If you like in a city, chances are good you have spotted some of those wonderful rooftop gardens where urban gardeners are growing vegetables and flowers quite successfully. But what if something such as an EMP attack occurred and growing fruits and vegetables was key to your survival – could you turn your regular non-patio living rooftop into a garden in order to protect your crop from both pests and theft?
The answer is yes, to a certain extent. If you have a flat roof already, you are in luck. You need to make sure it is waterproof, which it likely is if you live in a climate that gets rain at all. And you will need to check for water damage on a regular basis caused by heavy planters or gardening tools. The last thing you want to do is compromise your roof when you might not have the supplies or knowhow to fix it yourself. It also makes sense to rotate your containers regularly, so that pressure isn’t always applied to exactly the same area for a long time, being very careful how you move them, since dragging them across your roofing material could also damage it as well as attract attention if you are in an apartment or condo building.
If you have a sloping roof with asphalt shingles, you could build planters at the same slope as the roof to keep your crop high up, if you have materials to make it. Again, you want to check the area thoroughly before you do it, but on the good side, asphalt shingles, particularly newer roofs, are quite durable.
If you don’t have a roof acceptable to take advantage of, make use of second story balconies and window ledges, which can easily be built deeper to allow larger pots to sit in the window. You can also consider installing a patio window in your advance emergency planning if it fits in your budget.
Don’ t forget, while you want your rooftop crop to be easily accessible to you, if society breaks down you don’t want your crop to be easily accessible to others. When possible, access your garden from the top story of your house, if it is safe to do so. If you must use a ladder, make sure you put it away securely each and every time you use it. You don’t want to give someone else easy access to your valuable garden nor do you want your ladder itself to be stolen, preventing you from being able to get to your own crop too.