Green Roof Learning Experience


In this course we are learning about wall and green roof design, installation, and maintenance. This semester we are trying to see what has worked from previous semesters, what we can improve, and what new things we can try. For the first few weeks of this course we worked on repairing irrigation, doing research on new plants we could use, planting new seeds and plants, and removing a lot of weeds.

One of the first projects I was involved in was fixing the irrigation in wall 2.  The main problem was that the water was not reaching the top part of the wall so whatever was growing there dried out. This happened because the main hose was connected to the bottom of the drip irrigation hose. We fixed this by connecting the main hose to a PVC pipe to allow the water to go all the way to the top and then come down through the drip irrigation hose. This allowed the whole wall to receive water.
After fixing the irrigation we started planning and planting new vegetables. Peas and radish seedlings were  harvested from bed 1, which is growing different kinds of vegetables and herbs. We chose spots that were empty since whatever was in there previously had already dried out and would allow the peas and radishes to grow successfully with the improved irrigation. We placed the peas in the left end of the wall towards the middle and the radishes towards the right.

We spent almost 2 days removing weeds before we could move on to planting new succulents. Once we were done with most of the weeding we started planting some new sedums. We placed three in some of the modules where there was only one plant growing in the middle of the module. After that we proceeded to planting Aloe and Frogfruit, Manfreda, and Hechtia seeds.

For our latest project we took one of the modules from bed 3 and took it apart to analyze how everything was growing since this [art pf the greenroof  hasn’t had irrigation for about a year.  We removed the plants from the module and separated the soil, geotextile, and the roots which had grown under the geotextile. We separated the plants that where growing in the module into two groups, we had iceplant and a grass in this module. We noticed that the grass roots where the ones growing roots under the geotextile to reach the moisture under it and the iceplant roots remained above the geotextile to stay away form that moisture. I recorded the total weight of the ice plant and their roots and did the same for the grass. Some of the things I learned about this project was the importance of recording data like observations, measurements, and taking pictures.