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Green Roof News & Views

Things have been quiet on the roof

In March, the world was put on hold due to the Covid-19 pandemic

The Carrot Green Roof was built intentionally for community building, knowledge sharing and gathering so we weren’t quite sure what our 2020 season would look like.

Some areas on the roof needed repair, the roof is 10 years old after all. So we took the opportunity to paint, fix, tidy and clean.

We also decided that we didn’t want to neglect the gardens or leave them fallow for the entire season. There are 3 gardens on the roof:

The Sedum Garden

Green roof gardening differs from traditional gardening because of weight restrictions, which can determine the amount of soil that can be used. The exposure to wind, sun and other environmental conditions can make roofs a challenging place for plants to grow. Sedum, a plant with the ability to store water in its leaves, is often used on roofs because of its low maintenance and ability to tolerate drought.

In 2009, Toronto was the first city in North America to adopt a bylaw to require and govern the construction of green roofs. Sedum gardens are commonly used because they are a low option maintenance.

The Meadow

The central extensive garden is a 786 square foot garden designed to include plants that can tolerate the shallow soil conditions of the roof. An alvar is an ecosystem found in Ontario that is known for its rocky limestone base and minimal soil coverage. Despite the demanding nature of these exposed regions, alvar spaces have a significant amount of plant diversity.

The conditions of the rooftop parallel this naturally occurring ecosystem, as it too has shallow soil and is exposed to wind and sun leading to dry soil.

This section of garden includes beehives tended to by Alter Eden Beekeeping. The honeybees contribute to pollination on the green roof and in the surrounding community.

The Herb and Vegetable Garden

This year we planted the western garden on the green roof with a variety of edibles. We were also lucky to have many perennial plants grow back. We are challenged with shallow soil depth due to weight restrictions on the roof. Mounding the soil and using grow boxes are some of the ways we are creating better conditions to grow food.

The best part of this plan is that we partnered with Building Roots – Moss Park Market and we are sharing all our harvests with them. The folks at Building Roots create innovative projects that provide fresh food access, meaningful engagement, and transform communities.

In our edible garden we have:

• Basil

• Oregano

• Parsley

• Mint

• Thyme

• Sage

• Calliloo

• Malabar Spinach

• Kale

• Chard

• Lettuces

• Squash

• Tomatoes

• Potatoes

• Beans

• Peas

• Tomatillos

• Jerusalem artichokes

• Beets

• Carrots

• Collards

• Cabbage

• Eggplant

• Strawberries

• Raspberries

• Cucumbers

• Peppers