Setting up a garden on your terrace is one of the best things you can do in India, when there is rise in chemically treated food and hunt for fresh air.
Your terrace garden is going to help you in both situations.
How to start terrace gardening in India?
To start Terrace Gardening in India, you need to make sure that the terrace has proper drainage system, can handle weight, gets enough sunlight for the plants to grow & prepare a rough sketch, grab all the basic tools and essential items like containers, soil, fertilizers and decide what to grow.
Starting a terrace garden might sound very intimidating at first, but if you follow this guide and take the baby steps, you will have a full fledged rooftop garden in no time.
On top of providing you with organic vegetables & fresh air, it also provides you with a place to relax and get rid of all the stress.
So, lets get into the action:
Table of Content
How to set up Terrace Garden (Step by Step)
Have A Proper Drainage System
When you are going to have a garden on your terrace.
You need to understand this fact that, there will be a lot of water involved in it.
If your terrace doesn’t have a proper drainage system, the water will stay on the rooftop and will start to create problem of seepage and make the structure weak, which you certainly don’t want.
So, while setting up your garden, check that the water easily flush out of the terrace.
This is one of the most important steps for setting up terrace garden.
You can even get your terrace waterproofed by professionals, if you want, but it can get quite expensive.
And in most cases it won’t be necessary and you can do it on your own cheaply.
You must be wondering, so…
How can I make my Terrace Waterproof?
To make your terrace waterproof, get a good quality tarpaulin sheet (like this one), spread it over your terrace properly so that water can be guided to the drainage holes. This tarpaulin sheet won’t allow water to get in contact with terrace.
Does Your Terrace Gets Proper Sunlight or Not?
The second thing you need to check in order to set up a terrace garden is too see:
Whether your terrace gets ample sunlight or not?
Because sunlight will play an important role in your plants growth.
So, you have to analyze, which part of your terrace gets the most sunlight and which doesn’t.
Which one gets more sunlight during Sunrise and which part gets sunlight in the evening or say late afternoon.
Major part of India (exclude the hill stations) has to face harsh summer seasons this intense sunlight can burn your plants so investing in a good quality green net will ensure that the light piercing through it is not that harsh and keep the environment cool.
It will also save your plants from getting overwatered during rainy season.
Once you have decided the spot now is the time to move to the third step.
Preparing A Rough Sketch
Once you have seen the sunlight pattern on your rooftop, and understood which part of your terrace gets sunlight at what time and which one gets the most amount of sunlight.
You can then prepare a rough sketch of how you want your terrace garden to look like.
On what places are you going to place your plants containers?
Creating a rough sketch will save you from a lot of headache once your start to bring in plants.
Deciding What To Grow In Your Terrace Garden
Now we have come to the interesting part of deciding what you want to grow on your terrace garden.
Surprisingly enough you can grow almost all types of plants these days on your rooftop garden.
But in the beginning, start with a few plants and get used to of the whole process.
Tools required for Terrace Gardening in India
In order to build a terrace garden successfully, you will surely need help of some gardening tools.
Although there are many tools but you certainly don’t need all of them.
So, I am only going to tell you the one that are really necessary for your terrace gardening journey.
This is a very handy tool when it comes to gardening, as you are regularly required to dig the soil for applying fertilizer, making room for air and removing weeds.
Trowel helps you in digging the soil and apply useful things.
Pruning is a very healthy practice in gardening. It keeps your plants healthy and bushy.
Pruning is basically, cutting of dead branches or unnecessary branches that are taking up nutrition from the main branch.
This is where a Pruner comes into play. It is a sharp device that is used to cut twigs, small branches.
When you are involved in gardening, your hands come in direct contact with lots of different things like Potting soil, fertilizer, insectide and pesticides.
And many of them can cause trouble if ingested.
So wearing good quality gloves is very necessary when you are gardening.
Never, I repeat never water your plants with a normal pipe.
It will either uproot the plants or overwater them and both are fatal for your plants.
For this you should always invest in a good watering can.
Essential items for Terrace Gardening in India
Now you are done with the planning your terrace garden now comes the part where things get interesting.
What are the things you will require to make your terrace garden a reality?
Seeds of the vegetable/flowers you want to grow in your terrace garden.
This one obviously depends on you what you want to grow and the season you are starting in.
Because every plant has different season for growing it.
Most of the time the seeds will be available in your Kitchen only.
So, let’s say you want to grow tomato then you can slice one tomato from your kitchen and get seeds from it.
