Growing vegetables on terrace offers an opportunity for people with limited space to do something good for the environment. This is also a wonderful way to have a hobby as it helps save the money spent on fuel and energy. There are many benefits to planting vegetables on the terrace. Here are few of them:
There are several ways to go about the task of growing vegetables on terrace. By the pioneer of this act in India, Prof. Viswanath Tirthaji, he discusses the most advantageous way to utilize the limited space for planting vegetables. His focus is completely on organic gardening. His book “Agriculture of Southern India” has helped many individuals to understand the importance of planting vegetables on terrace.
There are numerous other ways that are equally beneficial for the purpose of growing vegetables on terrace. It can be done at your home or at a nearby location too. But before taking any decision, the first step should be to have a proper plan. The plan should include the purpose of planting, the space available for growing vegetables, the type of plants you want to plant, irrigation system required, the climate of the area, how much investment is required etc. A comprehensive plan can be very helpful in achieving your aim.
The next step is to prepare the soil properly. This is a very important step to follow before planting any crops. The soil should be fertilized with compost or well-composted garden waste. It must be enriched with nutrients. One can either make this compost at home or buy the compost from nearby stores. The fertilizer applied should be rich in nitrogen to ensure good root growth of the plants.
Another important thing that one should know before growing vegetables on terrace is sunlight. One should provide an adequate number of hours of sunlight to ensure healthy growth of the plants. During summers, it would be better to go in for artificial lights. The same rule applies to all seasons; never forget that a terrace garden requires approximately 600 hours of sunshine.
The soil of terrace must be porous and soft for ideal growing conditions. So, one should use garden compost and rock salt for improving the quality of soil. These substances are rich in nutrients and act as natural fountains. Once the growing season ends and the monsoon start, the plants would require additional amount of water. This can be taken up by regularly watering the plants. Some of the vegetables such as tomatoes need more water than other vegetables so regular watering is required during the course of the season.
A little bit of care is necessary while growing vegetables on terrace. The plants need proper amount of sunlight and nutrients. In case of plants that are highly alkaline such as tomatoes, then two more care is necessary. Due to continuous exposure to high temperatures, some of the plants may become distorted. Thus, one must ensure that the container used for growing vegetables is suitable for growing vegetables on terrace.
While growing vegetables on the terrace, it is better to keep a close watch on the growth of the plants. One should check if the plant is getting enough of nutrients. One can achieve this by making use of a growing medium such as a mix of peat moss, coconut coir and neem cake. All these preparations can be easily bought from a nearby nursery.
Irrigation system is required for growing vegetables on terrace. One can use a pre-emergent herbicidal spray or non-selective herbicide. Neem powder can also be used for this purpose. The fertilizer should be applied evenly on the growing medium and left for some time before draining off. For larger areas, a nursery tray can be used, however, it is not advisable to use the urinals that are not in season.
Growing vegetables on terrace requires adequate space. One should not plant vegetables close to each other, as they may end up smothering. Growing vegetables in containers will not only save space but will also provide flexibility. One can easily move the containers to a different location whenever the need arises. Irrigation system is essential for successful planting of vegetables.
After completing the growing season, ensure proper disposal of all leaves and plant residues. After all the growing season, prune the plants and re-pot them. If you do not have the time to do this, an artificial solution can be opted for. It consists of finely shredded paper and plastic. This provides a good covering and helps in retaining moisture in the soil. As far as possible, avoid chemicals in growing vegetables on terrace.