Urban Rooftop Farming

  • Vegetable patch in the courtyard of a restaurant
  • Vegetable patch on a rooftop
  • Vegetable patch on a rooftop

Urban Rooftop Farming

The number of densely populated urban centres is increasing. More than half of the world’s population now lives in towns or cities, where undeveloped or green spaces are seldom to be found. Green roofs, as a counterbalance to this, have made the breakthrough in such densely-populated areas.

It comes as no surprise¸ therefore, that roof areas are used for the production of fruits, vegetables and herbs.

The fresher the better!

Vegetables A vegetable garden on the roof offers many environmental benefits. Supply routes and emissions are minimized, as the garden is close to the consumers. Short supply routes also mean that the goods are fresher when delivered and, therefore, tastier. And, the plants filter pollutants from the air, thereby contributing to an improved climate in towns and cities.

System build-up

However, in order for market gardening to actually work in an extreme location such as a roof, all relevant factors must be taken into consideration. ZinCo has, therefore, developed the system build-up “Urban Rooftop Farming” as a permanent reliable solution. The drainage element Floradrain® FD 60 neo is at the heart of this build-up.

With 20 cm ZinCo System Substrate, this build-up is suitable for fruit and vegetables such as lettuce, onions, herbs, zucchini, eggplant, squash, cabbage, melons, strawberries and such like.

For vegetables and fruits such as tomatoes, green beans, raspberries, blackberries, currants and such like a substrate depth of 28 to 40 cm is recommended.

The amount of fertilizer and irrigation depends on the requirements of the cultivated vegetable species and on local climate conditions. The use of an organic fertilizer is recommended. To minimize the impact on the runoff avoid overfertilizing. The specific requirements of a roof location (e.g. wind, structural requirements, water run-off) must be observed when planning.

Safety on rooftops

Fallnet® When working on rooftops personal safety equipment is to be used wherever risks cannot be avoided. ZinCo provides various safety systems and railings which do not penetrate the roof covering.

Technical Data
Build-up height from 250 mm
Weight, saturated from 300 kg/m²
Water retention capacity from 100 l/m²

Urban Rooftop Farming

Information on how to grow fruit and vegetables on roofs and all about the technology involved.

Number of pages
4 pages
Date of publication
Mar 2020
System build-up



Grafik des Systemaufbaus
Fruits and vegetables
System Substrate “Lawn”, 200–400 mm
Filter Sheet TG
Floradrain® FD 60 neo
Protection Mat ISM 50
Root Barrier WSB 100-PO, if necessary.

Product Details

System Substrate “Lawn”

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System Substrate suitable for lawn (seed sowing or turf).

Filter Sheet TG

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Thermally strengthened filter sheet of PP, highly resistant to mechanical stress, applicable especially on Protectodrain® PD 250 and on bulk material.

Floradrain® FD 60 neo

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Highly efficient drainage and water storage element made of profiled plastic, suitable for intensive green roofs.

Protection Mat ISM 50

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Synthetic fibre mat, highly resistant to mechanical stress; for use as protection layer under intensive green roofs, walkways and driveways etc.

Root Barrier WSB 100-PO

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FLL tested sheet, to be hot air welded, applicable as root and rhizome protection for extensive and especially for intensive green roofs.

No product information available


The system solution shown relates to the green roof build-up in particular. The roof construction itself is only shown schematically and must be planned and executed according to specialist rules for waterproofed roofs.

  • Artichoke
  • Zucchini
  • Radish
  • Mangold
  • Stem cabbage
  • Cauliflower