With more of us becoming aware of a global environmental crisis just around the corner, we are taking every opportunity to address the situation in any way we can. W plant more trees and tend our gardens organically, but there is a wonderful way to be environmentally aware and increase gardening space while covering up a nasty eye sore with something much more beautiful. Green roofs are rapidly growing in popularity and are so simple to install, provided the roof that they are going to grow on is sound and sturdy enough to hold the weight of plants and soil, particularly when damp. Shed roofs are the ideal place to put a green shed, and the plant of choice is the sedum, which enjoys conditions provided by shallow soil. Grown in water retaining landscape matting, sedums offer excellent roof cover. Sedums are hardy plants, found in the wild in inhospitable places such as the cracks between rocks, cliff faces and in walls. They can survive poor growing conditions and temperatures and thrive on poor quality soil, making them the perfect plant for a green shed roof. However, if sedums are grown on a sloping roof of more than 30 degrees without an irrigation system in place they will struggle to survive.
Consider the amount of garden space that will be used up by your new garden shed. This environmental loss can easily be compensated for with a sedum shed roof. It will not require mowing or deadheading, and with a clever mix of sedums it will provide virtually all year round floral displays. It will attract wildlife such as butterflies, bees and birds, while dead seed heads can be left in place over winter to provide an important food source for insects. The compact nature of sedum growth also provides the ideal place for many insects to overwinter in safety from most predators. In addition, the sedum shed roof system is absorbing a greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide, thus reducing carbon emissions that contribute to global warming. Perhaps the most appealing thing about having a sedum shed roof is that it looks so attractive, and you will probably find that you will want to cover any other surfaces with green roofing as well. Sedums need to be in full sunlight for at least 4 hours a day, and so you need to consider where you will position your green shed roof. Steep south facing slopes will cause rapid drying out of the plant matting and will require regular watering. In spring it is recommended that fertiliser is applied to the roofing to ensure a healthy year’s growth and good flowering.
Before installing your sedum shed roof, it is necessary to have your shed roof checked to ensure that it can take the added weight, and if necessary get it reinforced. It should be able to support a weight of around 42 kg per square metre. From there, a sedum roof is all pleasure, as it is so low maintenance you will not have to weed it, and it will only require watering in extremely dry conditions.