26

July

2016

Solutions for Roof Gardens, Balconies and Living Walls

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The urban gardener is literally on the rise. Look up in any UK city and you’ll see many balconies and hints of roof gardens festooned in flowers. Planting vertically in living walls can transform a basement flat’s light well or a view onto a dead-end wall.

Overcoming the challenges of city gardening

Have you inherited a space or want to create one? Maybe you’ve been inspired by The Roof Gardens of Kensington or the two acres of Edinburgh’s The Glasshouse? Here are some solutions to some issues so you can truly enjoy your verdant oasis:

Weight restrictions?

Containers full of soil and indeed plants can become surprisingly heavy. Add the weight of your party guests for a summer evening and you may be in trouble. This goes for both roof gardens and balconies. Always check your structure’s weight restrictions. Lighter containers such as plastic or metal might be a better alternative to stone or terracotta.

As for composts? Our peat-free composts include coir made from coconut matting. This is lighter than ‘normal’ compost.

Dry conditions?

An elevated roof garden is more exposed to the drying effects of wind. They’re also less likely to be protected by tree shade. Make sure your containers are quite wide and deep to compensate for this.You will also have to water your plants more often than at ground level.

Fortunately our composts re-wet easily and are renowned for their excellent water retention qualities. If you’re growing food for the kitchen, we can even supply vegan-friendly compost.

Roof gardens: the need for feed

Any plant likes to be fed regularly. But this is particularly important for container plants. The Royal Horticultural Society’s article on rooftop gardens and balconies recommends controlled-release fertilizer for your soil.

We stock organic fertilizers, some of which are based on seaweed extracts. Pellets are particularly good at slowing releasing nutrients. Take a look at our range of Plant Food and Fertilizers.

No shed? No problem

The majority of urban gardeners don’t have much storage space, let alone the luxury of a shed. One solution is to buy your composting ingredients de-hydrated. You can then simply re-wet it to expand when and where you need to. This also solves the problem of heaving bags of compost up the stairs.

You can easily make homemade compost using our organic coir blocks. They’re the size of a house brick and weigh 650 grams. However once rehydrated they expand to create 9 litres of coir. For smaller quantities, you can just scale down or use our 4cm coir discs. These expand to 120 ml of coir.

You can then use the coir as the basis for your own compost by adding nutrients.

Want to guarantee mess-free storage? For a little extra, you can buy shrink-wrapped coir blocks.

Any more questions?

We know that every garden is unique. So if you have any questions please contact us on 01432 853111 or info@fertilefibre.com

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