It’s understandable at first glance, why Meadowmat might appear to be good green roofing material, especially for anyone who is aiming for biodiversity, such as Wildflowers on the roof. At Turf Online, we grow Enviromat sedum matting on our farm and have a green roof maintenance service so we’ve got some useful experience with living roofs. However, even though Meadowmat has some excellent uses, in all honesty, it isn’t ideal for roofing for several reasons:
The Have Vigorous Root Systems
Did you know that Meadowmat contains up to 38 species of native grasses and wildflowers? All of which are found naturally in meadows, pastures etc. However, some of these plants are adapted to living in really poor soils so they’ve evolved vigorous root systems that can spread a long way to find the nutrients the plants need. Vigorous root systems and green roofs could cause difficulties.
It Has a Minimum Growing Depth
The minimum depth of growing medium to establish Meadowmat into is 150mm. That will weigh around 250Kg per square metre, an awfully heavy load to put on a roof! (unless the building has been designed and built especially to carry that weight.)
Too Much Grass On a Roof Is a Nuisance
50% of the weight of the Meadowmat seed mix is grass and a certain amount of native grasses are needed to supply food for insect larvae and shelter for amphibians and small furry creatures that will be visiting your meadow. However, on a roof, too much grass is too much of a nuisance! Meadows need careful maintenance to ensure that the grasses don’t predominate and crowd out less competitive flowering species, such as wildflowers. The only way around this is by taking a cut of hay in the summer, all of which needs to be brought down from the roof, and then mowed a couple of times throughout the Autumn and Winter. It wouldn’t just stop there, you would then have to remove all of the cuttings again! This is not recommended so unless you have really good access to the roof, the maintenance regime for Meadowmat is probably not best for you.
It Can Grow Tall
Some of the plant species in Meadowmat can grow quite tall. (I have Meadowmat in my garden which is currently at hip height, so believe me, I know!) In windy, blustery conditions, they blow over and all lay on the ground in a heap with the wildflowers and other various plants on the bottom of the heap being smothered out and killed.
Weather conditions on roofs tend to be more extreme than at ground level, such as hotter and drier conditions in Summer, colder in Winter and windier all year round. We all know that living in Britain’s unpredictable weather, you can never be prepared for what’s going to come next, so It’s best to stick to low growing plants that can cope better with the conditions.
Is Enviromat Good For My Roof?
The answer for this one is yes, Enviromat is a low maintenance, soft landscaping material consisting of hundreds of sedums growing on a mat which is designed to allow you to create beautiful living roofs.
Enviromat is the ideal vegetation blanket for creating a green roof due to its relatively lightweight build-up and when the wildflowers and other plants are in the wild, they tend to be found on mountain tops, moors and heaths where they are adapted to living in exposed conditions.
It’s a Great Roof Insulator
Enviromat isn’t just an environmentally-friendly solution for your home roof, but you will also find that your Enviromat roof will actually help insulate your house in the winter and keep your home cooler in the summer!
Advice On Wildflowers On Your Roof
If you are dead-set on growing wildflowers on your roof, be careful to select ones that:
- Are not too tall
- Can survive in exposed conditions
- Won’t need a huge amount of maintenance
- Give a nice long flowering period to provide nectar for butterflies and bees
- Another tip is to try and avoid grass in the seed mix! You’ll find that by sowing wildflower seed or planting wildflower plugs, grass will naturally establish itself in the spaces between flowering plants.
Where Do I Find More Information?
If you like the sound of Enviromat and would like to find out more, or would like to get more advice on whether Meadowmat is for you, you can find more information on our website, or call us today on 03334 564516.