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So I got a spot dead center of 2 other gardeners in our building rooftop garden. I'm second from the left, the zone with all the perrenials from last year the someone forgot to clear.

The problem I'm having is that I plan on filling my alloted area with soil to the brim. Sadly the building doesn't buy us soil so it's left up to the individual.

I don't have a way to shore up the sides as the beds don't have dividers. And the neighbor has already planted, so shoring might disturb the border and potentially destroy some things there.

Naturally, when I fill it up it'll form a hill and create runoff and maybe even erode and start filling/drowning the neighbors (namely the one on the right) border regions in soil.

My question is, what is a good way to keep the "hill" but make it staggered and resistant to running off. My ideas were to create small mounds and plant on them.

Will making mounds that are sort of going from the "peak" down to the lower regions be good? This loosely comes to mind enter image description here

Speaking of mounds, can vegetables even grow well in them? I'm talking 3 or 4 inch tall rotund mounds with motes around them. The motes would also form a link with the other mounds and (hopefully) channel the runoff to someplace that's not directly onto the rightmost neighbors seedlings.

Any suggestions or help is appreciated, especially out-there solutions!

  • You are presumably looking for moat. Mote will pass spellcheck, but it's a rather different meaning.
    – Ecnerwal
    May 18, 2022 at 3:04
  • Insert a vertical barrier at each edge. Could be rigid plastic, metal, wood. May 19, 2022 at 6:34

1 Answer 1


"Hills" are perfectly normal for many things in gardens.

So, rooftop small planter "mounds" should be fine. And better than building a cliff at the edges of your bed that throws shade on your tiny rooftop garden neighbors.

Terraces as pictured require some structure to hold the edges.

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