possible challenges.

4. Make sure there is a way to water the plants efficiently Is there a water source on the roof? Will you be able to install a rain barrel or drip irrigation? Check how you can water your plants without it being a problem so that it does not become a stressful chore for you.

5. How is sun exposure? Are you shaded by taller buildings? Does the roof bounce off heat? All plants need sunshine but too much might also kill them. Check what plants thrive in your area and what plants can survive your state’s climate.

6. How does the wind hit your rooftop? During seasons with crazy winds, some plants might get uprooted. Or, worse, supplies might get blown off the rooftop, fall to the street below, and cause serious injury to others. You may need to build some kind of fencing.

7. Is there storage for your gardening supplies? Rooftops are usually bare, and you can’t keep bringing your gardening tools from and back to your unit. If you are not allowed to build a storage, then opt for benches with storage so that people also have somewhere to sit to enjoy the greens.

8. Is your budget enough? Before you begin any project, make sure you have enough budget to cover the estimated cost and other unexpected costs. If you worry about how much hiring professionals will cost you, inquire at for free to find out.

Veggies you can plant in your rooftop garden

Here is a list of edibles that thrive on rooftops as shared by Colin McCrate and Hilary Dahl on

1. Assorted greens: ‘Deer Tongue’, ‘Nancy’, ‘Winter Density’, and ‘Breen’ lettuce; ‘Surrey’ and ‘Roquette’ arugula; ‘Calypso’ and ‘Santo’ cilantro

2. Beets: ‘Napoli’, ‘Scarlet Nantes’, and ‘Purple Haze’ carrots; ‘Early Wonder’, ‘Chioggia’, and ‘Touchstone Gold’

3. Onions: ‘Red Rezan’, ‘Polish White’, and ‘French Pink’ garlic; ‘Ailsa Craig’, ‘Prince’, and ‘Ruby Ring’

4. Perennial herbs: Italian oregano, ‘Aureum’ golden oregano, Greek oregano, common (English) or ‘French’ thyme, peppermint, and rosemary

5. Kale, broccoli, and Swiss chard: ‘Toscano’, ‘Rainbow Lacinato’, and ‘White Russian’ kale; ‘Bay Meadows’ and ‘Arcadia’ broccoli; ‘Bright Lights’ Swiss chard

6. Strawberries: ‘Seascape’

7. Hot peppers: ‘Thai Hot’, ‘Early Jalapeño’, ‘Ancho’, and ‘Fish’

8. Dwarf fruit trees: ‘North Pole’ and ‘Golden Sentinel’ columnar apples (need two different apple cultivars with corresponding blooming times to ensure pollination)

9. Squash: ‘Zephyr’ and ‘Gentry’ summer squash; ‘Jackpot’ zucchini

10. Potatoes: ‘Yukon Gold’, ‘All Blue’, and ‘Colorado Rose’

11. Tomatoes: ‘Black Prince’, ‘Pineapple’, ‘Sungold’, ‘Black Cherry’, ‘San Marzano’, and ‘Brandywine’ (trellised)

12. Hops: ‘Cascade’, ‘Centennial’, or ‘Willamette’

13. Cucumbers: ‘Marketmore 76’, ‘Suyo Long’, and ‘Lemon’ (trellised)

14. Pole beans: ‘Fortex’ (trellised)

If you want to plant annual flowers, “good choices to support the bee population include calendulas and nasturtiums (edible flowers), anise hyssop (edible leaves), and sweet alyssum, and lobelia (non-edible ornamentals).”

Ready to begin work on your rooftop garden? The professionals you need are at Sign up for free and explore how you can build that rooftop garden today.

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