Two problems have prevented rooftop gardening from becoming more common. First, many roofs need structural reinforcement before soil and many people can regularly grace their surface.
However, even when this is completed, the challenge of watering rooftop gardens still exists. This challenge is especially acute if the rooftop is composed of many small plots rather than a single large field. While single large fields on a rooftop make constant drip irrigation (sometimes) worthwhile, this is not the case with a 4x4 or 4x8 foot plot. If you have to take an elevator or stairs up to the roof - you are unlikely to go up daily to water a garden.
That is why the Groasis Waterboxx is such an fortunate invention. The Waterboxx works by collecting and storing rain and dew, and slowly releasing it to the roots of a growing plant. The roots are planted directly in normal soil - the Waterboxx just sits on the soil. In many cases, the Waterboxx either doesn't need to be filled after set up at all, in areas with moderate rainfall. In areas with little to no rainfall, the Waterboxx only needs refilling with water every few weeks.
How can you adapt a square foot garden or raised bed garden already on a roof to growing with the Waterboxx? First, remove the lattice structure that separates the square foot garden into square feet. Next, place an assembled but empty Waterboxx onto your unplanted soil and press down - this will leave an indentation with the central soil elevated above the rest in a figure "8" configuration. This raised soil - in the figure 8 or barbell raised portion - is where you plant your garden plants.
|Plant in the two ends of the figure 8 left after pressing the Waterboxx into the soil - this will be the area in the center of the Waterboxx.|
You want to plant once garden plants are about 8 to 10 inches in height. One Waterboxx can accommodate two of many plants (peppers, tomatoes, eggplants, zucchini) but one of many larger plants like squash or watermelon is recommended.
|Two eggplants - which will now have a Waterboxx placed around them to water and protect them|
At the end of the growing season, you remove the Waterboxx, remove the wick and store the Waterboxxes (they stack for convenient storage). In the spring add another wick and start again - the Waterboxx is designed to last for 10 years.
The Waterboxx can allow veggies to be grown on rooftops even in areas where there are few fruits and vegetables currently - so called healthy "food deserts".
You can buy the Waterboxx here.
If you would like to learn how to grow plants without watering with the Waterboxx, the best resource is the book The Waterboxx Gardener: How to Mimic Nature, Stop Watering, and Start Enjoying Your Garden available here on Amazon.com.