In case you are a first timer and do not know how to grow your own veggies, here is your guide to set up healthy organic terrace gardens.
1. Getting started – Get the right space
If a house is built as per the books and in the right way, anything can be grown on the terrace and it can take the weight of even bigger trees. You can also cover the entire surface with soil to make a lawn and experiment with it. In case you are covering the surface of the terrace with soil, make sure you waterproof the surface to avoid any leakage into the home. If you are going for a regular terrace garden with pots, there are no extra efforts required.
2. How to get the right soil which is rich in nutrients
The right type of soil is very important as the nutrients decide the growth of the plant. The right mix of soil requires regular soil, compost coir peat (or sand) and vermicompost in equal quantities. After the heavy rains make sure you add essential nutrients back to the soil as water tends to wash them away. You can add compost every week or so to make sure the soil has enough nutrition.
3. First-time gardener? This should be your first step
If it is your first take at gardening, you can start with a small pot and single vegetable and then gradually expand to other veggies. Plants like tomatoes and chillies are easier to grow and do not require much care, so you can start with those. You have to be very patient. It will take a couple of months to start giving results so you should not give up and keep taking care of the plant.
4. What all can you grow on a terrace garden?
“Everything!”. French beans, chillies, tomatoes, brinjal, okra and lime are easier to grow. You can also try cucumber, ridge gourd and bottle gourd. Root vegetables like potatoes, onion, radish, carrots, groundnuts can also be grown but they require a larger area.
Apart from these veggies you can also grow fruit bearing trees like guava, banana, etc. I had seen a coconut tree on a terrace garden. If one can grow that, one can grow anything. Though mango can be grown, but it requires immense care and effort, which might be a bit difficult for urban gardeners.
5. Other important things to keep in mindWatering regularly is a must. In summers, your garden requires watering twice a day. In winters you can just press the soil with the back of your hand to check the moisture and water accordingly. I would advise not to water the garden in rains and even one day after the rain as excess water drains all the nutrition away from the soil.
Another important thing is enough sunlight. The terrace garden should receive at least four to six hours of direct sunlight, and in areas where the sun is too harsh, people can use a shade to prevent the plants from getting scorched.
I am sure you would give gardening a try if you haven't done it yet. For further info on urban gardening or should you need any help, get in touch with Vandana at 9535025938 or shoot her a mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.