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Rooftop Garden... in CHINA?

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Rooftop Garden... in CHINA?

Postby Sprout » Feb 17, 2014 5:11 am

Hey friends,

I'm a Canadian English Teacher teaching abroad in China. One thing that I dearly miss about Canada is the vast amount of space for gardening. I've been speaking with a friend in China who runs a cafe and is also an avid gardener. We discussed the fact that there is no room to grow a garden in China, and I suggested, why not grow on the roof?

I was thinking a handful of raised flower beds would do the trick nicely. I'm not entirely sure on the dimensions available, but they're somewhere along the lines of 30m².

Here's where it gets tricky. There is a building blocking the majority of the southern sunlight access. So, a small amount of morning light would be possible, but its going to likely rely heavily on western light.

So yeah, any tips, recommendations, suggestions? I'm not entirely sure which plants would thrive under these conditions. We are happy to grow either herbs, vegetables, and even flowers. Anything for aesthetics that are usable in the cafe. Our budget is somewhere around $1,000. (元6,000). I will try to upload pictures of the workspace in the future.

Thanks!

EDIT: The Hardiness Zone is 8 according to this.
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Re: Rooftop Garden... in CHINA?

Postby Justanotherider » Feb 17, 2014 9:39 am

I'm going to be travelling and busy for a week or so; but can consult an expert on my return. Before I do though, I know the question she will ask, in order to give a good answer to yours, and that's "How many hours of sunlight will the plants get per day?".
Just when you learn how to garden really well, you're too old to do it anymore...
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Re: Rooftop Garden... in CHINA?

Postby socialbutterfly » Feb 17, 2014 10:32 am

Hi Sprout;
Great idea!
The only thing I can see you having problems with is - the heat - carrying all of that soil and water - up to the roof top. :)
I just saw a video at Youtube and that's what they did.
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Re: Rooftop Garden... in CHINA?

Postby socialbutterfly » Feb 17, 2014 3:24 pm

Sprout;
You can harvest the rain water. :)
One less thing to carry up to the roof.
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Re: Rooftop Garden... in CHINA?

Postby Sprout » Feb 17, 2014 9:15 pm

Thanks for the quick responses.

I don't know how much light the roof would receive... I know the West-facing window in the store probably gets a good 1 - 2 hours during the winter. I assume it increases in the summer...

But yeah, I imagine there would be a considerable amount more light on the rooftop during the day. I have no real way of guessing though.
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Re: Rooftop Garden... in CHINA

Postby Justanotherider » Feb 17, 2014 9:37 pm

So, a quick trip through one of my herb books reveals the following list of herbs that the author says will tolerate partial shade:

Anise A
Arugula A
Bay Laurel (bay leaves) P
Bee Balm (Beergamot) P
Borage P
Calamine P
Calendula P? (Not sure in your zone)
Catnip P
Chamomile P
Chervil A
Chives P (book says full sun but I grow it in partial)
Coriander (Cilantro) A
Cress A
Curry P
Elderberry P
Garlic P
Hops P
Lovage P
Mint P
Nasturtium A
Orach A
Parsley P
Perilla (Japanese Basil) A
Roses P
Rosemary P
Sage P
Salad Burnet P
Scented Geranium P? (not sure in your zone)
Soapworts P
Stevia A
Sweet Cicely (garden Myrrh) P
Sweet Woodruff P
Tarragon P to zone 7 (try it with winter mulch?)
Vietnamese Coriander

Will try to sort out a list of veggies when I get back from my trip north.
Just when you learn how to garden really well, you're too old to do it anymore...
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Re: Rooftop Garden... in CHINA?

Postby Sprout » Feb 17, 2014 11:06 pm

Thank you so much! That is just what I was looking for. If there was a way to 'like' your comment, I would thumbs-up it.

I've recently discovered that the neighbours of the cafe feel the main section of the roof would be a safety-hazard... There is another section that doesn't receive as much Western light but may still be viable. Once again, picture to come when I get them.
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Re: Rooftop Garden... in CHINA?

Postby Justanotherider » Feb 17, 2014 11:20 pm

I would be cautious about weight too. You might want to consider relatively small containers.

I don't have any idea how things work where you are; but here, I would ask my local building inspector for advice on roof loading.
Just when you learn how to garden really well, you're too old to do it anymore...
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Re: Rooftop Garden... in CHINA?

Postby Sprout » Feb 21, 2014 9:06 am

Mmmm, that's some good spam. :?
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Re: Rooftop Garden... in CHINA?

Postby artknapp » Feb 21, 2014 9:34 am

Thanks Justanotherider, for sharing such good collections of plants.
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