Roof Top Gardening-Initial Steps Toward Carbon Sequestration

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Rooftop Farming

Rooftop Gardening is the emerging concept of modern era. It is one of the vegetative practices in which a person can easily practice organic farming at domestic level. Almost every house has rooftop facility since the concept of urban cities giving a much rise in urban sprawling. People now start growing plants either on their rooftop if they have or in their balconies at small level. Awareness campaigns plays their vital role of injecting the importance of greenery in our life

. Many developed states already took steps to  enhance rooftop gardening through Green Economy. Green economy promotes sustainability in actual along with continuing efforts in economy and development. Denmark, Norway are top most countries practicing day and night for its actualization

Roof Top Gardening and Carbon Sinks

Carbon sinks are the reservoirs in which carbon-dioxide can be stored directly from the atmosphere. Existing terrestrial carbon storage is vulnerable to calamities like fire, illness, and modifications in the climate and land usage. Carbon sinks are of many types:


High Concentration of carbon-dioxide can reduce by planting enough trees in open spaces, specially road sides, tourists areas, housing societies. Cutting trees for the purpose of construction and other anthropogenic wants will really create a havoc.  Afforestation is one of the best rehabilitating act to revive extreme deforestation. It will create appropriate habitats for millions of species apart from carbon sequestration. Environmentalists invented a wise way to plant trees by experimenting their views.

In Japan, they introduce some fast growing tree seeds in newspaper by keeping in view that when people dispose newspapers after reading they will become trees without putting too much effort for proper plantation, People of today’s world are too busy to spare a time for such recreational activities. Now it is on our young scientists to implement such mind-boggling ideas into reality.


It is world’s largest carbon sink. Due to intentional vicious activities of human, world’s optimum temperature rising every year by 1 Celsius. The overall disturbance in global temperature arise a new perplexing problem of Global Warming. Due to global warming the world’s largest sink showing some unusual events which did not witness by humans before; for example Hurricane Katrina. Such extreme catastrophic events badly effect the immunity of oceans to absorb carbon-dioxide.

High concentration of carbon-dioxide in atmosphere makes ocean more acidic than before which is ultimately dismal for marine organisms and their normal functionality. Weak understanding exists of how ocean acidification and purposeful ocean fertilization affect coastal and marine food webs and other resources. Scientists are researching how these significant habitats are impacted by oceanic carbon sequestration.


A solitary ecosystem found along the coastlines of tropical or sub-tropical regions. Their tendency to stand in brackish water makes them unique from other tree or shrub species. A spectacular settlement of nature to control oceanic emergencies. They act as a strong obstacle between oceans and coastal areas to minimize the intensity of waves and tides from hitting human developmental areas. Mangroves are good at removing and storing atmospheric carbon dioxide. The intricate root systems collect organic matter and sediment, which over time can build up and generate a carbon sink. By lowering the amount of carbon in the atmosphere, this helps to lessen the effects of climate change.

Urban green spaces.

Urban green spaces or roof top gardening are similar concepts. The aim is to reduce carbon-dioxide directly from atmosphere and in turn provide a clean and healthy air to living creatures. The arena of urban green spaces is quite wide which involves not only roof top gardening but also parks, vertical gardening, community gardens and cemeteries. Roof top gardening not only  beautify the structure but it also act as a insulating layer which gives enough support to structure along with reducing urban heat island effect.

The concept is under succumb because societal pressure is letting rich people to practice this idea only. They can manage their finances to move somewhere where there are plants and green spaces while impoverish ones still struggling to meet their basic needs. We need to start equalizing the resources to all levels by ignoring developed concept of resource oriented societies.


A spacious area all covered with grass. Grasslands usually maintained for the purpose of grazing cattle. It is a transition between forests and desserts in order to support forests in expansion. According to published data, it covers almost 40% of world’s total land area. It supports biodiversity by providing them habitat for living. Grasslands and rangelands are less vulnerable to wildfires and drought than forests, they may be able to store more carbon than those of other states. The human eager to create more residential areas over natural settled ecosystems starts engulfing natural biomes providing prominent ecosystem services such as , Carbon dioxide absorption, maintaining soil fertility, filtering ground water and maintain healthy habitats for wild life and people. 

