|Florida Green Roof, MetroVerde Extensive Mat System|
The sedum and original Aptenia struggled over time, eventually giving way to the A. canadense, primarily due to fungal attacks during the steamy hot, humid summer months (not necessarily rainy just high water vapor months).
Once removed the underlying roof appeared to look the same as the day the green roof was installed seven years ago, free of water damage and quite nicely preserved.
The green roof system was a simple.ost-effective system defying all odds and wagging-tongues - (don't use high organic soil media, the roof is too sloped, can't put a green roof over asphalt shingles, a nature-irrigated green roof will not survive, etc...). The system easily survived several tropical cyclones, one rainfall event where we had eighteen inches of water in over two days (Tropical Storm Fay), extended periods of brutal drought and more). The roof never had additional soil or plants added to it.
Once the solar piping was in place the intent was to add a recycled section of old, heavy duty chain link fence to the wall under the roof and plant and grow luffa gourds in the gutter, allowing them to cascade down over the guter edge across the chain link living wall fencing. I can hear the wagging tongues now - growing plants in gutter!
|Florida Green Roof, Luffa Gourds in Gutters|
Importantly, over the years of watching the roof preform the plants adsorbed and drank most of the rainfall events - especially any rain less than one inch (most of our afternoon rainstorms here are les than one inch) rendering the gutter useless. The gutter was useless in the eighteen inch plus rainfall event too. Though I would not do this on a commercial application, we do push the limits at the nursery to see what systems can do. I am confident the green roof system we've replaced on the roof will handle any and all precipitation events, even with the luffa planted in the gutter, and just as the organic matter did not clog and wash out or decompose as predicted or the roof wash off during tropical cyclones, the luffa planted gutter - filled with a fast draining soil media will pleasantly surprise us.
The luffa is deciduous and will allow winter sun to hit our masonry walls, adding heat in the cooler months yet shading out summer solar radiation.
So with skyrocketing food prices in the grocery markets, a food based schema was designed for plantings. The original mat, removed during the solar renovation process was replaced, adhered using a low VOC roofing glue.
|Florida Extensive Green MetroVerde Green Roof, Mat installed|
|Florida MetroVerde Extensive Green Roof Soil Media|
The soil media is a fine material, free of aggregate - important when designing in a cyclone prone area. Our soil media specifications call for microscopic sharp, geometric edges capable of locking together and when roots are added to the blend a highly stable, well-drained monolithic system is created. The trick lies in initially adding fast growing C3 plants to bind all together then incorporating a purposeful evolution to a blend of more C4 and CAM plants to allow for drought tolerance and wind resilience.
|Florida Extensive Green Roof, Matt's Wild Cherry Tomatoes|
Since I love Wild Cherry Tomatoes and cannot get enough of them I decided on Matt's Wild Cherry Tomatoes to accompany the luffa's. This wild breed produces more delicious cherry tomatoes than any other variety I have seen. I am expecting thousands and thousands of cherry tomatoes this year.
|Florida Green Roof, Food Roof, Rooftop Permaculture by MetroVerde|
Cherry tomatoes are ramblers and will cascade down alongside the luffas, down the living wall so I won't have to actually climb the roof to fetch the round red scrumptious fruits.
|Florida Green Roof - Rooftop Permaculture|
I'll add a video clip of a hard rain too, to show how well the drainage actually works.