Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Green Roof Irrigation and Dew Catchers - 5 Important Factors

Irrigation provided by nature exists and understanding how dew works can make the  Florida (or Arid Locale) Green Roof successful.

Here in North Florida we are in the middle of an on-going three and a half week drought with no rain in sight.

You put water in the birdbath and the water has evaporated by the middle of the day.

Our Urban Permaculture Garden is growing just fine but craves water.

We are abiding by the watering restrictions we have in place here set by the St. Johns River Water Management District.

Yet look at the following photo my daughter took early in the morning!  There was water everywhere, especially on the green roof plants!

Irrigating Green Roof Plants - Dew Catchers

The amount of available water for plants is truly amazing.

We have noticed several interesting factors:

1. Dew occurs early in the morning - before the sun gets too hot and evaporation occurs
2. Early morning dew allows more water to be adsorbed by the plants.
3. Waxy plant leaves - those typically found on recommended green roof plants - encourage the condensed dew to roll off the leaves into the root area soil.
4. Many plant leaves seem to possess a natural form that directs dew to the middle of the leaf, down the stem and onto the root area.
5. Dew seems to be most prevelant during dryer, cooler periods - and those factors correspond exactly with our dry season.
6. The amount of dew is significant, as much as drip irrigation may produce.

So Mother Nature is offering up alternative irrigation means.

And we here in Florida and across the world have a water supply crisis.

Again, I ask - why are we irrigating Green Roofs with costly potable water that truly has a high carbon footprint?

When Mother Nature offers irrigation up for free.

Over the next couple of days I want to discuss dew catcher design and nutrients found in both dew and rainwater.

Happy Green Roofing!

As always - email me with your questions and dont forget to check out Dave Hillary's Free Green Roof Mini-Course.


1 comment:

installing irrigation systems said...

at first thank you for great posting. second, there is nothing better then natural irrigation but there're times we must use auto irrigation sysatem.