Rooftop gardens have become popular across the world, allowing homeowners in cramped spaces access to an extra layer of luscious greenery.
Adding a rooftop garden to your tiny house allows you to keep your passion for gardening alive while taking advantage of everything living in a tiny house has to offer.
Below, we discuss what a tiny house rooftop garden is, what type of roof you need to house a successful rooftop garden and the benefits of adding one to your tiny house.
What are tiny house rooftop gardens?
Tiny house rooftop gardens are an additional structure you secure to your rooftop to use as a gardening plot.
The plots are made usually of lightweight materials, such as plastic, fiberglass, or slim wood grades.
Each corner is screwed into a section of your roof to secure the gardening plots to your tiny house.
Not only are rooftop gardens an attractive addition to your tiny house, but they will also end up benefiting you in many ways in the long run, from lower electric bills to growing your own fruits, greens, and vegetables at home.
Rooftop gardens require a lot of work and dedication, but if you make the decision to add one to your tiny house, you surely won’t be disappointed with the results.
What type of tiny house roof enables a rooftop garden?
The best type of roof for a tiny house rooftop garden is a flat roof.
Flat roofs are not only the easiest to convert to a rooftop garden, they offer the most security for your plants and flower boxes as they’ll be housed on a surface that can be safely secured to your tiny house.
Rooftop gardens can also be feasible on tiny house shed roofs if the pitch is not too steep, and closer to a flat roof.
Be sure to check with your contractor or with a developer to be sure your tiny house’s roof can withstand the weight of a rooftop garden.
If you do have a pitched or gabled roof, you could end up building on the sides, but it becomes a much more expensive project as you need to affix different sized plots to the sides of your roof, make sure your rooftop garden will be secure and that there’s a way to access each plot.
It’s highly suggested if you do not have a flat roof, that you at least hire a contractor to inspect your tiny house’s roof and see if a rooftop garden is an option.
On the other hand, tiny house curved roofs are not suitable for rooftop gardens as the angle of the pitch means you’re not able to safely move around on the roof while maintaining the garden.
It’s highly suggested that you add corrugated roofing panels to your roof prior to the install of your rooftop garden. These panels create channels for water to run off your roof, necessary for the drainage bound to come from your rooftop garden’s soil.
Tiny house rooftop garden ideas
Designing your tiny house’s rooftop garden is really dependent upon the weight limitations.
Once you’ve got the go-ahead about how much extra weight you are able to put on your tiny house’s roof, there are numerous ways to bring your rooftop garden to life.
For traditional flat roof gardens, you can have a large single plot in the center of your rooftop, allowing you to walk along the outskirts of your garden to tend to it; you could even install two plots on each side of your rooftop with a center walkway, having one designated for fruits and vegetables and another for flowers and shrubs.
Tiny house homeowners highly suggest making the stairway and path to your rooftop garden easily accessible as you’ll need to tend to your garden at least once a day.
Adding some outdoor lighting to your rooftop garden will not only help you find your way around the plots during those dark winter mornings or late summer nights but also add a beautiful ambiance to your rooftop garden.
Think about stringing some lights or adding some solar path lights to your garden plots.
A suggestion from numerous tiny house owners who have rooftop gardens is to place plastic sheeting along the bottom of your gardening plots prior to filling the plots with soil.
It’s a great way for easy clean up when you’re switching out soil in your garden, or if there were to ever be an accident or leakage in your roof, you will have at least a small layer of protection from letting the soil and water seep into your roof’s insulation.
In the video below, you can see a tiny homeowner using this technique while building his own gardening plots.
Lightweight materials are a necessity when creating a tiny house rooftop garden, for instance, you should use lightweight potting soil.
Some people suggest putting down a layer of styrofoam packing peanuts as opposed to gravel or broken ceramic pieces, as they’re lightweight and great for excess drainage.
Benefits of rooftop gardens for tiny homes
Apart from being attached to your tiny house via the rooftop, a rooftop garden operates similarly to a typical gardening plot; except there are quite a few benefits.
Here’s an example of a tiny house with a unique roof top used to grow plants:
One of the benefits of a tiny house rooftop garden is that it can help to further insulate your home.
Rooftop gardens are known to help keep your home cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter, which in turn will help lower your electricity use and charges.
Your tiny house rooftop garden will even act as a sound barrier to help block out loud noises.
So, if you ever venture into a big city with your tiny house on wheels, or a noisy storm runs through your town, your rooftop garden will be able to provide ample soundproofing for your tiny home.
The ability to grow your own fruits and vegetables in your tiny house rooftop garden is another huge benefit, as it will allow you to embrace sustainable farming practices.
Imagine waking up in your tiny house and going up to your roof to harvest that day’s fresh greens and veggies.
If you invest enough time and effort into your tiny house garden, you can cut down on grocery costs by growing certain items at home.
Helps the environment
Most importantly, your tiny house rooftop garden does its part in helping nurture our environment.
It will be a contributing member of the environment, adding oxygen and enriching the air around you just by growing on your tiny house’s roof.
When you add a rooftop garden to your tiny house, not only are you adding to your own home you’re giving to the environment around you as well.
Rooftop gardens are a great way to incorporate green space into your tiny house without taking up the precious, little space you have inside.
If your tiny house has a flat roof and can bear the additional weight, a rooftop garden may be what your tiny house is missing.