Installing a green roof is an excellent way to conserve energy, improve stormwater runoff, and increase urban biodiversity, among many other benefits. Maintaining a green roof can prove challenging but worthwhile. To aid in your venture of maintaining a green roof, we’ve compiled 5 key strategies for keeping your green roof going strong for years to come.
Conduct Soil Tests
As any gardener will tell you, soil is the most essential element to growing anything successfully. All plants thrive in specific soil types with differing pH balances, mineral deposits, moisture levels, and so on.
Conducting an annual soil test will provide you with the necessary information to keep your soil perfectly tuned to the grass you are growing. Adjusting the soil afterwards is typically as simple as adding a nutrient topically.
Particularly important while you are initially establishing the grass on your green roof, proper irrigation can go a long way toward its health and wellness. A good strategy might be to set up temporary overhead irrigation systems while the roots of the grass are being established. Once your roof is lush with green grass, consider installing more permanent dripline irrigation to maintain a hassle-free watering system.
You’ll also need to take your climate into consideration when planning your irrigation system. Drier climates will require a more regular watering while moist climates may only need occasional irrigation.
Just like with any more typical lawn, weeds are the bane of a green roof’s existence. Birds and even wind can cause the spread of weeds to your green roof, so do not make the mistake of assuming it is immune. Weeds can be especially problematic if they grow deep root systems that cause damage to the underlying structural portion of your roof.
Regular weeding with both chemical application and physical removal will be necessary to avoid any future disaster to your green roof. Not to mention, this will help maintain an impeccably beautiful aesthetic.
Again, if you think of your green roof as essentially a lawn, fertilizing becomes a natural step in the process of maintenance. Regular (roughly annual or bi-annual) fertilization will aid in the prevention of weed growth as well as supply important nutrients to the soil.
Choose fertilizers that do not contain animal waste, as they can have an overall negative impact on the soil. Using slow-release fertilizer during the spring can help ensure your green roof is a lush green all summer long.
Replace Dead Plants
If any part of your green roof (grass or otherwise) has not survived, it’s important to remove any dead components before they negatively impact the surrounding soil. You can take note from the previous steps, like soil tests and irrigation, to try and understand why a portion of your roof may not be doing as well.
As with any gardening or lawncare endeavor, a green roof requires care and attention to thrive. Using these steps for proper green roof maintenance will help ensure your green roof is healthy and beautiful for the long haul. If you are having trouble on your own and need help with keeping regular maintenance, you can always use a resource like MyRoofingPal to connect you to the professionals necessary for all your roofing needs.