Introduction to terrace vegetable garden ideas in India
Make a Terrace Vegetable Garden on your rooftop! In this blog, you’ll know which vegetables are perfect and how you can grow them on the terrace. Fresh home-grown vegetables taste delicious, are worthy of health, and safe from chemicals. You must not acquire a regular garden to grow them. A Terrace Vegetable Garden will take care of your family’s demand for veggies easily!
A step by step guide to terrace vegetable garden ideas for beginners in India
First, analyze these characteristics of your terrace precisely: Are you planning to grow plants on its floor, in raised beds, or pots? If you have a large or small terrace? Is it shady or sunny? Choice of terrace garden plants completely based upon the factors listed before.
In general, better to select large containers while growing plants for a terrace garden because, in large containers, plants grow freely, as they in turn help provide better moisture conservation and nutrient supply, space for ample root development.
Check the terrace capacity
- The first thing to check while starting a terrace garden is whether the roof surface can tolerate the weight of the soil.
- Soil, especially wet soil is much heavier when compared to the normal one. Buy a lightweight garden soil mix via the web.
- Avoid developing terrace gardens on structures that seem to be weak and structurally damaged.
- A terrace garden must be arranged on the rooftop of a substantial building or a house constructed with load-bearing floors.
Waterproofing and drainage system
The terrace roof should be made waterproof if you are planning to start the terrace vegetable garden to prevent seepage of water into the room. You have to do all the construction work required for complete waterproofing which cannot be avoided.
- The terrace should have a proper drainage system so that rain and water drain as quickly as possible. Because stagnant water may cause different infections for plants.
- If the plantation is to be done directly that is through raised beds on the terrace floor, then it is advisable to install drainage cells or a geotextile membrane before placing the layer of soil.
- It is advisable to install a drip irrigation system, rather than watering by following conventional methods.
Soil type ideas for terrace or rooftop vegetable garden
The soil must be properly conditioned and nourished as it is important for growing strong and healthy vegetable plants. Chemically treated soil will not only seep into the food system, but it can also be harmful and destroy beneficial bacteria, worms, and other microbes in the soil.
Look for a good source from where you can purchase soil. Most of the nurseries sell well-nourished soil which contains vermicompost and compost coir but that may be costly. If you want a cheaper option, you can purchase some ingredients, create your compost, and do the soil mix by yourself.
Pay attention to the choice of containers
- Pots or trays should be chosen accordingly based on the type of plant you are planning to plant for example vines, creepers, underground plants like potato, carrot, radish, etc.
- Traditional terracotta pots are timeless, and mostly they retain their charm in all seasons even in rainy seasons, but these pots are a little expensive, long-lasting, heavier, and susceptible.
- If you do little research and visit nearby garden areas, you’ll be able to find many prudent and many other options: you can use containers which are made of metal, wood, concrete, and polyester resins, some colorful pots for darker areas.
- Make sure to renew the potting soil partially at least annually or periodically by adding compost and manure. You’ll also need to re-pot some bulky plants or trees once in a couple of years for their proper growth and adequate space.
Ideas for growing terrace vegetable garden
Planning a terrace vegetable garden in pots
In terrace or rooftop containers, you can plant all the varieties of vegetables. Make sure that you choose larger and deeper pots, and you have to avoid thin and poor quality pots as they get heat up quickly and drain very poorly.
You have to use potting mix soil for growing vegetables in pots for terrace garden to get the healthy growth of plants and products to the maximum.
Vegetables for Pots: Tomatoes, Radishes, Cucumbers, Beans, Potatoes, Zucchini, Onions, Carrots, Beetroot, Melons, Lettuce, Chilies, Garlic, Peppers, and Eggplant.
Planning a terrace vegetable garden on raised beds
When you plan for a practical as well as a trendy manner to make a terrace vegetable garden, then arranging a raised bed is a great choice. You can grow several vegetables as compared to containers. Plants will grow better, with less precaution and maintenance.
The raised bed on the terrace is not that much different basically from those available in a regular garden. In well-stocked hardware stores or even online shops, you can get special raised beds for terraces; you’ll only need to set up according to your requirement. But it is important to install it on a waterproof surface.
Fill raised bed with soil: If you fill the raised bed with soil, make sure to prevent voles and pests from entering the bed. To make soil, mix good quality garden soil, manure, and ripe compost.
Advantage of raised beds: Probably the most beneficial aspect of a raised bed is the height and width of the terrace. Gardening can hardly be more convenient!
