Starting a Rooftop Garden, By Fertile Limited

People who do not live in residences with a backyard can nevertheless create their own garden — on their roofs. This option has become especially popular among urban dwellers who reside in apartment buildings.

While people can simply grow an assortment of fresh flowers, herbs, vegetables, and other items in pots, the well-organized rooftop garden offers a myriad of ecological and financial benefits. So-called “green roofs,” which are more intricate rooftop gardens, can insulate a facility while providing food and decreasing rainwater runoff.

Those interested in developing a rooftop garden should remain aware of several factors. Safety plays a crucial role, especially in windy areas, so the gardener should construct fencing to prevent items from falling off or toppling over. One should also contact a contractor to determine the maximum weight the roof can support. When these elements are determined, the individual can decide on what to plant and how to keep the area preserved.

About the Author:

Based out of Chicago, Fertile Limited sells flowers, shrubs, trees, and other pieces for rooftop and street-level gardens. Its employees also aid their clients with maintenance and design.

Preparing a Garden for Winter

The Chicago firm Fertile Limited helps customers create gardens for their yards and roofs. The company, which can be found online at www.fertileondiversey.com, sells plants and educates consumers on the best ways to protect and improve their gardens. This becomes especially important during the winter months. To keep a garden secure during the cold season, follow these simple steps compiled by our Fertile Limited editorial team.

In the fall, clean the area by eliminating weeds, invasive plants, leaves, and debris. Subsequently, prepare the garden for spring. For an easy method, place another four inches of compost on top of the beds. Along with enhanced fertility, this new material can better absorb nutrients that are naturally found in winter air and rain.

During this time, the gardener should split plants such as perennials that need dividing and fertilize the soil with an all-purpose fertilizer. Those who want spring-blooming bulbs as part of their garden should plant them during the autumn. Finally, layer beds with up to eight inches of mulch, as it functions as a blanket against freezing temperatures.

Winterizing Your Garden

As a full-service garden center located in Chicago’s Lakewood district, Fertile Limited employs a staff with extensive knowledge about gardening in the northern Illinois climate. Catering to the specific needs of the urban gardener, the staff can answer almost any question relating to winterizing a garden.

The winterizing process begins in fall when many weeds go to seed. In order to prevent a weeding nightmare next spring, cut back fading stalks, pull up roots, and/or clip the heads of weeds before any seeds are released.

After removing all invasive plants and garden debris, the wise gardener can start preparing the soil for the growing season. Spread three or four inches of compost on the top of garden beds and leave it over the winter months. Seasonal precipitation will leach nutrients into the ground to boost growth potential in the spring.

In addition to preparing for next year, gardeners should protect their gardening investment by digging up tender bulbs and storing them in a cool, dry spot. In environments where winter temperatures fall below minus 10 degrees Fahrenheit, an organic mulch of shredded leaves, pine needles, or straw should be placed over perennial beds for added protection.

By consulting professionals such as those at Chicago’s Fertile Limited, diligent gardeners can learn to make the most of the winter months and maximize their returns during the rest of the year.