Naturcycle talks often about the benefits of Green Roof Media, and the dangers of high organic matter soils in roofs. Even as we educate others like Landscape Architects and Contractors about what quality, consistent, soil-less media should be we still see factors, like cost or time driving bad choices.
Pictured below is what happens if you think “Topsoil” or native soils can be an effective on structure solution, be it a roof, or concrete deck like a Garage. High silt and clay soils can not preform or succeed under the unique micro-climate that is a roof. The heating and cooling extremes, the limited soil depth, the wind conditions, the exposure to sun, and even reflection of nearby buildings are just a short list of the many challenges to making a green roof work.
This photo was taken in late May 2019 in Upstate New York. You can clearly see this material is a loamy, native soil hoisted onto a roof. The failures are already beginning and this installation is no more then a few weeks old. It has not been that warm or dry in Upstate this year but you can see the soil cracking, segmenting already. If this is happening in May what will it look like in July? It can not hold the moisture it needs. It is likely far too dense to support good plant growth. You can see in those sad tomatoes the serious yellowing indicating plant stress. If the plant is stressed this soon after planting I would bet it does not last a season.
Cutting corners or not researching the right options leads to failures like this. Lightweight aggregate, premium stable, quality compost and the knowledge of the right materials for the right application are what Naturcycle and its engineered soil success is built on. I can not imagine the removal and replacement pictured here cost verse doing it right the first time. Contact Naturcycle today about your project or Green Roof needs. We are happy to offer insight, planning and resources along with logistics expertise to help reduce cost and maximize time. We know time and cost are important factors, but failure is not acceptable to our team at Naturcycle. We are in the business of success!