For the past five years, awareness of growing their own food has created a revolution and many are doing it. For those who have not started yet, this is the right time. And the one thing that you need is a little time, a terrace, some money, and, above all, to have passion of growing your own terrace garden.
We all know that farming is commercial, but when it comes to terrace garden, it’s only passion that’s needed. For a few, the reason might be different; like Nagamani, for instance, has her own experience to share. “When I used to go to the vegetable market, to buy leafy vegetables, the seller told me a high price, and I did not buy from him. I went a little further, and when I enquired the same leafy vegetable with another seller, he told me a lesser price and I took the vegetables from him, and on my way back, saw the first guy still selling his vegetables. So, I told him ‘look, for the price that you said I got double the leaves’. And he said they are grown in polluted water, that’s the reason he gave those veggies cheap,” says Nagamani who was shocked and spent the whole night in utter disappointment.
“Many questions arose in my mind, like ‘what to buy’, ‘are there too many chemicals’, ‘how to know the quality’, etc. The only option that I found was to try out terrace gardening myself, which I came across in TV channels and books,” says Nagamani, a homemaker who has a 500 sft terrace garden at her home, which exclusively deals with roof-top gardening.
No one can buy the satisfaction of growing the food at their home and eating the healthy food. That can’t be bought with money. We know that most people are busy with their own work; but still, you can plan your day in such a way where two things are done at a time. For example, as most people want health, they might go for early morning walks, and they can plan a pollution-free zone on their terrace. If you are planning to set up a terrace garden, then, initially, you have to take certain measures. “A few important steps should be taken to avoid water seepage; we have to go for water proofing of the terrace, like using Dr. Fixit, Asian paints, etc. Excess water can be collected and given to another plant. We have many options like grow bags, plastic bags, drums, fibre containers, tubs, etc.,” says Rakesh Chary, founder of My Dream Green Home.
All local vegetables can be grown on terrace. Veggies like brinjal, ladies finger, snake gourd, and bitter gourd can be grown. “Broccoli, Chinese cabbage, lettuce also can be grown, but those need special care. Like weather support, shadow nets, green shade, additional nutrients, etc., irrigation is the most important thing in plants. If one day the nutrient is not given, the plant can survive, but, if you do not give water, that will die.
However, for that, there are a few options. Watering should be regular, for a minimum 1,000 sft., it takes one hour to water. Not only watering, but also cleaning the base part of the plants, pest attack cleaning, and organic way of process are all equally important. For homemakers, it is easy; whenever they are free, they can make it. Working women, on the other hand, can opt for drip irrigation concept, where they can just switch on the taps and all plants can be watered at once.
“Auto mission and timer irrigation are the new forms of technology. Through IoT, mobile application, we can switch on the motor which will water the plants,” says Rakesh, who is also an agriculture engineer and a terrace garden designer. Rakesh specially promotes the concept of organic farming and loves spending time with the family in the garden, and sitting there and eating.
The budget for terrace garden depends on area and containers. In 250 sq ft, with four veggies, it takes Rs 10,000 to Rs 15,000. And if they have less space, they can opt of vertical farming, or horizontal farming by growing plants in drums where a maximum of 70 plants can be grown at a time.