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The drive to make our urban spaces greener has led to planting schemes in more unusual locations, such as vertical walls and green screening. With large foliage areas and small root systems, effective green wall irrigation and the addition of nutrients is essential for establishment and growth.
Vertical green walls have many of the benefits of green roof structures, but with the advantage that there are many more vertical spaces that can be covered. They are also generally more visible, enhancing the environment for more people.
Green walls can be divided into two broad categories: ‘natural’ and ‘artificial’. Natural green wallsuse plants that would naturally climb, such as Virginia creeper or climbers. Trellis or wires can be used to assist the plants in covering the walls. Irrigation is desirable but not essential. Generally a drip irrigation system at the root zone will speed up coverage of the wall and reduce growth problems during drought.
For artificial green walls, irrigation is essential, as is a method of supplying nutrients. It is vitally important that the wall irrigation system is an integral part of the design, not an afterthought. Artificial systems generally have their root zones packed into frameworks hung onto the wall, with little chance of the plants obtaining a natural source of water. For these systems, such as the G-Sky green wall pictured above, irrigation and nutrients must be supplied using drip pipes built into the structure.
Irrigation control systems need to take account of the changing weather conditions, as water requirements for green walls will vary enormously depending on aspect and weather.
Steeply sloping surfaces, however, create difficulties as moisture will very quickly drain down to the base of the slope. This makes integrated irrigation a sensible option.
For green wall irrigation systems, Access generally use drip line laid on or just below the surface. Spacing will depend on the planting type and how steep the slope is. We may also include check valves to ensure that the water does not drain down to the lowest point.
Planters with trailing foliage are often used to soften hard landscape areas such as car parks or ugly post war buildings. Large planter boxes will support extensive trailing plants, sometimes with additional support wires. The foliage volume is very large compared to the root area, so regular irrigation and the supply of nutrients is vital.
Why not get in touch to discuss your green wall irrigation requirements?