For a great summer display, feed your green roof in spring

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Spring has sprung and believe it or not, the weather is warm enough for plants to start growing.

On green roofs all over the UK, plants are preparing for a massive growth spurt. They're also starting to grow the cells that will eventually become flowers.

living green roof with lots of flowers

A floral display like this comes from the healthy, well fed green roof plants

It's vitally important that green roof plants recieve the right nutrients at the beginning of the season. Without the right food, they just won't perform as well as they ought to.....just like people and racehorses.

How do I know if my green roof needs feeding?

After the winter we've just had, it's fair to assume that all green roofs will be short of nutrients right now. However, there are some signs to look out for.

  • Foliage colour: On wildflower roofs, leaves should be a vibrant, healthy shade of green. Anything that looks yellow, pale or floppy is in need of nutrients. On sedum roofs, the foliage should have turned from red to green by about the end of March
  • Plant coverage: Expect to see a few gaps between plants, but you should have at least 75% plant coverage in early spring. Big gaps indicate plants may have died of starvation.
  • Active growth: You should be able to see a difference in the plants' height and coverage from week to week at this time of year. Take a photograph now and in a week's time, compare the photo with the actual roof. If there's been no growth it could be because the plants are hungry.
green roof
This picture was taken last June.  The sedum roof should be a riot of colour at this time of year, but because the plants are short of nutrients, we can see bare patches and a lack of flowers.

When should I feed my green roof?

It's OK to feed your roof any time between the end of february and the end of august. However the BEST time to feed a green roof is in March or April when the temperature is starting to rise and the plants are in most need of supplementary feeding.

How often should a green roof be fed?

A well maintained sedum or wildflower roof should only be fed once a year. Preferably in spring. If your roof is in poor condition, or has a steep pitch, it's a good idea to apply 2 or 3 feeds spaced 6 weeks apart.

What fertiliser should I use?

There's a wide array of fertilisers and plant foods in the garden centre. They're formulated for garden plants, vegetables or lawns - but not green roofs.

A green roof needs only small amounts of nitrogen but benefits from the phosphorus and minerals that make plants hardier and more drought tolerant.

Enviromat's Natural Green Roof Feed is ideal. It's a special blend of naturally occuring plant nutrients that won't harm the environment. It also supplies the perfect balance diet for plants growing in the difficult conditions up on the roof.

Where to buy green roof feed

You can buy green roof feed online from www.enviromat.co.uk. Shopping is secure and delivery will be within 5 working days.

Buy online now


Further Reading

Green roof maintenance tips


Controlling weeds on a green roof


Designing a low maintenance green roof