Rooftop gardens are popular in cities because they have environmental and monetary benefits, but those benefits don’t go away when you leave the city – they’re only more popular in urban areas because there’s a higher need for the benefits.
These benefits work exactly the same in suburban and rural areas as long as you have a flat roof or area of your roof to work with. If you want to be as environmentally friendly as possible, you can install solar panels on the slanted parts of your roof and plant a rooftop garden on the flat parts of your roof.
Space is there and not being used. You can even raise the value of your home by adding a rooftop garden. According to MarketWatch, “rooftop decks typically add about $30,000 to $50,000 in value or about a 6% to 8% to the valuation of an average home.” It’s an unused space that you’re then turning into a livable part of your home, like a basement or porch.
Read on to discover more benefits.
6 Benefits of a Rooftop Garden for Your Home
1. Add More Outdoor Entertaining Space
You can add a rooftop deck to your home, even if you don’t have enough room on your roof for the garden and deck. A decking contractor can help you install a deck that extends off of your roof with stairs leading up to it.
You’ll be able to customize it with different materials, lighting options, and furniture that will make it a great place to entertain guests on a nice day. You can also sit out on your deck, relax, and enjoy your garden on your own.
The extension will also provide a shady area on the ground to use as an outdoor entertaining space. It’s a perfect place for the grill. If it rains, you can still grill outside with protection from the deck.
If you have an existing deck on the ground already, you can connect it to your roof deck. A multilevel deck will add even more value to your home.
2. Protect Your Home From Flooding
You may have heard of rain gardens—gardens planted in a small depression in the ground. These gardens live in your yard and draw groundwater to them and away from your house.
However, by planting a rooftop garden, you can collect that water before it even reaches the ground. Instead of having all that water go down the gutter and into the ground, the plants on your roof will absorb it.
That water then goes back into the atmosphere as part of the rain cycle via transpiration and evaporation. It never reaches the ground, let alone inside your house. Anything that gets past the plants on your roof should then be absorbed by the plants on the ground.
3. Cut Costs and Reduce Waste
Rooftop gardens act as additional waterproofing for your home, meaning that the waterproofing that’s built into the roof will last longer.
They can also cut your gas and electric bills by reducing the use of heating and air conditioning. According to Todd Haiman Landscape Design, “Buildings with roof gardens lose 30% less heat in the winter, are cooler in the summer, and offer year-round sound insulation.”
Cutting down on using these utilities won’t just save you money. It’s also another way these gardens help the environment. Less gas and electricity use means less CO2 in the atmosphere, and more plants mean more oxygen.
4. Create a Safe Space for the Birds and the Bees
Are you sick of those stray cats eating the birds at your bird feeder? A rooftop garden will give your birds a safe place to eat their birdseed where the cats can’t get them.
If you include birdhouses, you can also give them a safe place to raise their young. You’ll create your own miniature habitats for birds and insects, including migrating butterflies and endangered honey bees.
5. Protect Your Vegetables
Are you frustrated by deer, rabbits, and other woodland creatures eating your tomatoes and vegetables? Put them on the roof! While a rooftop garden does create a great habitat for birds, they mostly eat seeds and bugs.
Not only do you not have to worry about grounded pests, but the birds will also clear some of the insect pests that eat your veggies. There’s nothing else you can really do about insects except for spraying pesticides, but rooftop vegetables at least aren’t going to be eaten by animals that can’t climb onto your roof.
Fresh vegetables are delicious and rewarding to grow, and taking care of a garden is proven to improve mental and physical health. Spending time in nature is great for stress relief. You’ll also get exercise and add more healthy vegetables to your diet.
6. Help Improve Local Air Quality
Many cities are incentivizing planting a rooftop garden. One rooftop garden doesn’t make much of a difference, but if enough roofs get covered in plants, that can help improve air quality.
The more we build, the more native plants die. That means more CO2 and less oxygen in the air. It’s up to us to find creative ways to live together with nature.
Plants don’t just collect CO2 either. They also filter airborne pollution by collecting it on their leaves. You can then remove that pollution as you care for your plants.
Check Your Local Laws
While rooftop decks and gardens are encouraged in urban areas, they might not be welcome in the suburbs. Make sure you check your local laws, especially if you have a homeowner association.
If you are allowed to build one where you live, then you can get started. And if you’re worried about maintenance, a rooftop garden does not require much more maintenance than a regular garden. You might just have to clean out your gutters more often because of additional debris.
What will you plant in your rooftop garden? Let us know in the comments below!
Autore Jennifer Bell
Jennifer Bell is a freelance writer, blogger, dog-enthusiast and avid beachgoer operating out of Southern New Jersey