How to Rooftop Garden with GardenWells

Unused rooftop space is perhaps the biggest opportunity we have for creative urban agriculture


What are the biggest challenges for growing on rooftops?

Water consumption – often with full exposure to sun and wind, evaporation and transpiration are significant issues when growing on rooftops. Because of this, water consumption of rooftop gardens can be up to 50% more than gardens in more sheltered areas.

Irrigation – because of the increased water consumption, getting water to the gardens is essential. But if the original builder wasn’t thinking ahead, or even if they were, the source of your water may be challenging, and piping in traditional irrigation system almost impossible.

Drainage/Sequestering – Traditional planters require drainage holes at the bottom to allow water to flow through. This creates a significant mess and challenge for controlling the drainage of that water. It’s also very inefficient. In terms of your garden, that water is wasted, and if captured and sequestered, could be put to a much better use.

Self-Watering Solutions

GardenWells SIP System solves these challenges by storing water in a hidden reservoir under the soil - allowing that water to wick up evenly over time as the plants need it, creating a self-watering garden.

Water Consumption - By having a consistent water supply, the challenges of full exposure are significantly reduced. Because water comes from the bottom up, evaporation is all but eliminated.

Irrigation - A properly installed GardenWell planter has a reservoir which holds ~ 7 litres of water per square foot of garden space. This simplifies irrigation requirements, as instead of having to water everyday, you can simply fill up the reservoirs once a week or less. Especially if all you have is a hose, unrolling it once a week is much easier that once or twice a day.

Drainage/Sequestering - This is a huge win for water sustainability, especially in drought prone areas. Because the reservoir is under the soil, it collects excess water and rain, and stores it for later use. When the reservoir is full, the drainage is controlled and exits the OverFlow. This allows you to limit water waste, and direct overflow wherever you want.

FREE woodwork plans

The world needs more garden builders...

Get the Plans

Concert Properties Self-Watering Rooftop Gardens

  • Project Type: Rooftop Gardens | Senior's CONCERT Properties | GardenWells SIP System
  • Client / Location: CONCERT Properties | Vancouver, BC Canada
  • Designer: PWL Partnership
  • Installer: Victory Gardens

About this Project

At Concert Properties - these gardens were installed as part of a company initiative to help their employees connect with their food and how it is grown. This downtown rooftop patio went largely unused as both irrigation and drainage were an issue. These challenges were overcome with GardenWells, and now the rooftop garden thrives with self-watering wicking beds growing fresh veggies right in the downtown core.

Now, the entire team at Concert gets to enjoy fresh veggies on the daily, while de-stressing during lunch time garden breaks. Without sub-irrigation this doesn't happen, but with GardenWells the rooftop gardens and company culture continue to grow!
If you'd like to learn how you can start building self-watering rooftop gardens in your community - click the link below and Contact Us

    Contact Us


    Book info an session

    Learn how you can bring new levels of water sustainability and success to your professional garden projects and installations.

    In this free 1 on 1 info session, we'll go over the all fundamentals of sub-irrigation so that you can start growing with confidence and maximize the self-watering advantage for yourself, your projects, or your clients.

    Contact Us

    Learn the fundamentals of GardenWells SIP System

    How to Install your GardenWells

    How to select the right soil

    How to water your garden

    How to maintain your GardenWells planter

    Subscribe for Newsletter

    The latest news, events and stories delivered right to your inbox