Challenges in Carbon Sequestration:

Majorly anthropogenic activities impinges disturbance in overall ability of carbon sinks( discussed above) to sequester overloaded carbon dioxide concentration from atmosphere. Following are the major challenges:-


Deforestation is the negative activity performed by human beings since industrial revolution. For gaining economic stability and for the prosperity of country, humans involved themselves to settle macro sized industries/ factories. In order to facilitate employees working as professional industrialists more spaces required for their residence. Due to this, humans start clearing agricultural land and thickly forested areas for their accommodation. This constant activity diminish the density of forests letting them inclined towards deforestation. Improper check and balance makes this situation worse day by day. Forestry departments should impose some penalty if they continue to do so. 

Residue Burning.

Residue burning is the result of unawareness. People usually piled up their every day waste to set fire and let burning openly anywhere. This adds too much toxic gases, smoke, particulate matter directly to the atmosphere. Resultantly, young and old age group people find difficulty to inhale and exhale properly. Various diagnosed and undiagnosed respiratory diseases emerge among human beings and animals. Open pit burning is unfortunate for soil fertility too. The remaining ash after burning start to penetrate in earth’s surface during raining or with surface runoff. Ash equivalently contain toxic particles which is unprofitable for soil profile. 

Conventional Tillage.

Tillage basically prepares a land for another farming season. It aerates the soil for the proper flow of wind , It artificially creates pores for proper water absorption, It makes a better mixture of soil with prescribed amount of fertilizers. Mechanical tillage may harm the agricultural land by multiple passing of equipment. On the other hand conventional tillage is way more convenient and lenient with land.  Conventional Tillage keeps the majority of crop residue on the surface and uses little tillage. On the surface, there is some straw, stubble, leaves, and other debris.

Imbalanced use of Fertilizers

For fast crop production humans physically add some artificial stimulators which are commonly known as fertilizers. They are urea, phosphate or nitrate based which have the tendency to disturb soil’s overall capability to support growth. For the time being, it perfectly meets the growing requirements of resources to feed human population but later on soil became either too acidic or basic. This abruptly change the chemistry of soil.  Fertilizers can work efficiently in roof top gardening if they add in prescribed amount and time. Excessive use may disrupts their functionality.

Reduced inputs of organic matter.

It involves compound anthropogenic activities. These are as follows:

  • Tillage Practices.
  • Excessive Harvesting.
  • Burning of crop residues.
  • Overgrazing.
  • Drainage.
  • Excessive use of fertilizers.

Factors Keep in Mind while Doing Roof Top Gardening:

Load capacity.

It is one of the major pre- rooftop settlement survey which involve the experts prediction about the strength of building and its structure about lifting an upcoming weight of crops/plants. It should keep in mind that while constructing buildings, rooftops should be design in a way to accommodate roof top gardening aesthetically as well as physically. 


Light is a basic need for growing plants. It is one of the requirements that fulfills the process of photosynthesis. While planning roof top gardening , it’s important to properly locate area so that all vegetative plants get sunlight equally. Changing should made if roof top has shaded or dark side as it inhibits the proper access of sunlight to plants.


Wind is another considerable requirement for a successful roof top gardening. People should know the wind direction on their roof top before constructing any structure on it. It is equally important to allow the free flow of wind so that plants can flourish to their fullest.

Access to water for plants.

Water is the vital need of every living creature for their growth and development. Before plantation on rooftop, water management is extremely important. Along with accessibility, municipal regulation is important too. It varies from cities to cities and borough to borough. A farmer must know about where water will go after showering plants. Such administration is important otherwise leakage/seepage will destroy the internal structure of building.

Access to electricity.

During and after construction, electricity will equally play its role. Of course during construction all mechanical equipments need power to work. After construction a farmer may find a need to amuse himself with mild music while taking care of plants.

Access to storage area.

Rooftop gardening is nothing but an enthusiastic hobby which needs proper planning to work gracefully. There are many products that are associated with roof top gardening which includes, gardening equipment, fertilizers and other supporting materials and crop yields. For this purpose a farmer needs a good confined place for proper storage. 

Advantages overweigh Disadvantages:

Roof top gardening is overall advantageous for absorbing carbon-dioxide, for embellishing buildings, for promoting sustainability, for polishing one’s skills to handle farming and run it professionally. But every concept has pros and cons, following are few disadvantages while practicing roof top gardening:


If nails, screws and roof top gardening tools pierce the covering, leakage may result.

Cost ineffective for drainage construction.

To ensure that no water seeps into the structure through minute fractures in the walls or drips down the sides of the building, roof top gardening require complex and expensive drainage systems.

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