Terrace gardening gives the opportunity to get closer to nature. It is a type of gardening where you take care of your indoor plants as well as rejuvenate your inner self. After an exhausted day, slogging hard for almost 8 to 10 hours, coping with professional and personal affairs, there is little or no energy left for anyone. During this tiring phase of the day, the only solace one can get is from nature. Even if you are not able to take a walk at the park, you can take a stroll on your terrace. The small but soothing ambiance of the terrace with greenery will relax you.
A silent revolution is taking place on terraces and rooftops across India. Families are converting terraced roofs of their houses into micro farms, where they grow organic vegetables, free from harmful chemical fertilisers and pesticides. BE visits Dr. H. P. Kanoria‘s terrace garden.
Five tips for terrace gardening:
1) It is vital to till, weed and eliminate all sorts of pests before starting. Make sure your roof is strong enough to handle the weight of the garden. Check whether there is an efficient drainage system and that there are no water leakages.
2) You need to select the right kind of plants. Fibre rooted plants should be preferred over tap rooted plants as tap rooted plants may grow into the structure and harm the building.
3) You need to select the right soil type for the foundation of your garden. Select a type which does not exert too much pressure on the building. Soilrite and peat moss are the ideal options. Since these are little expensive, you can mix them with garden earth and manure.
4) The drainage system needs to be arranged efficiently. Waterproof your terrace by laying down burnt bricks and not just brown bricks because the latter would gradually turn into mud and collapse the drainage system. Alternatively, you could also place corrugated sheets that need to be placed at a distance of three inches so that the water flows smoothly into the drain. On the top of the bricks lay a net lawn in order to prevent the soil from getting inside the bricks.
5) Once the setting is ready, you can plant trees and flowers in your terrace garden. You may choose flowering or non-flowering plants. If there is limited sunlight then non-flowering plants such as croton, cane bamboo, drycena, defenbacia, chlorophytum, phycus, money plant, and other varieties of cactus would be the ideal selection. You can also go for bonsai plants as they look good and occupy less space.
FLOWERS – Hibiscus, Rose, Sunflower, Nayantara, Dahlia, Inca, Hollyhocks
VEGETABLES - Bhindi (okra), Brinjal, Beans, Pumpkin, Gourd
FRUITS - Pomegranate, Guava, Gandharajlebu (Citrus hystrix), Sabeda, Mango, Watermelon
MEDICINAL PLANTS - Neem (Azadirachtaindica), Arjun (Terminaliaarjuna), Azwain, Lemon grass
Amla, Sorpogandha, Alo vera