Vegetable Terrace Gardening
Today, we are into a discussion of vegetable terrace gardening/How to grow vegetables on the home terrace? What is the home terrace garden? Home terrace garden also called a roof garden; it is a garden that cultivates vegetables on the terrace, balconies or roof of buildings. The kitchen garden, a standard in every Indian household, has shifted to the roof due to constraints of space, and known as a terrace garden.
Prepare the soil:
Get some soil and natural manure, and combine it well with the peats. If you want to maintain it organic, add cow dung or goat dung manure to the mix. Stay this mix aside for a few days. Meanwhile, when peeling veggies, etc.; do not throw away the skin.
Create raised beds on the terrace:
If you’re looking for a practical way to make a terraced vegetable garden. Make a raised bed; in raised beds, you’ll be able to develop lots of vegetables in comparing to containers. Plants will thrive better with less care & maintenance, plus they are cheap. The raised bed on the terrace does not differ fundamentally from those will see in a regular garden. Just ensure before installing it that the surface of the home terrace below it is waterproofed efficiently or not.
Fill raised bed with soil: If you fill the raised bed with soil, consider preventing voles & pests from entering the bed. To make soil, just mix quality garden soil, ripe compost & manure. Probably the greatest advantage of a raised bed is, of course, its height & wideness on a terrace.
Containers used for the home terrace garden:
What type of containers can I use? Containers of all different sizes, shapes, whether of plastic, ceramic, metal or mud can be used. Your coke bottles, take away plastic boxes, old sacks, coconut shells, old broken buckets, UV treated grow bags, cement pots, your dented kitchen pots, just about everything can be recycled and used as containers.
Containers are the key to setting up plants. Whatever containers you use, they want to have a small opening at the bottom to release any extra water that pours for the plants. However, this small hole must be blocked with a small piece of flat stone to prevent the soil from draining away as well.
There are Various ways to propagate plants, Plant propagation from seeds, cuttings, stems, potted or bare root seedlings, corms or bulbs, etc. Vegetable plants are propagated directly from seeds, broadcasted on the surface, or planted deep. Usually, seeds are planted at a depth of three times their thickness; some plants are raised in beds or pots & are then transplanted [generally after 5 to 6 weeks].
Vegetables suitable for Terrace gardening:
Tomatoes don’t always need sprawling spaces to grow. They can grow well even in hanging baskets, planter pots, window boxes & many other types of containers. You can easily produce them in any sized container, almost throughout the year. Make sure that the container is spacious or large enough to grow your tomato plant without hassles. Start with tomato seeds or starter plants, whichever you like. Also, you can add a cage to the outside of the container for additional support as the tomato plant gets taller.
The best part of growing radishes is that they can develop well, even in small-sized plastic or wooden planter pots. You must scatter the seeds at the top point of a container. Make sure to water them religiously, which helps in maintaining the soil moist diligently. To get the best results, emphasize on using the organic soil conditioner.
Potatoes are probably one of the easiest planter vegetables to grow on the terrace. It is always fun to develop potatoes in a planter pot. You need a container, which is about 10/12 inches deep. In these pots, you can easily plant three to four potatoes. Since potatoes require adequate water, plastic planter pots are advisable. Therefore, make sure to water them adequately, so that potato plants grow healthy and start to produce soon. Moreover, make sure their stems are fully covered with soil. The potatoes will grow within a couple of months.
Onions usages are uncountable. From making salads to spicing up a dish, onions top the priority lists of many cooks. Onions are small in size and can easily fit in your terrace. Especially, green onions are known to develop well in small containers. All you require is a planter pot or container, which is about 5/6 inches deep. Within the size, you can develop onions with ease.
Another brilliant option for home terrace grown vegetables is the carrot. Just like tomatoes, the carrots can be grown in planter boxes or small containers. Carrots have different varieties such as short & sweet, little fingers, Thumbelina, etc. If you religiously water the plant, you are more likely to produce healthier plants. If you are looking to have longer plants, then make sure to choose spacious planter pots or containers.
If you are interested in rising cucumber in containers, then always go for “Salad Bush” or “Bush Pickle” varieties.
With a little patience & care, you can grow capsicums in a planter box. Start with a pot or container of good seeding mix. Tickle the top of the soil with your finger, and then sprinkle the seeds over the top of your container & add up a little more soil to get it fully covered. Give it a little water, just enough to obtain the soil damp. However, make sure the soil is not too wet.
