Kick Starting the Semester at the Greenhouse! by Michael Hernandez

With the beginning of the semester came the planning and ordering of plants and modules. The plant selections were based off on how well previous plants did on the rooftop, and wether or not the module used for those plants affected their growth. The new modules provide potential for the plants roots to grow with less constraint, thus giving us the opportunity to replant some plants that didn’t do so well in the previous modules. Plants with a resistance to drought and with a well performance in Texas climate were perforable for the replant. Some of these plants included Powis Castle, Oregano, Lavender, Yarrow, Mexican Petunia, Rosemary, Sage, etc.. We started the process of building the modules in the green house. Thereafter, we placed cloth bagging’s inside the modules and filled them with soil. The next step was to place the plants in the modules. We punctured the cloth bags filled with soil in the desired locations in order to pop the plants in. After each incision was made we proceeded to pouring the soil out and placing the plants in one by one. We followed a build-up mechanism, which meant we had to place one row of plants, then put in a bit of soil to hold them in place. This was repeated till we reached the final row of the module. This process took us a few class sessions, given that we didn’t have too many hands to work with. Nevertheless, we finished the plantings and left the modules to sit in the greenhouse for a few weeks in order to allow the plants to grow in a little better before they went up on the wall.”

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Removing dead plants from wall 2

 

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“Taking on the Green Roof!

Once module plantings were completed in the greenhouse we moved on to the green roof. There were plenty of tasks to be carried out up there including fixing irrigation piped that were ruptured during the winter freeze, Taking out the dead plants from the current modules, and installing new sprinkler heads. Through these processes I learned a few things. First i learned of how unforgiving freezing temperatures can be towards irrigation pipes and lines. We must be cautious during those periods. Second, I learned a bit on how to put together irrigation pipes using PVC cement and primer. Third, I learned of a few flaws with the planning of existing modules, and with the modules themselves. With the first wall I found that there wasn’t too much room for the plants root structure to flourish, as well as the module experiencing soil loss. The second wall I found that the technique used to wrap the plants in, might contribute to the roots constriction, which would inevitably lead to the plants death. Finally, the third module, which was recently installed, seems to be full and lush, thus might experience the highest success rate in terms of keeping plants alive and lush. I believe that this new plant selection will perform better than the previous plantings because of two reasons: 1) A better module system that will allow for better root growth, and 2) A beautiful and fragrant plant selection that are well known for performing well in Texas climate.”

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Wall 2 replanted

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Wall 3 installed.

by Michael Hernandez

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