Landscaping Tips For Your Green Roof

grassIf you are building a new home or planning to make your current dwelling more energy-efficient, you should consider a green roof. Such roofs are perfect for urban buildings with shallow-pit or flat roofs, and can feature anything from a standard plant cover to a full garden. The primary reasons for installing this kind of roof include enjoying open space on the home’s rooftop and managing storm water. The following are tips on installing such a roof:

Creating a Foundation:

Install a plastic or rubber waterproof membrane on the top of the roof decking. After this is accomplished, a six millimeter plastic sheet should be placed on top of the waterproof membrane to function as a barrier against roots. When these two layers are in place, create one more thin layer of three-quarter inch foam insulation that is suitable for contact with moist soil.


Frame the sides of the roof with edging that will hold the soil in place and permit drainage. This frame can be made from wood, gutter guards or other appropriate material.

Add Soil and Plants:

The amount of soil added depends on the type of plants from which the roof will be made. Consult a botanical professional for landscaping tips and advice about various plants.

Additional Tips….

If pre-planted trays will be used, make sure to design a roof that will accommodate the length and width of the trays without any gaping spaces and remember that edging is not necessary with a tray system.

Vegetated Mats:

Another green roof alternative is to purchase vegetated mats, which are similar to sections of sod you would buy at a home and garden store. Only a thin layer of soil is needed if you plan to use vegetated mats.

Selecting Plants:

When selecting plants, keep in mind that it is not unusual for a rooftop to reach temperatures of 150°F or higher. Fortunately, a broad range of plants and grasses thrive in rooftop gardens. These include herbs, succulents, herbaceous perennials and sedums.

Regardless of your reason for desiring a green roof, you should consult a professional and schedule a careful assessment of your property to ensure that such a roof is a wise choice.

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