Green Roof Experiential Learning – Spring 2015 Blog 2 by Martha Todd

Three weeks ago we harvested some of the crops that had grown on the plots of dirt on the roof of the building. Many of the spinach and parsley plants had a bountiful harvest and much of what we measured was marketable with little defect or holes in the leaves from insects. After the measurements were recorded the team and I began to record the number of plant species that were still living on the three walls. Most of everything was dead as we think the plants may have received too little irrigation. However, all of the succulent plants on the first wall were surviving, not thriving, but indeed were all alive.

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On April 10th the team and I learned what species of plants we were receiving for the living walls such as Mexican Petuna and Japanese sedge. Depending on the cost of the plant, the availability, and the predicition that certain plant species may thrive better than others, we ordered more of certain plants than others. After deciding the quantity of each plant, our next business was to decide how they would be arranged on the wall. For wall 1, we decided to go in an organized pattern for 5 plant species making sure that one of each plant species was placed on each horizontal and vertical row. The resulting pattern was one of diagonal stripes by the time we had completed the placement. For wall 3 we decided to follow the same pattern with a different set of 5 plant species, however, we then randomized by switching the order of the rows and columns to make sure there was a degree of randomness in plant order. Wall 2 has not been decided on yet. In the next month as the plants begin to arrive we will begin planting them based on the diagram constructed and see how they flourish. Questions we will be looking to answer are: Does placement on the living wall correlate to the ability to thrive? How do some species respond to the irrigation system verses others?

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Wall 1 in the background and showing the height parsley has reached.

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