Need Advice: Container Garden, Rooftop Oasis


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Hello everybody,

I'm living in an apartment in Mexico City.

So here's my situation, I am constricted to our little cage for drying laundry on the roof. We use these black crates that are about 2'' x 1' (see attached image) and the deal is I can keep them on the roof if I don't let water touch the roof because the roof is not made to hold plants and the soaked roof may damage the insulation for the people living upstairs.

So... my question is how can I make a nice container with these crates to prevent water from touching the ground?
Also, what are some ways that I can control the amount of sun for the plants? I have ginger in these crates and I realize they are getting too much sun and starting to wilt.

EDIT: I'm also going to post another thread about this but this also connects with the roof garden.

I have a vermicompost that my girlfriend doesn't like to have inside the house so I think the only other spot would either be on the roof or temporarily in our parking space that we don't use (until we find an apartment mate who needs parking). How would I be able to accommodate the worms if I place them on the roof. Remember, I'm only restricted to this cage designed to hang wet laundry.
 

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You could line the crates with something...plastic bags, rubber liner, etc., but you will still need drainage, so you would also have to put pans under them. (I never heard of a roof that can't have water on it; what happens when it rains?) For shade, you could attach wood poles or PVC pipe and use shade cloth. I wouldn't put the vermicomposter on the roof. It will get too hot for the worms, even if you shade it. Temperatures above 85F can kill the worms.
 
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Shade cloth works very well to filter the sun. Is there some way you can attach it to the top and afternoon sun side of the cage? Also you might consider some mulch to protect the plant roots both from the heat and the cold (DF can freeze in winter at its elevation). i use 3 to 4 inches of coco fiber or dried leaves to protect the roots from the heat and it works very well. I don't have to worry about the cold here in Colima because the elevation where i live is only 545 m (~1800 feet), but it would work as well for the cold.
 

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