Urban Herb Gardens: How To Grow a Rooftop Herb Garden in NewPro Containers

This is a guest post by a friend of ours at NewPro Containers, Sarah Westin. 


I live in the Marrott Apartments in downtown Indianapolis, a historic building known for its trademark neon sign. I have lived here for three years, and the only complaint I had was the lack of access to the roof. As someone who grew up in the country, I missed seeing the sky and wanted to start a rooftop garden.

After they received enough requests, they called in some roofing contractors, who sealed cracks, covered the roof with asphalt, and made it a safe place to go. The apartment management allowed me to plant an herb garden on the roof, which added to the aesthetic value of the property. This is how I did it.

Pick Your Poison

I am the furthest thing from a gardener that you will find, so I did some basic research into which herbs were easy to grow. I eventually settled on rosemary, fennel, parsley, mint, basil, sage, thyme and dill. I also bought tarragon plants from my local nursery, and at the urging of my girlfriend, I planted some lavender.

Home Sweet Home

The next step is to find the right pots to grow your herbs in. I found some patio planters from right here on NewProContainers.com. Because of my busy schedule and tendency to forget little things like watering plants, I liked the fact that they had a water reservoir, and since I could buy them wholesale, I saved a lot of money.

Location, Location, Location

Even though I chose herbs I thought would grow on a rooftop, some required direct sunlight while others thrived in the shade. There is little shade to speak of on my roof, but I calculated where the sun would cast a shadow for the longest period of time, and I placed the appropriate plants in that spot.

Get Your Hands Dirty

Buy potting soil and – if you’re forgetful like me – water-holding gels or crystals, and plant the seeds according to their individual requirements. If you do not have packets with printed directions, take a few minutes to look them up on the Internet. After your seeds are planted, place the containers in their designated spots and lightly water them. Depending on the soil you use, you may have to buy plant food.

The Waiting Game

It should be noted that a rooftop garden dries out faster than a land garden, so I recommend checking the soil once a day, and twice on hot days. It took a few watering attempts for the reservoir to be effective, but this and the water-holding gels worked well. Some of the herbs may need to be thinned out after a few weeks, but that’s it.

Once everything bloomed, the rooftop was transformed into a garden in the sky. Some of my other neighbors contributed potted plants and a couple more collaborated to grow some vegetables. We started off working independently, but within a few weeks, our endeavors brought us together as friends and neighbors. Gardening has a way of doing that to people.

Fiberglass Planters

Leave a Reply

Join the Community