A relaxing oasis in the yard may be out of the question, but you can still raise the roof on your outdoor living space.
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How do you take your garden to new heights? Try putting it on a balcony, a deck or even a rooftop.
If you have some unused real estate on a deck, balcony or rooftop, why not make the most of it with a rooftop garden?
Although your rooftop may or may not have a lot of space on it, you can put pots, plants, soil, furniture or a fountain on it. But first consider how much weight you can put up there. Generally speaking, you can put 40 pounds of weight per square foot on a roof. If you're not sure about the load-carrying capacity of your rooftop structure, consult a structural engineer or a licensed contractor before doing any work.
There are ways to go about creating a beautiful rooftop garden without all the weight. If concrete pots are too heavy for your roof, plastic and foam containers are readily available. Fill them with lightweight potting soil so they won't be so heavy. To make sure the pots drain properly, consider setting them an inch or two off the floor.
Rocks at the bottom of the pot are another way to ensure good drainage, but if weight is an issue on this balcony, consider styrofoam peanuts which are practically weightless. The same thing goes with potting soil. Adding perlite or vermiculite to the soil mix lightens the load considerably. You can also buy pre-mixed lightweight potting soils.
Here are some other rooftop-gardening tips: