How To Grow Real Grass On A Roof Terrace

How to Grow Real Grass on a Roof Terrace

Generally, grass can be grown on terraces, just like on the ground. The concept of growing real grass on terraces has been greatly embraced in recent days as it has many benefits.

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Apart from the aesthetic values it offers, real grass helps in the insulation of the building, and reduces stormwater run-off. A real grass rooftop garden makes your home look unique. It also increases the value of your home, especially if you wish to sell it at a future date.

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How To Plant Grass On Your Rooftop

1. Pick the type of grass that is suitable for your climate

Different varieties thrive well in different climatic conditions. It is, therefore, necessary to research the type of grass most suitable for your area. Mostly, native grass will do well compared to exotic ones. Only pick approved grass seeds, as they tend to mature faster and resist pests and diseases.

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2. Planting material

Get a suitable planting medium. Add the necessary fertilizers on the planting medium. If you are using soil, make sure it is fertile, well-drained and well aerated.  Plus, make sure it has the capacity for retaining moisture, for maximum production of yields.

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3. Spread the seeds

If the grass is to be grown from seeds, spread them according to the recommended amount. Then, top dress the soil. You can apply mulch to improve water retention capacity, especially during drought periods. The soil should be leveled to prevent irrigation water from collecting at a particular point.

4. Watering the grass

The grass needs to be watered frequently. The frequency of watering depends on the variety of grass.  After the sprouting of the seeds, always make sure that the soil does not dry out completely. Set sprinklers at convenient places, so that every part of the terrace gets access to some water. The best time to water your terrace is early in the morning, as the rate of evaporation is still low. Still, select a suitable sprinkler as a very strong one will wash the seeds away.

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Advantages of Rooftop Grass Terrace

Growing real grass on your terraces has many advantages which include:

1. The grass reduces the amount and rate of stormwater runoff on your terrace.

 This reduces the probability of leakage in the building. The grass retains a significant amount of moisture and releases it back to the atmosphere through evaporation.

2. Conservation of energy

The terrace will reduce heat loss in winter. Many rooftop gardens also reduce the average temperature of a city during summer, by reflecting and absorbing heat. This reduces the energy costs for air conditioning. 

3. A terrace covered with grass increases the lifespan of a roof

It covers the waterproof membrane, protecting it from physical damage and ultraviolet rays from the sun.

4. It increases the value of the building

 Buildings with beautiful, well-maintained grasses will demand higher values than the ones without

5. It reduces pollution

 In urban areas, the air is highly polluted. Grass takes in carbon dioxide and gives out oxygen. It traps dust and dirt from the atmosphere, increasing the quality of the air we breathe.

Factors to Consider When Selecting The Type of Grass to Grow

1. Nature of your Terrace

Some types of grass do well in partial shades, while others require full exposure to the sun. It is vital to consult your gardener on the best varieties of grass that will do well on your terrace.

2. Traffic in your Terrace

 Is your terrace accessible to a large number of people? Do not choose a species that is likely to wear out due to consistent stepping. Families with smaller kids may want to play on the terrace. In such a situation, plant a type of grass that is hardy enough to withstand the pressure.

3. Levels of Maintenance

Generally, some varieties of grasses require high levels of maintenance than others. Some of the maintenance practices include watering, application of fertilizers and pesticides, aeration, and mowing. If you want low-maintenance grasses, go for drought and disease-tolerant ones.

4. Climatic Conditions

Some types of grass will do well in warm climates, while others are suitable for cool climates. It’s necessary to plant the right choice that suits the climatic condition of your area.

Examples of Grass That Do Well on Terraces

1. Bermuda

Bermuda grass does well in warm seasons. The grass is highly tolerant and turns brown during winter. In spring, it regains its beautiful green color. Bermuda grass does well in heavy, well-drained soils. Its deep-rooted system enables it to tolerate drought conditions. Bermuda establishes at a faster rate, therefore, it requires frequent mowing.

2. Fescue

Fescue germinates at a fast rate and is drought tolerant due to its deep rooting system. It also withstands very high temperatures. Although fescue establishes itself slowly, its germination rate is high. It also thrives in low nutrient soils. During drought, fescue will go dormant and recover with the onset of rain.

3. Bahia

Bahia does well in warm seasons. It requires full exposure to the sun, although it can survive on partial shade. The grass is ideal for areas with high traffic. It requires low maintenance since it is highly resistant to diseases and pests. Its water and nutrients requirements are low. It does well in sandy soils. Overwatering the grass make it prone to various diseases.

4. Creeping bent grass

Creeping bent grass requires frequent watering. It is suitable for terraces with high traffic as it resists wear and tear. The grass requires high maintenance practices like frequent watering, dethatching, mowing and aerating.

5. Centipede grass

Centipede grass requires moderate watering. It cannot withstand wear and tear; hence it is suitable for an area with low traffic. The low lying grass is not susceptible to pests. The grass tolerates soil that does not have a lot of nutrients and grows is dense. Therefore, it is ideal for areas with high traffic. Its slow growth enables it to stay green all year round, except when temperatures are extremely cold.

6. Perennial Ryegrass

The Perennial Ryegrass type of grass is ideal for cool seasons. It needs frequent watering as it is not drought tolerant. It germinates at a faster rate but establishes very slowly. The grass is self-mending; hence, it can withstand high terrace traffic.

7. St. Augustine grass

The St. Augustine grass can tolerate excessive heat in summer. It grows densely; therefore, it is ideal for terraces with high traffic. This characteristic also gives it a competitive advantage to weeds. The grass requires exposure to the sun, although it can grow in partial shade. St Augustine requires frequent watering as it is not tolerant to drought

8. Kentucky bluegrass

The Kentucky bluegrass is ideal for terraces as it requires full exposure to the sun. It is disease and drought-resistant. The grass is ideal for high-traffic terraces as it is self-mending. Kentucky bluegrass does well in areas with cool temperatures, spreads at a high rate, and has a shallow root system.


The climatic conditions of your area will dictate the type of grass that will do well on your terrace. Key maintenance practices for your terrace grass are also important considerations when selecting the type of grass to plant. Proper aeration, appropriate watering, and application of suitable fertilizers are some of the practices that will ensure your terrace is covered with well-manicured grass.

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