Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Roof Top vegetable gardening

Does it matter much where we grow vegetables? I guess it doesn't.  Not far from our place, people grow vegetables alongside the flood plain of Sungai Kelantan. I heard they have been doing that for hundred of years. They understand the weather so well, that they get in, plough and  grow corns, beans, peanuts, and leafy vegetables immediately after the monsoon. The departure of flood is punctuated by the coming of vegetable growers. Flood and vegetable growing take turns to fill up the flood plain along Sungai Kelantan. I heard the plots are leased out by Irrigation Department.

Strawberry Cameron Highland (Credit to: kkDei.blogspot.com and  Cheryna 27's phtostream)
We can see acres of vegetables in Kundasang Sabah, which is 1600 meter above sea level. Cameron Highlands on the other hand is a little bit lower, at 1500 meter. Growing vegetables at such level is lucrative adventure as they do intensive farming taking full advantage of  the cool climate.

Roof top

Roof Top Tokyo ~ from cityfarmers info

roof top garden Madison ~ from geteconow.com

Roof Top Gardening Japan ~ businessweek

So, growing vegetables on the roof is no big deal. Some had turned roof top into tennis court and swimming pool . Where land is scarce, I dont think vegetables should mind where to grow. Sow seeds, vegetables will grow irrespective of place; flood plain of Sungai Kelantan, Cameron Highland and Kundasang, vegetable bed, containers, car porch, window sill, or roof top.

A reader who works as an interior designer in Kuala Lumpur, recently seek my opinion through email about garden at roof top.  The concept is having a kitchen, a garden and eating place. People can marvel at the vegetables in pots, and can in fact choose what they want. The whole project  should be fun...., and should educate kids about vegetable growing when they come along...

I don't see much problem. As long as there is regular supply of water, as long as there is an effort to reduce the excessive heat  due to large area of concrete surface, vegetables should grow fine. Automatic irrigation system / fertigation / fertigasi will be the most appropriate option.  Grasshoppers would not know about the existence of vegetables up there.
Roof top - Tanah Merah, Kelantan
A group of entrepreneurs would soon do roof top chili growing - Tanah Merah

Presently, there is already an effort to grow vegetables at roof top here in Tanah Merah.  Some 9000 sq ft of flat concrete top floor will be the home of serious vegetable gardening. The project is yet another entrepreneurship adventure but my contribution is very much a CSR - corporate social responsibility. As long as we make the world greener, the earth will be happy.

Update: 6th of August 2011
Readers may like to run through these posts for a complete view of rooftop gardening adventure

      Bangchik and kakdah
      Tanah Merah, Kelantan


      1. Hopefully the pests won't be able to reach the rooftop. Rooftop gardening is a great way to utilise idle land on buildings.

      2. Been thinking about this for the concrete roof of my kitchen... Some 15' x 8'
        Do share how you would water proof the roof fire a garden ya, bangchik.

      3. Amazing strawberry picture!!


      4. Beautiful pictures, what a great way to use the space. I'm sure the vegetables don't mind at all.

        1. https://www.sammobile.com/forum/member.php?u=9046794

      5. Thank you for visiting my garden blog :)


      6. idea yg bagus... cuma nak tau maintenance bangunan mcm mana...

      7. This is really interesting. It is something I would do if I have a flat roof. I wonder how heat can be reduced.

      8. I like the roof top gardening, very logical and practical! I now need to grow a vegetable on my patio...have several decorative plants...but plenty of room for edible plants too!
        Enjoyed your post!

      9. It will be great to see many rooftop gardening in tanahairku soon.

      10. Salam kunjungan... singgah la ke blog saya ;)


      11. This is a great idea and good news for those who has a roof top :-D Tanah Merah roof top chili is going to be the hottest in town!

      12. Having a roof top garden in a big city like KL is a great idea as land is so expensive and precious there. Interesting. But how to water proof the roof is really a hard job.

      13. I like the post.The captures are beautiful.I am looking for roof top farming.Can you suggest some tips and advices which are must for a roof top beginner gardener.
        Ratttan Garden Furniture

      14. Autumn Belle
        I hope pests won't come up that high, and leave plants alone. Untapped rooftop is idle land, yes.

        KL Vegetable Garden
        We will explore other elements of rooftop gardening in the next post, presenting the Tanah Merah rooftop project in a journal form.

        The strawberry picture is truly amazing. You cant visit the original site for more...

        Rebecca @ In The Garden
        Rooftop gardening should be fun...

        you are welcome. Do come again.

        akan ada post selanjutnya tentang rooftop gardening...

        Silver liners will be used, to reflect heat quickly. Sprinklers may help too....

      15. Lots of people consider roof tops to be wasteful places and roof gardens are ideal for greening up cities.

      16. Theanne and Baron
        rooftop is just concrete floor. If we are familiar with balcony gardening, rooftop is just the same.

        Malay-Kadazan girl
        Yeap. Tanah Merah will do it in a big way.... as nucleus for rooftop development.


        Yea, the hottest!!...can you help with media hype?... :)

        Most rooftops came with waterproof treatment. Anyway, the automatic irrigation systems go for optimun water requirement... Not spillover, no "air meleleh-leleh"

        There will be more write-ups on rooftop gardening as the project moves on. Do follow for tips.

        i amsterdam
        Thanks, Just utilizing idle land at rooftop.


      17. ~Green Lane Allotments
        We had enough of concrete jungle..Time to put back green where it should be.

      18. good idea!!!can't wait for next entry on rooftop gardening.

      19. AyuKirana
        There will be updates soon..., not detailed due to the capacity of my involvement. A group of entrepreneurs is doing it, my role is very much advisory and consultancy. The update will be views and pictures.

      20. I love your practical concept of rooftop gardening. Usually people think of it aesthetically, but you made it into something beautiful and economical. I fully admire your blog! I'll be bookmarking this now because of sheer enjoyment.
        -Richard Boles

      21. ~Richard
        Thanks for the visit. Yes, some do rooftop gardening for aesthetic reason... And some construct multistory skeletal structure just for vegetable growing...

      22. ada kajian di Mexico. Cili yg ditanam di tempat yang lebih panas dan dialtitude lebih tinggi lebih pedas .

      23. Izmar
        Terimakasih.... dengan silvershine terhampar dibawah, tentu lebih panas.

      24. can u please write me how to prepare earth bed on roof with no likeage problem

        1. sorry for late response..... the flat rooftop had been specially treated with sealant and it has little drain on all sides to take rain water down.

      25. Garden roofs are good additions to houses with relatively smaller spaces for yards. This will help maximize areas for functionality.

      26. It i good to have fresh ingredients with in your reach anytime you need it. converting roofs into functional spaces in a trend especially with areas having limited spaces. If i may add, it is also good for our environment.

        1. Tricia Cheng... yup, the choice is with us to let it remains idle or functional.

      27. Thank you so much for the wonderful information .This is really important for me .I am searching this kind of information from a long time and finally got it.

      28. Just because you don't have a back yard doesn't mean you can't grow vegetables. Cheers to all urban gardeners!


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