Any pot which has the capacity to hold up to five inches depth can be used for growing eggplant.
If you are looking for good container vegetables, then your choice would be lush greens & lettuce. In this case, the size of the pot or container does not come into a count. Take some fertile soil, add the required seeds & keep the soil moist so that you can get lovely salads from the home garden.
The teeny tiny chilies can fit in any size planter pots on the terrace. Make sure the weather is warm to put them outside. Water the chilies sufficiently before transplanting, so that the soil of the container does not fall apart while they are removed from the planter pot. Be careful whilst removing the seeds from the container. Water sufficiently, as it works great in growing chilies.
Tips for home terrace gardening:
Salt water must not be left on the plants. Specifically, in pots plant growers are using one and a half feet repeatedly in wood & cement plants for planting to be comfortable. Pots of red soil, sand, manure & mix well and to be applied. Plants were irrigated in the morning & evening. After the plants are grown with natural fertilizers in the growing of vegetables, the taste is good with the quality.
Vegetable Seeds for Home Vegetable Terrace Gardening:
You’ll need good quality seeds to produce your veggies. You can generally start with tomatoes, lady’s fingers, and bitter gourd. Seeds can be picked up from local nurseries or you can source them from the vegetables purchased at the market. If you’ve got kindly neighbors, you might even request them for seeds & saplings.
Pick the right veggies: To start with, just one or two vegetables, and then go in for more veggies. Tomatoes, chilies, and spinach are easy to grow, so start with them. Sometimes you might need to net out the seeds and the saplings as they grow, to keep pesky sparrows & other birds from feasting on them.
Watering is the key factor, Water the vegetable plants regularly, as and when needed. Excess water often causes damage & decay to plant roots, and it also washes away the nutrients of the soil. Also, post every heavy rainfall; remember to include manure to the soil.
You can use a hose to water the plants in your terrace or buy a small watering pot or kettle if you prefer. Alternately, you can simply fill a bucket of water, carry it around the terrace & pour water using a smaller container. If you travel often and don’t have anyone to help with the watering, you can consider drip irrigation. Again, you can go creative and use plastic bottles to set it up or buy a ready-made system & have a professional set it up for you.
How to build a home terrace garden? Building a home terrace garden can be a labor-intensive project and should only be attempted if you are in excellent physical condition & have had some prior carpentry or landscaping experience. If you choose to build the terrace garden on your own, it’s essential that you determine the rise & run of the slope you are working with. The run is the horizontal measurement between the hilltop & its bottom. The rise is the vertical distance from the base of the slope to the top of the slope. Use the rise & the run measurement to determine the height and width of each bed, depending on the number of beds you wish to have.
Begin the home terrace garden at the bottom of the slope. Dig a drain for the first tier. The more levels will have in your garden, the deeper the trench should be. Make sure your trench is level & place your foundational terrace layer into the trench. Next, you’ll require digging a trench for the sides of the terrace. It’s necessary that the bottom of the trench is level with the first trench. Attach building materials with spikes. Layer your next level on top of the first & anchor them together with spikes. Dig up the soil in the back of the terrace box to the front, until the box is the correct level. Add additional soil if needed.
Pests are going to be visiting your garden no matter what type of protection you take. And the best way to combat them is by using pesticides, not the dangerous artificial ones existing in the market, but natural ones you can prepare at home yourself. A mixture of baking soda, cooking oil & water can be sprayed on plants to avoid fungal infections; beer is an easy distraction for slugs & neem oil is the aphid’s nightmare. Don’t forget controlling pests in home vegetable terrace gardening is an utmost priority.
Integrate Vegetable Patch on the Terrace:
You can also integrate a vegetable patch on your terrace & grow vegetable on the surface itself. But doing this is good on large rooftops. Vegetable patch is similar to producing a normal garden bed.
The integrated bed ought to be filled normally with soil like a regular garden bed. Addition of compost in soil is a great natural fertilizer for most of the plants.
Cost of home terrace gardening:
A 500 square foot terrace garden can be set up with an initial investment of Rs 10,000 to 15,000. This also includes the cost of fertilizers which can be alternated with homemade compost. Within this space, one can develop a dozen vegetables.
Maintenance of the garden:
An hour in your garden is enough to stay it maintained once it is established. It is quite therapeutic working in the garden, tending the plants & benefitting from it. The freshness of the garden will fill you with fresh energy.