Best Roof Grass at 10,500 ft

Asked July 2, 2018, 8:11 PM EDT

We are building a house in Alma Colorado at an altitude of 10,500 ft. We will have4 roof sections avgering between 80 to 200 sqft each. These are overhangs at door ways and roof extensions connecting one section of the house to another. We are wondering what options of grasses we can use along with the possible use of natural blooming flowers. Thanks

Park County Colorado

1 Response

I would suggest using the following:
alpine bluegrass (Poa alpina)
fine fescue (hard, Chewings, or sheeps fescues)
blue grama (you can buy this in plugs from Todd Valley Farms in Nebraska)
https://www.toddvalleyfarms.com/store/Scripts/prodView.asp?idproduct=27
You could also plant a more ornamental blue grama called Blonde Ambition
https://www.monrovia.com/plant-catalog/plants/3129/blonde-ambition-blue-grama-grass/

Another option is to seed a native grass mix used in the mountains, like this one:
https://pawneebuttesseed.com/pbsi-mixes/pbsi-dry-native-mountain-mix/
This will look more "natural" and less ornamental - but is likely to survive the shallow soil system used on green roofs.

This is an example of a shorter-growing native mix (the previous grasses will grow taller, depending on rainfall and/or the amount of irrigation provided):
https://pawneebuttesseed.com/pbsi-mixes/pbsi-low-grow-native/

Other options are to use the succulent mixes often used on green roots (consisting mainly of sedums), for example:
https://mountaincrestgardens.com/living-wall-green-roof/

Here is an example of a NATIVE wildflower seed mix:
https://pawneebuttesseed.com/pbsi-mixes/pbsi-native-prairie-wildflower-mix/

Another wildflower seed mix, but not exclusively natives, specifically for high elevations:
https://pawneebuttesseed.com/pbsi-mixes/pbsi-rocky-mountain-wildflower-mix/

As you are likely aware, ANYTHING planted on a green root will require supplemental irrigation - especially to get new plants and/or seed established. Depending on what is planted and rainfall, supplemental irrigation will be required on occasion.

I hope that this has been helpful, and let me know if you have additional questions.
Thanks,
Tony