Product Review

For a Low-Maintenance Green Roof, Give Plants Better Soil

Inventors of the WaterGrip growing medium say it supports near-miraculous growth—but do their claims hold as much water as their soil?

Like any landscape, green roofs need maintenance—but unlike other landscapes, vegetated roofs offer marginal growing conditions and may require extra attention. Green roofs are meant to mimic natural systems, providing rainwater management (see Putting a “Lid” on Harmful Stormwater Runoff), heat-island mitigation, and wildlife habitat, among other benefits—but for those maintaining these roofs, the expense and bother may not seem worth it. A new growing medium, WaterGrip, is designed to help green roofs thrive with minimal maintenance and watering, and it holds promise for low-irrigation landscaping as well.

“I can’t kill a plant using this material,” boasts Allan Huberman, co-inventor of WaterGrip and founder of EZ Care Grow­ing Technolo­gies, which manufactures the engineered soil for use in extensive green roofs, green walls, planting containers, and landscaping. He goes on to claim that plant cuttings root in a matter of days, irrigation can be slashed 50% or more, and plants of all types typically thrive in WaterGrip without the application of added fertilizers or pesticides.

Published September 2, 2014