As technology improves, more people have become interested in gardening to use spaces. And as spaces become more urban, sometimes things can be impossible such as having a car park and own yard. But, people are so smart and creative and they continue to find solutions. That is why with gardening and technology urban gardening was then established. Urban gardening is usually made to fit urban spaces. This includes specific spaces such as rooftops, balconies, alleyways, and sidewalks. Contemporary living still offers modern living that is perfect for urban gardening!
Types of Urban Gardening
There are different urban gardens anyone can use in their own spaces.
Rooftop Gardening is a garden established on the roof of a building. This is nothing new. Citi dwellers have been utilizing their rooftops with different plants. Aside from it serves the purpose of providing architectural enhancement, they provide privacy. It also promotes temperature control, recreational opportunities, wildlife habitat, and food.
Roof vegetation and maintenance are three basic types of roof gardens.
Extensive Roof Gardens
Extensive roof gardens need only a small layer of soil substrate. It is suitable for storehouses, garages, roofs, or other extra spaces. Lichen and moss are the plants usually suited for this kind of garden.
Semi-intensive Roof Gardens
Semi-intensive roof gardens need a deeper soil layer. This increases the diversity of plant species. It needs more stable construction as both soil & water can be a greater burden if unattained. Usually, plants that need less maintenance are best for this type of setting. This includes succulents and wildflowers.
Intensive Roof Gardens
Intensive roof gardens are almost like that of a backyard garden. It has flowers, shrubs, trees, and several park elements on a roof. This roof garden requires big and stable buildings. Thus, most are not fit for intensive roof gardens. The plants will also demand special attention during irrigation.
Tips on How to use Rooftop Garden Space
- If you live in an apartment building you need to ask approval before changing your rooftop. You can ask your landlord about accessibility and building height restrictions. Also, fire regulations can prohibit any type of roof use.
- Minimize the weight of your garden by using a lightweight potting mix instead of topsoil. Potting mixes may be either soilless or soil-based. Soil-based mixtures will be heavier but will keep so much moisture. Soilless mixes are lighter weight and dry out faster.
- Containers are ideal for gardens on the rooftop. This is because they are light, compact, flexible, and inexpensive. Use Plastic or Fiberglass containers because they weigh less and will last longer. Container material also affects your watering schedule. Mixes in porous containers dry out faster than the mix in non-porous containers. Porous containers include terra cotta and wood. Nonporous containers include fiberglass, metal, plastic. This is because water can evaporate through the walls of the container.
- You can also use flowerbeds for your garden, but, you need to consider how much the rooftop can hold the load. Flowerbed and pots are heavy to begin with and will get heavier as the plants grow.
- Use bench seating with built-in storage to hide the materials you use for gardening. Space on a rooftop is small, and adding a storage area can be difficult.
- Rooftop is where most plants can get direct sunlight, but the heat can beat your plants too. Make sure to install shades or have at least a type of wall or fencing. This is to block some of the heat, as well as it can block the wind.
Types of Plants for Rooftop Gardening
You need tough plants that thrive in sunny, hot or cold, dry, and windy conditions. Some of these are the lamb’s ears, lavenders, and sages. You can also include Butterfly weeds, coneflowers, and false indigo. Many succulents grow well in containers, like stonecrops, spurges, and yuccas. Junipers, Oregon grape, and arborvitae are excellent choices. Edibles can also be part of a rooftop garden. You can plant tomatoes, lemons & spices.
Benefits of Roof Garden
It converts CO2 emissions and produces oxygen. It reduces the heat of buildings and energy costs. It captures and harvests rainwater and reduces storm water runoff and discharge. It creates large catchment areas. Most especially, it creates a habitat for wildlife and reduces the ambient temperature.
Balcony or Window Garden
A balcony or window garden is a beautiful way of adding styles to your home. The plants can improve or hide a distasteful view or bring the outdoors inside on a cold winter’s day.
Types of Gardens for your Balcony/Window:
Window Box is usually attached to the side of your home or windowsill. These boxes allow plants to grow right up to the view of your window.
Window Ledge is for windows that have a large ledge or sill. This can create a miniature garden by adding some charming planters
Hanging Baskets are usually made through attaching a strong hook. This is either inside or outside your balcony. You can then hang a large basket filled with gorgeous blooms. Click here if you want to get more ideas on hanging baskets.
Garden Window is a specialized window insert. This creates a miniature greenhouse out of a standard window.
Plant Shelves are a freestanding bookshelf in front of a large picture window. It can also be a large ledge strung up outside by chains. The shelf allows for ample room to generate a striking view of foliage.
Kinds of Plants Best for Window and Balcony Garden
Selected plants have a long season of interest. Good examples of these are plants with long flowering periods. This includes evergreens and some planned arrangements.
Kitchen standard herbs work well with window garden. These herbs are parsley, chives, basil, thyme, and mint.
You can also try perennials for one-time planting. These plants can add colors to your balcony & windows. The bulbs offer their spring glory or annuals for their long-lasting color. Suggested container flowers are Petunia, Dwarf Marguerites, Primroses, Geraniums, Pansies, Violas, Fuchsias, and Wildflowers.
Hanging garden plants are Lantana, Ivy Geranium, Verbena, and Lobelia.
Succulent plants can both work well indoors and outdoors. Sunshine is your succulent’s best friend. But, when it is indoors or wintertime, sunlight can be hard to come by.
Tomatoes are also planted for window type garden.
Winter Hardy Plants include Dwarf Conifers, Ferns & Evergreen Grasses. They can add life to the balcony’s view.
Bonsai are best to show off in your balcony.
Benefits of Balcony or Window
This type of gardening is usually out of reach from animals and children. You can expect your plants to last longer and grow at its best. It can provide sunlight and shade depending on the sun’s direction. It requires less space and less maintenance. It doesn’t need expensive grow kits and fancy equipment to grow your own food. You can check your plants every now and then as it is usually located where it’s visible to you all the time.
Grow Tent Gardening
Grow tent gardening helps gardeners create optimal growing environments indoors. They are generally made of lightweight materials. This includes fans, lamps, and even carbon filters. Grow tents can easily adjust the temperature according to what your plants need. They get less space and you can move it somewhere in your home.
Plants that suits Grow Tent Gardening are:
- Leafy greens and fig trees to cauliflower or tomatoes, are some of the options for your grow tent.
- Vegetables can be usually planted in this setting too.
Benefits of Grow Tent
Grow tents let you have your year round fresh produce plants. This is through creating a suitable setting for your indoor garden. You have improved control over the growing environment. Grow tents allow you to control the light, water, temperature, and humidity. This makes your plants grow faster and stronger.