There will be time when the seeds won’t be available in house then you can buy it from any nursery or online.
Right Type Of Container For Terrace Gardening
Choosing the right type of container for terrace gardening in India is very crucial.
You should keep these things in Mind while deciding containers:
Should be light in weight
As they are going to put a lot of weight on your terrace and you certainly need to change the location of your plants.
So either choose plastic grow bags that are UV stabilized, or go for plastic pots.
As both of these are lighter in weight. Do not start terrace gardening with cement pots.
Make Drainage Holes
Whenever you use a container, make a few holes in the bottom of the container.
This will help in flushing out excess water out of the container as well as allow proper circulation of air.
Check this – Grow Bag Size Chart For Vegetables
Potting mix or Potting Soil
Getting the right type of potting soil is very essential for terrace gardening, as the plants are grown in confined spaces where they get limited amount of space to grow and breathe.
What do I mean by this is:
For terrace gardening in India you will most probably be using either a pot, grow bags or buckets to grow your plants.
These things don’t provide ideal condition for a plant to grow because it doesn’t have the same amount of space as they get in nature and if you use normal soil it gets very tough for roots to grow freely.
And ultimately the plant is not able to grow.
So, you require a potting soil which allows the roots to breathe and grow freely.
The major ingredients in terrace gardening soil is coco peat, which is very fluffy in nature.
Potting Mix are available in local nurseries and online as well.
Some of the best quality potting soil available online are:
How To Maintain a Terrace Garden?
Taking Care of the Pest
When you grow plants then you are inviting little insects that munch on fresh leaves because they also know the benefits of it.
But in order for you to enjoy those healthy leaves you need to care of these little insects called pests.
Majority of people start thinking so much about how are we going to take care of our terrace garden from pests and all so much that they never get started.
But the fun part is you won’t get them until you start.
If you have decided firmly to grow your own foods then there are many ways you to get rid of the pests.
You can make your own pest control solution at home or just get one online.
And this is where a neem oil comes into play.
If you encounter any pest attack, spray this neem oil.
But make sure to never spray any type of pesticide in afternoon or morning as the sunlight will burn the leaves.
Always apply it late in the evening.
Watering plays one of the major roles in terrace gardening and this is where most of the beginners make the mistake.
They get too attached with their plant and start watering each plant the same way.
This is where the trouble starts but I am here to save you from it.
You need to understand that every plant has a different water requirement.
Some requires a lot of water and other will flourish with very little.
But the basic idea is to keep the surface moist most of the time.
Only water when the top few inches of the soil feels dry this allows the plant to breathe in between which is very essential.
Checkout these amazing terrace gardening tips.
Sunlight also plays major role in the growth of plants.
Different plants have different sunlight intake. So just make sure your terrace gets at least 4-6 hours of sunlight in a day and it will cover most of the plants intake.
You will also have to check that your plants are not getting exposed to harsh sunlight for a long period of time because that can burn your plant as well, if this happens move them under a shade.
Feeding with Fertilizer
Water and Sunlight are plants basic necessity without it, plants won’t grow.
But for proper and healthy growth they also require nutrition just like human.
This is where Fertilizer comes into play.
You can either buy organic fertilizer for your plants or even make your own compost from kitchen waste.
Cow dung also works as a great manure for plants.
Benefits of Terrace Gardening
Chemical Free Healthy Food
You are getting home grown food at your table and I am telling you there is no match to the taste that these home-grown foods have.
The one we get from the markets are mass produced and are generally treated with chemicals and pesticides and are not taken care the way you would want them to be.
you know it…right?
So, growing your own food on your terrace garden is certainly a great deal.
Keep Your House Cooler
When you have created a green environment on your terrace, it certainly keeps your house cooler than what it normally is.
It is one of the best way to keep your house cooler in summer naturally. As the plants absorb most of the sunlight and don’t let the sunlight to fall directly on the surface thus keeping it cool.
Oxygen Rich Environment
The carbon level in our environment is reaching new heights with passing days, and the hunt for cleaner air is getting harder day by day.
By making a garden on terrace, you are getting closer to oxygen rich air.
Spending even half an hour in this rich air will have a positive impact on your health.
There is no denying to it, when you have a garden on your rooftop. It certainly makes it 10 times beautiful.
What was once lifeless is now converted into a place full of life.
This was the complete guide on terrace gardening in India.
In case, I missed any point, do let me know in the comment section.
Or if you are facing any other issue with your rooftop garden, share that as well.