For terrace gardening, it is important to know how to start and where to get resources. The following steps are necessary for planning a good terrace garden:
1. Choose the correct space
We should decide on the place on the terrace where we wish to do plantation. The terrace floor should be strong enough to hold the containers and bear the weight of soil. The best solution is to make use of one fourth or half of the terrace area for gardening. If the terrace resists the gardening you can increase the gardening space. Divide the area according to your plantations. You can use big pots, small pots, creepers, flower beds, etc. Keep in mind areas receiving sunlight.
2. Get waterproofing and drainage done for terrace garden
The terrace should be waterproof to prevent leakage in the room below. Leakage free terrace is beneficial for the room below. It is also beneficial for the terrace and for the entire building. You can protect the gardening area with a tarpaulin sheet. You can even hire professionals to do terrace waterproofing. There should be enough drainage so that water drains off immediately. Install a drip irrigation system instead of watering by traditional methods.
3. Select soil rich in nutrients
The perfect soil is an appropriate mixture of regular soil, compost, and vermicompost. They should be in equal quantities. After the rainy season, you will have to add the necessary nutrients as rainwater washes them out. You can add compost every week to give good nutrition to the soil. Choose chemical-free soil as it is useful for microbes and worms. Change the composition of soil as per the soil need of the plants. The soil should be rich in beneficial microbes. You should add cow dung, neem cake to the soil for better nourishment.
4. List of items you want to grow on your terrace garden
You can grow a variety of plants as per your choice on your terrace garden. Chose the plants liked by your family members. The following are the varieties of plants you can opt for:
- Leafy Vegetables like spinach, coriander, methi, kale, lettuce, etc.
- Common vegetables like tomato, brinjal, capsicum, cauliflower, etc.
- Medicinal plants like basil, neem, aloe vera, giloy, etc.
- Fruit trees like banana, guava, orange, papaya, etc.
- Flowers like rose, Marie gold, hibiscus, Lillies, jasmine, etc.
5. Select the containers for planting
Containers are the best for terrace gardens. You can use metal, wood, clay, terracotta, made containers as per your choice. The size of the container should be according to the size of the plant and its growth. Every pot should have drainage holes. Wide containers with 7-12 inch depth are best for short term leafy vegetables. Hanging pots are good for decorative flower plants. Use big containers to plant fruit trees. Big wheat and cement bags are best to plant short duration plants. Choose containers that are friendly to the environment.
6. Construct a shade house on a terrace garden
In a very windy climate, it’s necessary to build a shade house for a terrace garden. The shade house protects the plants from too much exposure to sun and wind. Water needs of plant decreases that helps in saving water. You can hang pots in the shade house. It protects plants from heavy rain and from birds and flies destroying the crops. The house helps to grow plants that need partial or light shade. It gives your plants healthy growth.
7. Vertical garden planning
Vertical space on the terrace helps to increase the space for gardening. You can grow shrubs or plants in hanging pots. Imagination and creativity give the best result for the vertical terrace garden plan. Vertical gardens are easier to harvest and maintain. The following are the ways to do it:
- Hanging pots
- Gutter system
- Tower plants
- Pallet tray system
- Bottle garden
- Freestanding garden
- Pyramid garden
- Beam planter
8. Watering the plants
Watering is very essential for plants. In the summer season, you may have to water twice a day. In winters press the soil and check the moisture and water. In rains, if there was heavy rainfall then you may have to skip a day and then water plants. The best time to water plants is early morning or in the evening. You can use bucket and mug or watering kettle to give water to plants. You can also hire professional advice for the latest watering systems and techniques. Use clean water and avoid chlorinated water for plants.