Integrating vegetable patch on the terrace
You could even think to arrange a vegetable patch on your terrace and grow vegetables on the surface itself. But it is good on large rooftops. The vegetable patch is the same as a normal garden bed.
The integrated bed should be filled using soil like a regular garden bed. The addition of compost in the soil serves to be a natural fertilizer for most of the plants.
Creating a vegetable terrace garden in planter boxes
Flower boxes and planters are employed to create a vegetable garden. You can even go for hanging these on an existing railing or arrange them just on the floor. It is entirely your desire to place them as per your comfort.
Do not use ordinary garden soil for the planter boxes. Either use quality potting mix or compost-rich soil. Fertilizing is also essential to improve productivity, but it varies as per the plants: peppers and tomatoes are heavy feeders, whereas green leafy vegetables do not demand much fertilizer.
Plants for flower boxes could be Cucumbers, Greens, Tomatoes, Garlic, Herbs, Chilies, Radishes, and Bush beans.
A sandbox is not just for games. From a small, simple wooden sandpit, you can obtain a hefty vegetable patch. This looks not only attractive but also provides your plants with an optimal area to grow.
Instead of using gravel for drainage, just fill the quality compost using soil. In the sandbox, you can have different small vegetables and herbs, mostly low growing that spread too much.
Vegetable List to grow here may be Radishes, Garlic, Herbs, Lettuce, Spinach, Asian Greens, Ginger, and a lot of other green leafy vegetables.
Optimize vertical space
Smart use of the space on the terrace will aid in making the most of it. Grow vegetable shrubs and vines like beans, gourds, squashes, and tall tomato varieties close to walls and railings. In this way, they’ll not only get support but also grow outside and upward, and which will, in turn, save a lot of your space.
Use old shelves, racks to place pots and buy pot holders, place them around the corners. On the vertical spaces, you can grow herbs to augment the taste of salads and cuisines; you can also grow several flowers to appease ornamental views.
What type of vegetables can be grown in terrace garden?
Well sized pots or raised beds, ideal exposure to the sun, slightly acidic, water, and fertile soil, and enough drainage, is essential for your vegetable garden.
Vegetables need more care as compared to herbs, so if you’re growing them for the first time, start with salads: tomatoes, particularly cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, and radishes are easy to grow.
You can also grow vegetables for example eggplant, okras (lady’s finger), peppers, and chilies, and strawberries (fruit of course). If you can allot at least half an hour in a day to some regular gardening chores for instance pinching, watering, pruning, and fertilizing every couple of weak or monthly ones according to your plant’s requirement, you’ll surely get success.
Plants for terrace herb garden
The first step when you try to get into the gardener’s skin is a pot of basil that arises near the edge of the kitchen window. Gradually, try different herbs to augment the taste of your dishes and salads. Herbs grow with ease.
Thyme, lavender, rosemary, and sage need less water and grows well on a sunny terrace. Basil, chive, parsley, or cilantro require moderate sun and watering. Do not miss the lemongrass and mint which can be useful in many cuisines and while tea preparation. Based on your climate and needs, you can try different herbs too on your terrace garden.
Shrubs, dwarf trees, and vines
If the size of your terrace garden allows, choose evergreen shrubs, small trees, and vines. In a less sunny spot, it is suggested to grow camellias and rhododendrons, sweet autumn clematis, Japanese maples, and honeysuckles.
In full sun, plant the lemon tree, olive tree, the oleanders, a flowering virbunum, some dwarf fruit trees such as apple, guavas, pomegranates, figs, and even mangoes in the pot (if the climate is fine).
Don’t forget to care about the humidity levels, water facilities, and sensitivity of each plant and the quick development of some vigorous plants, whose exuberance leads you to their frequent pruning or disposal.
You may also check this: Growing Organic Sage In Pots.
Tips and ideas for the prolific terrace vegetable garden
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- Fertilize vegetables frequently with good quality organic fertilizer.
- With some research and practical experience, you can find out which type of fertilizer you must feed to specific vegetables.
- Water plants frequently and deeply. Read this blog for container watering tips.
- Check plants regularly for any pathogens or pests.
- Prune plants from time to time keep them in good shape.
- Look out for suckers, especially in tomatoes, and pinch them off immediately when you see any.
- It is always good to grow vegetables on the Southern or Western faces, so the plants can get ample sunlight and thrive easily. However, too much sunlight can be detrimental. If you are living in a warm tropical climate where sunlight is extreme, it is recommended to provide afternoon shade to plants.
In case if you are interested in this: How To Start Soil Testing Business.