Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Container Gardens: How to Create a Rooftop or Patio Garden

Create a Garden Paradise
Urban living doesn't mean you can't create a gardener's paradise. Spectacular gardens can grow in unexpected places. Here are a few tips on how to create a rooftop or patio garden.
Check Zoning Rules -- Before you start, consult your local zoning bylaws, municipal building requirements and your HOA (if you have one). Adding a rooftop or patio garden may require reinforcing the structure and possibly a permit.
Plan Your Space -- Decide how you intend to use the space. Are you trying to enhance the view from the inside or do you want an outdoor space for relaxing or entertaining? Once you map out the main design elements, you can plan your container garden around them.
Consider Weight -- Keep containers lightweight by using soilless potting mixes, planter inserts or lightweight containers, especially if you plan on growing plants that require a lot of water.
Choose Sturdy Plants -- Pick plants that can handle the elements. Compact shrubs and hardy perennials that are ideal for container gardening include boxwood, cedar, euonymus, ferns, grasses, lavender, yews, dwarf conifers and succulents.
Think Safe and Secure -- Consider adding walls or a lattice structure to provide a safety barrier and protect plants from wind damage. It's also a good idea to secure planters to keep them from toppling over.
Raise Planters -- Protect your rooftop or patio from rot and water damage by placing planters on bases or feet to prevent water from pooling underneath. Raising planters also allows for air circulation to the roots, encouraging stronger root development.
Water Regularly -- Remember that container gardens are more susceptible to drying out so use moisture-retaining gel grains or mulch to lessen evaporation, or consider installing a drip irrigation system.

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