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Shallow Rooted Vegetables - Soil Depth 2.5"

Discussion in 'Fruits & Vegetables' started by Inez, Apr 22, 2011.

  1. Apr 22, 2011
    Inez

    Inez Sprout

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    Hi!

    I am planning to grow vegetables on an extensive green roof, but can't find any summer season vegetables that are suitable..

    The soil depth is about 2.5 inches, or 6 cm. I am growing them during the summer, so they have to be:

    - shallow rooted vegetables
    - heat tolerant
    - full exposure to sunlight
    - not too tall (due to wind at rooftop levels)
    - grow within 4-6 weeks

    Any ideas?

    Thanks! :)
  2. Apr 22, 2011
    thistlebloom

    thistlebloom Garden Addicted

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    Welcome Inez :frow

    2.5 inches isn't going to be enough depth to support any vegetable I know of. Maybe a crop of moss or sedums.
  3. Apr 22, 2011
    Rozzie

    Rozzie Chillin' with the herd

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    If it would work for anything at all, it would be some of the smallest early spring crops, like cress and some of the small leaf lettuce plants like the Deer Tongue variety. Even then, I don't know if that will be enough soil depth.

    However, none of these meet your requirement of heat resistant.

    Also, remember that shallow rooted plants usually need EXTRA water. They are not typically drought resistant.

    Shallow rooted plants are also not going to be wind resistant.
  4. Apr 22, 2011
    AmyRey

    AmyRey Garden Ornament

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    Greetings!

    I'm with everyone else. Even my bermuda grass won't grow in only 2.5" of soil.
  5. Apr 22, 2011
    digitS'

    digitS' Garden Master

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    I wonder if this would work for salad crops, hydroponically.

    Shade cloth would be required.

    28 to 42 days-to-maturity would preclude many, many choices. Lettuce, spinach, bok choy, radish . . . .

    Steve
    edited: I mean to say that "lettuce, spinach, bok choy, radish" should mature in 28 to 42 days. But, there wouldn't be much else that would be useful, in that short a time.
  6. Apr 22, 2011
    silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Deeply Rooted Moderator

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    I couldn't even get grass to grow for a pet rabbit with 2.5 inches of soil in a tray... best of luck and do post pics if you can make it work!

    But... if you go a semi hydroponic route, that just may work for leafy greens. I have a few lettuice growing semi raft style (was ebb flow till the great spill of 2011) in a water depth of about 3 inches.
  7. Apr 23, 2011
    Rozzie

    Rozzie Chillin' with the herd

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    Most lettuce wouldn't qualify as heat tolerant. Most types are a spring / fall crop...
  8. Apr 23, 2011
    patandchickens

    patandchickens Deeply Rooted

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    Put containers on the green roof, water the bejeebers out of them b/c of the heat and the fact that they're containers, grow something heat-tolerant, and hope the roof holds the extra weight?

    Some herbs are pretty tolerant of heat and shallow soil, you might possibly get thyme established if you coddle it enough, or pigweed (purslane)? With sufficient irrigation.

    It's really not a situation you can grow useful plants in, even with lots of watering. It'd be real hard to find many NON-useful plants to grow there, in fact -- hen and chicks or other very very drought-tolerant succulents. That is all that type of roof is really meant for. If you want to grow more, it needs to be a greater depth of soil (and a whole lot of daily watering)

    Sorry, good luck, have fun,

    Pat
  9. Apr 23, 2011
    Inez

    Inez Sprout

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    Thanks for the advice!

    I think I'll be adding more soil, to get the depth to about 3-3.5".

    I understand most veggies probably won't be able to survive very well or will be stunted...but this is just a project to see if it's even possible to grow any vegetables in the first place!

    Do you think kale, parsley, and mustard greens would work? And is it possible to grow Pink Beauty Radishes as well? (a bit of a stretch as it is a root veggie, but it has a shallow root system)

    Inez
  10. Apr 23, 2011
    Collector

    Collector Deeply Rooted

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    Inez, Maybe you could mix your own soil with pearlite and other light materials to cut down on the weight. Do you have a flat roof or just a low pitched roof. I would not work for me cause our roof has a 12/12 pitch. good luck with your project!

    ETA welcome to TEG glad you joined!

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