What to plant on rooftop bed?

I’ve set up a small bed on my rooftop to plant vegetables for household consumption. We already have some minimal experience of growing veggeis in the backyard but the space there that gets the sun is limited so I’m trying to see if I can utilise the roof.

The rooftop bed is about 5" deep filled with approximately 70% soil with some sand and manure. Apart from this there are also some sacks filled with this mixture with depths of around 8"-10." My Inspiration is this amazing individual from Kerela who grows all sorts of things on his terrace farm: youtu.be/FBmLZ0zwu88

I’d like suggestions on what to plant right now both in the bed and in the sacks.

PS: I would prefer high value crops / spices that are suitable to Delhi climate

Dear Mr.,

What you mentioned is common in kerala. When you are planning for growing vegetables in your

terrace  becareful about following steps

Spread  plastic  sheets  on the floor of terrace:-  Otherwise it may cause leakage / cracks in concreate

use only light weight  potting mixtures, If use plastic drums  put some brick pieces, coal pieces,

(Vermicompost, cocopeat, sand/soil  )  1:  4 : 1  (cocopeat blocks are available)-  so  that  prevent

excess load to terrace.

Then  use slow release fertilizer technology

Thank you
Good luck

Dear Newbie 447,
Let me add to what Biofarms has already stated. The chemicals in soil  and in particular the fertilizers you may apply can corrode the steel reinforcing bars of the concrete roof causing irreparable damage. If you plan this in an apartment building the society running it may even sue you for structural damage.

The crops I’ve chosen to plant are garlic, carrot, eggplant, tomatoes, cabbage, broccoli and lettuce.

I’m using adequate waterproofing to prevent structural damage to the roof.

just do it man ,

its the experience that counts , just dont give up , keep searching for answers ,
the teacher appears when the student is ready .

Best wishes

You have chosen winter vegetables and you have chosen well. All the very best.
Would love to hear from you at the time of harvest.
Ouseph Karuveli.

You have chosen winter vegetables and you have chosen well. All the very best.
Would love to hear from you at the time of harvest.[/quote]

Thanks, Ouseph. Most of the plants are doing well. I’ve harvested broccoli and lettuce so far. Here are some pictures

[size=140]Five to six weeks after planting[/size]

Broccoli, tomato, lettuce were from saplings and garlic, carrots from seed.

[size=140]A few weeks later[/size]

[size=140]All grown up[/size]

[size=140]Fresh produce[/size]

Broccoli and lettuce from rooftop bed along with cauliflower and spinach from the backyard.

Now I’m looking forward to harvesting garlic in the coming weeks. :slight_smile:

Looks lovely! I am sure the ‘farm fresh’ veggies are tasty too.

Indeed they are soft and delicious.

its the little things like this that makes life satisfying ,

keep up the great hobby,

best wishes,

this is amazing man, why is the phul-gobi smaller than the brocolli? :slight_smile:

post some tomatoes pictures too !


Gobi was planted more closer together this time so we got smaller heads though it’s much denser. Broccoli on the other hand was given one full square foot so its larger. BTW, the gobi is not from the roof, it was grown in our backyard garden.

Apart from gobi, the other veggies we grew in the backyard this season were shalgam (turnip), mooli (white radish) and chukundar (beetroot). There was also a little bit of dhaniya (coriander), palak (spinach) and mustard (sarson). This year for the first time we had chukundar and shalgam leaves in soups and sabzis.

Rooftop tomatoes aren’t ready for harvest yet. Will post pictures when they are.

oh I did not know that planting closer can reduce size of output, the veggies look very fresh. did you take some training etc on hotriculture practices?


Yeah, there isn’t a lot of space in the backyard so we try to plant as many veggies as we can which can impact the yield sometimes. No, didn’t take any training. I just look up online about spacing and all while planting a particular vegetable.

For rooftop bed, I did read an ebook on “square foot gardening” (torrent available online) which was very useful as far as spacing is concerned though I didn’t follow everything involved in the sq. ft gardening method.

Growing vegetables at home is not difficult at all, we’ve been planting veggies in backyard for several years (rooftop is first time). We had some difficulty with tomatoes (leaves curling) and brinjal (wouldn’t grow at all) in the past but apart from that it’s been smooth sailing.  Never used any pesticide or chemical fertilizer.

really wonderful job done by you…i am new to this forum and really amazed by your work…especially the frsh Brocollis and Cauliflower…
I am also mad about gardening and my husband calls me mad lady for this habbit…
I have grown vegetables like Tomatos,Beans,Chillis,Spinach,Malabar Spinach(poi saag),Simba and lots of flowers.I will surely post the pics…

Here I need your help in Brocolli plantation.
Could you please tell me where can we get Brocolli seeds and what is the medium to grow it.Soil composition and all…


Thank you, Pallabi. Glad you liked the pictures so much and it inspired you a little bit. I’ve also been inspired likewise by pictures and stories from other rooftop gardeners. And yes, do post your own pictures.

Since I posted the pics I’ve harvested one more winter season of crops from the rooftop though summer crops have been a challenge. We did plant Gongura, Brinjal, Amaranth and Colocasia (arbi) after the onset of monsoons this year.

Now in the third winter season we’ve planted some more cauliflower, lettuce, beetroot, onion, tomatoes and green chillies. We upgraded the containers to nursery grade plastic bags of two sizes (14" and 8" dia) filled to 6-7" height after transporting another round of soil to the roof which is the most laborious part of the whole deal. We also put some more soil into the flat beds and raised its height from 4.5" to almost 6".

I apply Jeevamrit to the plants occasionally (though I need be regular) with the cow dung and cow urine procured from nearby Gaushala (cow-shed). Pests have been a problem only with Brinjal crop which still managed to survive the attack. I sprayed a soap-oil combination which didn’t help. Regardless, the Brinjal produce was fine.

You should get Broccoli seeds at any nursery that keeps vegetable seeds. No particular attention need be paid to soil composition as long as it is well drained and the location receives at least 5-6 hrs of sunlight during the day.

I don’t know the period of growing Broccoli in Bangalore but for Delhi, its a little late to plant from seed. Like cauliflower, the seeds should be sown in Sept-Oct and transplanted by Oct-Nov. I guess Bangalore winter being mild, you may still have time.