As society has moved towards urbanization and development, lives have become comfortable for the most part. We have easier access to a better standard of living, transportation and working opportunities however, it comes with its own cons. There is less greenery and more toxins in our environment. This, coupled with crammed spaces in the cities, has led to lesser space for relaxation and recreation activities.
A great way of being with nature and relieving yourself of any stress and anxiety is by setting up your own home terrace garden. Whether it is setting up your own vegetable or fruit garden or simply aromatic flowers, it can be a therapeutic experience to grow plants in your own home. In addition to this, there is a broader opportunity to recycle organic waste and move towards a self-sustained future. We shall provide you a guide for starting your own terrace garden right from the scratch.
Configuration or layout of the garden
You can choose the type of garden you want to create on your terrace subject to different layouts, styles and plant requirements.
- The easiest way to start a terrace garden is in containers. You should ideally use large containers which allow room for the plants to grow. Ensure that they have a proper drainage mechanism through holes at the bottom so that the soil does not drain away.
- In order to have a wider area for your plants, especially vegetables, you can create raised beds on your terrace. The plants in beds typically require lower maintenance.
- If you have limited space on your terrace, a smart way of making efficient use of the area is to grow vines and shrubs near the walls or from hanging pots, which grow vertically and can save you space.
- For a larger rooftop, there is also an opportunity to integrate a vegetable patch which is akin to a garden bed.
A healthy soil is key to a healthy growth of a plant. You should use a potting mix designed to cater to the type of plants you intend to grow. It should have a balanced texture and should not be either too light or too compact. Addition of compost from your kitchen waste consisting of vegetable peels, leaves, etc. Is a great way to provide crucial nutrients to your garden.
Waterproofing the roof
It is essential to waterproof your roof to avoid any damage to the building in case of any leakage. It is important to ensure that the foundation is strong to hold the weight of the containers. It is most done using polymer coating on the slab; however, you should check with professionals before proceeding ahead to set up your garden.
Maintenance and care
- Just like regular plants, make sure not to overwater your plants to avoid excess drainage and essential nutrients. You can make use of a watering can which sprinkles water to the roots of the plant.
- Ensure you use the right pesticides to keep away any pests like ants, bugs, etc. from attacking your plants. You can use a simple mixture prepared at home using soap, oil and baking soda or purchase one suited to the requirements of your plants.
- Prune your plants on a regular basis to make sure they are in good shape. Use pruning shears to clip off any dying stems or leaves. The best time to prune your houseplants is during the end of winters or beginning of spring
If your rooftop receives a lot of direct sunlight which does not suit your plant needs, it is a good idea to cover the roof with a garden shade. You should choose plants as per the hours of sunlight that your terrace receives and place them in the right spot to protect them from any sun damage.
Finally, do not forget to enjoy the aroma flowers and the wholesome, tasty food you have homegrown in your terrace garden.