“What Will Grow Here?” Planting Bed Drainage Systems


[The black plastic drainage panel, installed below the tracks. Click to enlarge.]

Soil for the planting beds is set to be delivered this month on Section One. In anticipation of soil, the beds are now being lined with layers of the “Living Roof” system. 

The first layer to be installed: The drainage panel, a black plastic cell system, provides a critical component for water retention, drainage, and aeration.  The panel looks and feels like an expansive plastic egg carton, with small cups that catch and store water as it exits the soil profile.  The spaces between these cups help channel excess water toward planting bed drains, while tiny perforations in the cups allow for aeration to the soil from below. 

 More on the Living Roof Layer after the jump…

[Living Roof Layer diagram, by Field Operations]

Once in place, the drainage panel is topped with a layer of crushed gravel.  The gravel is a buffer, regulating the speed at which water drains.  Woven filter fabric goes over the gravel, and the fabric keeps soil particles from clogging the drains.  The Living Roof System is especially important in the High Line’s above-ground setting, where proper drainage throughout the planting beds is essential to establishing and maintaining healthy root systems.


 [Gravel covers the drainage panel]

Previously: Introducing Weekly High Line Horticulture


2 Responses

  1. […] Then and now! We’re finally witnessing the fruits (flowers) of our labor. These beautiful pictures of an early Spring blooming shrub with fragrant flowers taken by Sierra Bainbridge at Field Operations are just the beginning of what promises to be an exciting Spring on the High Line. More images after the break. […]

  2. nice work. The drainage mat have no filter fabric (nonwoven geotextile) on it. Isn’t it better to use drainage mats with a factory joinned drainage mat on it.

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