Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Green Roofs Florida - A New Sprout - Crimson Clover

Green Roof Plants Florida Crimson Clover Sprouts
Stormwater and Green Roofs.  The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) has proposed new stormwater regulations that mandate new development projects and other projects remove nitrogen and phosphorous (along with other pollutants) from stormwater.

We all know nitrogen is a major component in fertilizer.

Plants need lots of nitrogen to grow.

However the answer to clean water in Florida (and across the world) lies not in fertilizing green roofs with added nitrogen compounds.

Importantly, there are many plants that take nitrogen from the air and fix the nitrogen into the soil.  Crimson Clover, Trifolium incarnatum, is one of the most efficient 'green manure' crops.

We sowed a crop of Crimson Clover three days ago on a vegetated roof undergoing renovation.  The first sprout was up this morning!  I'll post photos of how the clover does over time.

Now, the Florida Green Roof industry must move away from being a part of the water pollution problem.  We must move to use of creative fertilization rather than specifying addition of more and more nitrogen and phosphates!

However, even our Florida Department of Environmental Protection's Pensacola office green roof has fertilizer and potable make-up water for a portion of the required irrigation.

How sustainable is this?

Are we seriously sustainable?  Or are we as a Green Roof Industry only trying to look green while banking the bucks?

As always, your comments and questions are welcome!  Email here.

Happy Green Roofing

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