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Terrace Gardening: Know the Advantages & Cost of Rooftop Farming

Abhijeet Banerjee
Abhijeet Banerjee
Roof farming
Rooftop Farming

A roof garden is a garden in which vegetables, fruits or flowers are grown on terraces, balconies or roofs of buildings. In a way the Kitchen garden has now shifted to the roof in recent years due to constraints of space, and is popularly known as the terrace garden.

Terrace gardening has grown popular of late, because of increasing pressure on land and increasing costs. These gardens can be set up successfully almost all kinds of buildings like residential flats, individual houses, commercial hubs, godowns and factories. Roof gardening or Terrace gardening is also an art of creating the greenery and it can be maintained on the roof top. The ideal roof garden can be established with the availability of sufficient sun light and water.

Steps of creating a Roof or Terrace Garden:

  • Take any simple pot or ‘gamla’ or any of old containers. Then mix compost, soil, coir peat (or sand) and vermi-compost in equal quantities. 

  • Drill a hole in a recycled container. Then, by using a broken pot piece or a flat stone, cover the drainage hole at the bottom of the container, and fill it up with the mixture.  

  • Pour water in the container and wet the soil and plant your seed or sapling. Ensure that no soil is discharged through the bottom hole 

One can use containers of all sizes, shapes and material, (plastic, ceramic, metal or mud). Containers can be coke bottles, take-away plastic boxes, old sacks, coconut shells, old broken buckets, dented kitchen pots/pans etc. Experts say that through terrace gardening one can grow at least 6 vegetables per season. Generally 1 square meter of terrace area can give you anywhere between 25 to 50 kg of vegetables every year as per the experts. It can take as little as a week to set up the roof garden and one can begin harvesting in a month’s time roughly. One can make his/her own organic manure at home by using the kitchen waste.  

Advantages of Terrace Gardening:

  • First benefit is the reduction of indoor temperature by 6- 8 degree, thereby it can lower air conditioning cost  

  • Lowering overall heat absorption of buildings and insulate the building against heat and cold 

  • Enabling consumption of pesticide-free, healthy green and fresh vegetables 

  • Conducive to a routine physical exercise activityhealth improvement due to clean air and closer association with the nature 

  • Enhancement of oxygen percentage in the air 

  • Reduction of sound pollution 

  • Acting as a habitat for city-weary birds 

  • An Ideal area to exercise and inhale better quality air every day. 

Cost of Terrace Gardening: 

It will cost about Rs 20,000.  If you are planning to start terrace gardening than the costing shall include expenses on the seeds, saplings, containers and the soil bed/manure. In case one begins with smaller investments every month and uses recycled containers then costing will be reduced. In fact, the returns are quite healthy if the entire activity is viewed as a productive investment. After the initial utilization of energy and time, one can benefit in the longer run with clearer air, ideal place for exercising, improvement of health and reduction in air condition costs.  

The tools required for terrace gardening are Hand hoe, Rose can, Hand sprayer, Gardening hose with sprinkler, Bamboo stakes and jute strings, pots and containers, Quality seeds, healty soil, good organic meanure, river sand, Agrochemicals (Nutrients,pesticides,fungicides), and other Organic inputs (Neem oil, Neem seed kernel extract, Panchakavya).   

Vegetable crops suited for terrace gardening are transplanted vegetables like Tomato, BrinjalChilli. Direct sown vegetables such as Okra, Amaranthus, Cucurbits (Bitter gourd, Snake gourd, Ridge gourd and Bottle gourd), Radish and Beet root can be grown. One can even grow perennial vegetables like Drumstick, Curly leaf, Culinary banana, Chekkurmanisand Agathi. On the other hand spice crops suited for roof garden are Turmeric, Coriander and Fenugreek. 

Conclusion:  

Terrace gardening is not only a profitable hobby but also beneficial in terms of physical exercises, better utilization of space, time, environmental sanitation, recycling of house hold wastage etc. Terrace garden is effective in lowering the heating of the terrace. In fact, there is no need of farming background to start a roof garden and once the garden is established. An hour in a day is more than enough to maintain the garden with a healthier environment.  

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