How To Create A Green Shed Roof

Mineral roofing felt on sheds and garages only has a limited lifetime, usually fairly short before it becomes ragged and torn. One way favoured by Martyn Loach to increase its lifespan, and at the same time create a surface with totally 'right on' environmental credentials, is to install a green roof.

Created by Martyn Loach on Sunday, 25th of August, 2013.
Updated on Tuesday, 15th of November, 2016.


green roof

You may think this is a new idea, but it was first introduced albeit by accident over a hundred years ago in Germany, when vegetation grew in sand used to protect bitumen roofs. 

Look Good And Do Good

On larger buildings, green roofs will conserve energy as well as extending the life of the roof, they can also reduce noise pollution and aid good air quality.

Used on our domestic outbuildings they are green islands for birds and insects, offering food and shelter. In a small way they counteract the loss of natural habitat but, as in the case of the garden pond, this can make a significant difference when added together.

They look good, offering biodiversity in place of tedious barren felt and to a large extent look after themselves. For a shed roof, the work will take perhaps a day and you'll need help at certain stages.

Before you begin, make sure the current structure can withstand the extra weight, don't forget that it will be even heavier after rain. If it's an apex roof the angle should be greater than 3 and no more than 20degrees. A sunny location is also preferred.

Firstly line the roof with waterproof butyl, this will keep both the water out and prevent the vegetation's roots from penetrating the shed roof.

Now make a simple frame using pressure treated 2in x 4in timber that fits the roof and fasten it to the shed. It's essential that water can drain away, therefore the frame must have drainage holes along the lower sides.

Use a line of pebbles along the edge so the holes don't become blocked. You could also fit a filter sheet that allows the free passage of water while retaining soil particles. A moisture trap of some kind will slow the rate of drainage, these can be purchased but you can also use an old blanket or towel. 

What To Plant

The growing medium is called substrate, on a shed 3ins is enough. It's no good using purely topsoil as that will be too heavy. Mix in up to 80% inorganic material such as perlite, sharp sand or brick dust.

Various varieties of Sedum are a popular choice for planting, as alpines they will grow well in the shallow gritty substrate, maintain cover throughout the year and need little maintenance. A good range of insects will also be attracted throughout the summer.

You can purchase rolled up mats of sedum, if not think about using S. acre (tiny yellow flowers on pale green foliage), the succulent golden yellow S. rupestre or the starry white flowers of S. album.

Wildflowers that can survive in low nutrient conditions are also a consideration, perhaps Cowslip, Lady's Bedstraw, Rock rose, Harebell and Thyme.

Related Articles

How Thrive's Accessible Gardening Changes Lives

How Thrive's Accessible Gardening Changes Lives

The Society for Horticultural Therapy is an organisation generally known as Thrive, and David Coton recently learnt more about their projects, training and consultancy.

Author: David Coton

Written by David Coton.
Published on Thursday, 16th of June, 2016.

2016 Gardening Trends

2016 Gardening Trends

With Christmas and the New Year celebrations over with, it’s time to think about gardening trends for 2016, here’s what Nathan James Dodd foresees in the coming months.

Author: David Coton

Written by David Coton.
Published on Thursday, 7th of January, 2016.

Lavatera - A Superb Container Grown Shrub

Lavatera - A Superb Container Grown Shrub

Container grown shrubs can be planted throughout most of the year. The choice is huge and, for David Hall, the Lavatera is a particular favourite.

Author: David Hall

Written by David Hall.
Published on Friday, 29th of May, 2015.

The Most Beautiful Clematis

The Most Beautiful Clematis

The beauty of one particular Clematis has enchanted David Hall for many years, Clematis sieboldii or “Florida Bi-Colour” is his queen of the climbers and here he explains why it captivated him.

Author: David Hall

Written by David Hall.
Published on Thursday, 28th of May, 2015.

comments powered by Disqus

Author

Martyn Loach

Editor in Chief

View Profile

RSS

View RSS Feed

Follow Us!

Recent Articles

Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2018

Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2018

Dazzling with colourful interest in the brilliant sunshine, this year's Hampton Court Palace Flower Show will prove to be a tremendous attraction for everyone as it caters for both keen gardeners and families who just what a day out in magnificent surroundings.

Author: Martyn Loach

Written by Martyn Loach.
Published on Monday, 2nd of July, 2018.

What To Do In The Garden In July

What To Do In The Garden In July

After all the dry hot weather that much of the country has experienced over the last few weeks, the lavender in David Coton's garden is at its most colourful and scented, he's cutting the flowerheads to make lavender biscuits or drying them for pot pourri. Here are more jobs you can do in the garden during July.

Author: David Coton

Written by David Coton.
Published on Friday, 29th of June, 2018.

What To Do In The Garden in June

What To Do In The Garden in June

At this time of the year you'll find a fabulous selection of summer bedding at our Garden Centre in Birmingham. David Coton will be planting the bedding in containers this month to achieve a wonderful display of colour and here are some other jobs to do in the garden in June.

Author: David Coton

Written by David Coton.
Published on Sunday, 27th of May, 2018.

GardenSite Donates Prize To Grow Your Own Picnic

GardenSite Donates Prize To Grow Your Own Picnic

As part of a project designed to sow ideas, grow inspiration and cultivate futures, 300 London schools are growing their own picnic this summer and their reward could be a £500 voucher from GardenSite.

Author: David Coton

Written by David Coton.
Published on Friday, 25th of May, 2018.