The very doable rooftop garden

A small rooftop garden is set up with a patch of grass,

The very doable rooftop garden

So many of us want doable ways to live more sustainably. We’d love to grow our own food and spend more time in nature, but living in urban areas, it can feel a little unrealistic. Here are the basic steps to turn a small rooftop space into a garden, bringing all your secret urban-farmer goals to life.

There’s a good chance you’re sharing the rooftop with neighbours, so frame your area with windshields and trellises. Not only will they cut down the wind factor, they also provide a bit of privacy and create a sense of intimacy (especially once your plants start climbing the trellises as the season progresses). Then lay the foundation of your space with easy-to-clean decking for the flooring (which is also helpful for water drainage), and a patch of grass for the full garden effect.

Next, start thinking details. To keep them all from tipping over from gusts of wind, heavy, large pots and sturdy wooden planters are your best bet. Now consider where you’ll place each type of plant: more fragile kinds can sit in corners for extra wind protection; herbs love lots of sun; and berries can stand up to heavy wind and rain, and love to climb a trellis.

For all your tools, pots, and soil, have a spacious bench to store them. Composting is easy as can be with a sturdy IKEA shopping bag; just fill it up with fallen leaves, weeds, and soil when you’re cleaning your garden and mix it up every now and then. Leave a large, plastic basin out to collect rain water for your plants (especially convenient if you don’t have access to a hose or water source on your roof!).

So you’ve set up your rooftop space and got your garden growing. Now what? Just relax! Put out a few chairs, add a small table or box for your coffee break, and enjoy the fruits (and veggies) of your labour.

We love to see our customers get creative with our products. Go for it! But please note that altering or modifying IKEA products so they can no longer be re-sold or used for their original purpose, means the IKEA commercial guarantees and your right to return the products will be lost.

Made by

Interior designer: Marianne Eriksson
Photographer: Daniel Wester
Writer: Vanessa Algotsson