How To Create A Rooftop Garden


While not everyone has a house that would allow for a rooftop garden, city dwellers and apartment residents are paying attention to their rising popularity.

Once upon a time, the “Great Australian Dream” was owning a three bedroom home on a quarter acre block, generally in the suburbs outside of the nation’s capital cities. However, times have certainly changed, and it’s no secret that the size of our properties have shrunk. 

Today, residing in an apartment, unit or flat is becoming increasingly common for many Australians, particularly for those who call the major cities home. As one in ten of our nation’s residents now identify as having no access to a backyard, introducing a green space to these types of structures requires thinking outside of the box, which would help to explain the rapid rise of the rooftop garden. 

Unpacking The Concept Of A Rooftop Garden

As the name would suggest, a rooftop garden is simply a garden located at the top of a building on the roof. As a means to improve the lifestyle of people who live in high rises, cities, municipalities, and corporations are endorsing the rooftop garden movement on a global scale, with New York City’s Rockefeller Centre rooftop garden being one of the most prominent. 

On the home front, even Melbourne already has over one hundred rooftop gardens that dot the city’s skyline. While introducing a green space is a good idea for keeping residents happy, other benefits for developers and body corporate owners include adding significant value to the property, a means to capture and retain stormwater, and even extra insulation against the heat and the cold. 

Before the concept of a rooftop garden can come to life, a few necessary evils need to be taken care of first, such as council planning restrictions. If there’s no hurdles to cross there, the next step involves evaluating the safety of the roof’s structure. Enlist the help of an architect or contractor to check the structural capabilities of the roof, and to make sure the roof’s existing waterproof membrane is in good condition.

Once the weight bearing load of the roof is deemed safe and sufficient enough to add a rooftop garden, the fun part of bringing your vision to life is the design stage. Basic logistics such as shade, wind and privacy need to be addressed, in addition to the rooftop garden layout, building materials, and of course, plants. 

For some people, the ultimate rooftop garden design is all about creating a space for outdoor entertaining, while for others, the end goal is a self-sufficient ecosystem where residents can grow their own herbs, fruits and vegetables in a community garden style setting. Either way, the end goal needs to be thought out well in advance in order to ensure that your vision matches the finished product. 

Australian authorities are vigorously supportive of rooftop gardens, which means they supply plenty of quality resources to help you grow a successful green roof, so don’t be afraid to do some serious research for both ideas as well as finding the right types of tradespeople to help bring the rooftop garden to life. 

Once the builders and landscapers come in, be prepared to rework the design as you build, as it’s common to encounter obstacles or decide something doesn’t work as expected. Creating a rooftop garden from scratch isn’t recommended for DIY enthusiasts, as there’s simply too many structural variables to work with that don’t traditionally apply to a ground floor landscaping design. 

Ultimately, the more you’re able to encourage a self-sufficient and sustainable ecosystem in a rooftop garden, the happier your new plants and seedlings will be. However, sometimes your flora friends may need a little extra help in fending off unwanted invaders, but that doesn’t mean resorting to pesticides that may have negative consequences on the health of your soil, plants, and even local wildlife – so what’s the alternative?

Introducing A Safer Way To Spray

Bioweed is an organic, non selective weed killer that works fast on contact with the weed, in order to rapidly desiccate and burn even the most stubborn of plants. It can be used anywhere around the house including garden beds, veggie patches, paths and driveways, and is safe to use around children, animals and even native wildlife. 

The best part? Bioweed is the brainchild of well established agricultural leaders greenPRO, and is backed by over twenty years of research and development. Owned and manufactured in Australia, the primary ingredient of Bioweed is actually sustainably sourced pine oil, and is even approved by NASAA, ACO and APVMA for use around organic farms and food production. 

If you’re on the hunt for a weed killer that’s safe to use around pets or kids, or simply want to know more about eliminating weeds safely – check out other tips and tricks in our online advice forum, or contact us for any further queries.