Thursday, March 22, 2012

Green Roof Gardening and Small Scale Rooftop Permaculture

Reprinted from Florida Permaculture Blog:

Rooftop permaculture may be the long term sustainable trend for green roofs.  Where as green roofs may have many benefits, including insulation, mitigation of urban heat island effect, cleansing of stormwater, support for biodiversity, educational opportunities and more, growing food within the city can save food fuel and transportation costs, create permaculture benefits, cool structures, save money and provide much needed sustenance within inner cities.

Florida Permaculture, Rooftop Gardens - Mustards & Garlic Chives

With advances in green roof and permaculture technology, cost effective and lightweight growing systems can be created and installed for food production across balconies, patios, rooftops and windowsills.

Self watering and systems employing fog nets, dew catchers and condensate reuse will take the place of non-sustainable potable irrigation water.

Florida Permaculture, Greens and Garlic Chives on the Rooftop

Additionally, there is so much permaculture information available on the great world wide web the need for fertilizers can be easily replaced with proper and informed design principles utilizing nitrogen fixing plant species.  Our rooftop tomatoes growing alongside legumes were so much larger than those in our ground level gardens.

Importantly here in Florida (and other places), rooftop gardening eliminates many of the soil borne plant root pests such as nematodes.  Nematodes can devastate garden vegetables, stunting their growth by as much as a severe drought would.  Nematodes generally cannot survive in the hot temperatures typical of green roof soil media.

Florida Permaculture, Clover feeds the Greens on the Roof

Food plants such as those shown above, will have the advantage of first view by pollinators.

Your roof will become alive with butterflies, dragonflies, moths, birds, bees and more.

Tree frogs and anoles will soon take up residence, creating a wonderful integrated pest management systems as they eat volumes of the common household fly, mosquitoes, roaches and other pests.

Consider planting veggies on your roof as the next permaculture project.

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