Potential species for the good crop green wall by Siyu Yu

  1. Green Roof and Green Wall

Building roofs that covered with plants is green roofs. It can be divided into two major categories, one is intensive green roof, and the other is extensive green roof. The main differences of these two types green roofs are the growth substrate depth and the requirement of the roof structural reinforcement. (Oberndorfer et al., 2007) Our research focuses on the extensive green roofs, whose growth substrate depth less that 20cm and require little maintenance. Plant selection is the main task to build up a sustainable green roof, especially subtropical climates, like south-central Texas, which encounter with drought and heat every year. We need crops that can be water tolerant and unirrigated.

Building wall that covered with vegetation is green wall, which holds a growing medium and soils. It can be categorized according to the type of growth media used: loose media, mat media, and structural media. The planting forms are watt pocket, square pocket and independent pocket(Fig.1).


watt pocket


square pocket


independent pocket

Fig.1 Three planting forms.

Source: http://wenku.baidu.com/view/93ab8a69caaedd3383c4d33d.html


  1. Crop selection

There are lots of crops can be taken into research, green leafs are creamy green leafy lettuce, arugula, purple cabbage; Spices, Thai basil, sweet basil, parsley, mint, chives; Vegetables are tomatoes, strawberries, cucumbers, broccoli.

As it suggested in the list, the strawberry and mint are the main crops of this research.


  • Strawberry
  • Green roof economic of strawberry

There is a strawberry garden case in Shenzhen, China. Based on the test result, the temperature on the “green roof” is 12 Celsius lower than the surrounding concrete roof, and the average temperature of attic is approximately 4~7 Celsius. The strawberry is evergreen with many leaves. It does not need as much soil as most plants, about 120Kg per square meter. And strawberry likes humidity environment and has strong water absorption ability, which totally satisfies the need of green roof. What is more, a strawberry garden of 7000square feet produces strawberries about 4000 pounds annually. The market price for strawberries is $1.5 per pound, which produces an annual profit of $6000.


  • Strawberry Fields Green Roof and Garden

This green roof sits atop an office building in downtown Vancouver. I helped design and build this roof in 2009 as a green oasis for the company employees and a demonstration of green roof technology for other businesses in the area. The roof was dubbed Strawberry Fields because of the abundance of strawberries planted among the sedums.




  • Mint (Mentha)

The leaf, fresh or dried, is the culinary source of mint. Fresh mint is usually preferred over dried mint when storage of the mint is not a problem.



Oberndorfer, E., J. Lundholm, B. Bass, R. R. Coffman, H. Doshi, N. Dunnett, S. Gaffin,

  1. Kohler, K. K. Y. Liu, and B. Rowe. 2007. Green roofs as urban ecosystems:

Ecological structures, functions, and services. BioScience 57: 823-833.


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