Terrace Gardening in India is booming, as more and more people are getting aware of the benefits that comes with it.
I want to be straightforward with you:
Starting a terrace garden is easy but maintaining it asks for quite a work – It requires attention, care, patience and a little bit of money.
Because plants are like babies and you have to take care of them differently at different stages.
But should you be spending time in building your own terrace garden in India? Is it worth the effort?
Obviously! There is no doubt in that.
The results are so much more rewarding:
Let’s see some 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.
Here is a photo of our own terrace garden. Doesn’t this look amazing.
Let’s get into the whole process of terrace gardening in India and things you should know:
How to Do Terrace Gardening in India – A Step by Step Guide
Proper Drainage System – Terrace Gardening First Step
See when you are thinking to make a terrace garden on your rooftop.
You need to understand this fact that, there will be a lot of water involved in it.
And 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 might make the structure weak, which you certainly don’t want.
So, even before you start with a garden, check that the water easily flush out of the terrace.
This is the most important step for terrace gardening in India.
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.
As you can always go for good quality tarpaulin sheet, which is easy to install and does the job pretty well.
Does Your Terrace Gets Proper Sunlight or Not?
The second thing is to check:
Whether your terrace garden gets ample sunlight or not?
Because you know sunlight plays an important factor in a plant’s growth.
So, you have to see if any building is blocking the sunlight or 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.
If you live in northern part of India (just exclude the hill stations) then there are high chances that summers are going to be really harsh so you will need a green net to cover your plants.
A 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 or at least imagine.
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
So, the first step in making a terrace garden is to decide what type of things you want to grow in your garden.
Are you planning to start a complete vegetable rooftop garden?
So, you can enjoy your home-grown fresh vegetables that are free of any harmful chemical and pesticides.
Your terrace garden is going to be a peaceful spot for you where you want to grow different varieties of flowers so that while reading newspaper or sipping your tea or doing yoga, you can enjoy the freshness around you?
Or you want the mix of both?
This one is an ideal case where a few portions of your terrace are covered with sweet fragrance of flowers and the rest is filled with healthy vegetables.
Decide what you want from your terrace garden!!!
Start with a few varieties and grow exponentially:
Here most of the people will guide you to design a layout and all these kinds of things but I believe that you should start with a few plants and then grow exponentially.
Because you are obviously new to this so I don’t want you to get started with 10-20 saplings at a time and not being able to take care of them and then just quit.
Instead start with a few:
And once you are aware of the work involved and used to of how to prepare soil, how to water them then you can start getting as much as you want.
But in the beginning, start with a few plants and get used to of the whole process.
Some Easy Plants You Can Start With
Basic Terrace Gardening Tools You Will Need
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.
Other Important Things You Will Need To Start
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.
Potting mix or Potting Soil
Potting mix is actually very essential for container gardening or terrace gardening where you are using confined space (containers) to grow plants.
What do I mean by that is:
For terrace gardening you will most probably be using 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 free space and if you use normal sand it gets very confined and the roots of the plant can’t move freely.
And ultimately the plant is not able to grow.
So, you require potting mix it is a mixture of coco peat, red soil and Vermicompost (or compost) which provides ideal conditions for plants to grow in a container.
Coco peat are very fibrous in nature and gives proper aeration to the roots.
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?
There are a few things that you need to take care of if you are thinking to start your own 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.
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 basics 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.
When you start your own terrace garden, you can choose organic fertilizer for your plants and even make your own with the help of kitchen waste.
Cow dung also works as a great manure for plants.
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.