In our concrete jungles, we’re always looking for a spot of green. It’s no wonder that in the past decade or so, there has been a dramatic rise, both amongst the elderly and the young, to grow their very own terrace gardens. While, for most, it would be a way to kill time and beautify their home but for some – the green conscious – it would be about going organic and ensuring they consume only safe and healthy fruit and vegetables.
You can grow a terrace garden filled with dainty flowers, plump vegetables, juicy fruits, green herbs or a mix of all three. They not only freshen up your home but also sometimes help you save a trip to the grocer’s, thus, reducing your carbon footprint. It may be, a negligible amount, but hey, baby steps!
If you are an enthusiast who is looking to get your hands dirty with growing your very own terrace garden, then follow our basic tips to get started.
Gardening 101: The Basics
Since a terrace garden requires a lot of water, it’s a good idea to waterproof the floor, which in effect could be your rooftop or the guy living below, so that there aren’t any leaky roofs. If you are planning to start small -from your balcony – make sure your drain outlet is in order.
To boost your ego (and not kill your saplings) if you are a novice it’s best to buy a good potting mix. A combination of compost coir peat, vermicompost and regular soil should work. Terrace garden aficionados often make their own manure but wait a while before you dig this deep into terrace gardening lessons.
Regardless of whether it’s a couple of potted plants in the balcony or a huge rooftop garden, purchase the right gardening equipment. Gloves, watering cans, a hose, rakes, spades, trowels and other such tools are a must. And oh wait, the pots themselves. But we’ll get to that a little later.
While you can grow most basic vegetables in your terrace garden, it does become a little complicated with India’s varied climate. In tropical or high humidity areas, plants need to be taken care of differently as opposed to in colder climates. If you didn’t already know, temperature is everything.
Not all plants require direct sunlight. Educate yourself with how much sunlight your baby saplings require; the ones that wither in overhead sunlight are often kept under a net or in the shade.
Similarly, water isn’t always necessarily good for our green buddies. Overwatering or underwatering can be fatal. Cacti, for instance, need watering only once a week.
Pretty them up
Plastics troughs and pots are cheaper, however, they are often poor in quality and not very conducive for healthy growth. Terracotta pots or clay pots make better containers, and look visually pleasing.
If you’re bored of pots, raised beds offer a cleaner and more aesthetic look. Go nuts by painting them and adding a dash of extra color!
If you have ample space, create a vegetable patch in your terrace garden.
Use as much space as possible. Hang pots and troughs on the walls and railings. Don’t think of garden real estate only on the floor, the walls are great too. And the best part? They look elegant and artsy!
Before crusting your nails with soil, keep these basic tips in mind, and, in time, you will have a beautiful terrace garden that would be Pinterest worthy!