Having your own garden can bring you both happiness and bounty. The simple pleasure of picking and biting into a fresh ripened red tomato.
However, finding a place to build your garden in this concrete jungle called cities can be a little challenging. There are concrete buildings, roads, markets everywhere you see. Does that mean all the plant lovers living in the cities can’t build their gardens anymore? Well, what are rooftops for? Just think of your roof garden with all the beautiful flowers, fresh organic veggies, and fruits just a few steps away from you. One can easily transform their rooftop into a terrace garden.
It doesn’t matter how big or small your rooftop is, with the right planning and little efforts you can transform your terrace into a garden. It’s a myth that building a terrace garden costs a lot. There are multiple ways to go about revamping your terrace, it all depends on the time and money investment you are willing to make.
In this extensive guide, we’re going to tell you everything you need to know about building your terrace garden from scratch.
Benefits of Terrace Garden
Before getting into the details of how to go about building a rooftop garden, let’s look at a few reasons that will inspire you to get growing your roof garden:
Supply Of Nutritious Greens
What’s better than the fresh supply of home-grown veggies and fruits every day from your garden. Organic vegetables and fruits are more nutritious than the ones we buy from food markets and are great for your health.
Imagine the hot soup that you prepare using the fresh vegetables from your garden. Mouthwatering and full of nutrition.
The food that we source from markets and grocery stores are usually grown with the help of chemical fertilizers. This chemical then seeps into your food system and can eventually lead to health hazards. Growing your own food will help you ensure the good quality of food that you consume on the daily basis.
Ace Your Space
Building a terrace garden helps in keeping your home cool, it is great for the people living in tropical areas. All the plants growing on your terrace will create a micro-environment and will lower the temperature of the place. So while you enjoy the wholesome home-grown food you also save up on big bills from ACs.
Reduces Your Carbon Footprint
By building a garden at your home you will help the environment and reduce your carbon footprint. The plants that you grow will improve air quality. Farming done using chemical materials deteriorates the soil quality and pollutes air and water.
Stay Connected With Nature
Having your terrace garden gives you access to nature 24*7. As they say, “Nature is man’s best friend”. It keeps you disconnected from all the stress and chaos of the world. Having your own terrace garden means having access to your peaceful corner at all times.
Helps You Stay Fit
Gardening is always a great exercise, the number of efforts you will put into maintaining your garden will help you stay fit and active. Taking care of your plants, watering them, and other activities will keep you physically active and away from your everyday boring exercising routine.
Basics Of Rooftop Gardening
Once you make up your mind about building your rooftop garden, you’ll have to make a checklist and keep the following things in mind to help you get started.
Prepare A Sketch/Layout Of Your Terrace Garden
Before you start putting your gardening skills to use, make a rough sketch of your rooftop garden. Plan how you are going to proceed with planting your greens. Whether you’ll be planting them in containers, raised beds, or making use of the vertical space on your terrace.
You can also make a sitting arrangement in the center of your garden to get your daily dose of nature. Here’s how to make the most of your space with Containers, Raised Beds, Trellises, and Vertical Planters.
Equipment Or Tools Required For Rooftop Gardening
These gardening tools will come in handy when you start working on your terrace garden. You can stick to this list of gardening tools and save yourself and your wallet from an overwhelming trip to the gardening store. These five tools will help you get off to a strong start.
- Hose Pipe Or Watering Can
- Gardening Rake
- Pruning Scissor
Healthy soil leads to healthy plants! Soil that is properly nourished and conditioned is the key to growing proper plants. Create your potting mixture by mixing soil with organic compost. The ideal soil for your terrace garden should neither be too compacted nor too light. The soil should have a balanced texture, crumbly soil that can retain the moisture is good for the plants.
Feed your soil with organic compost regularly. The important nutrients can get washed away from your rooftop garden soil with the rains. Therefore, it is necessary to fertilize them for a good yield. Avoid using chemical fertilizers as it will not only seep into your system but it will also harm the good bacterias and microbes in your soil.
Prepare your potting mix by taking equal portions of red sand, organic compost, and coco peat. Mix it well and leave your potting mix to settle a week or two before using it in containers. Ensure that the texture of your potting mixture is balanced. To keep your soil healthy, you can keep fertilizing it every now and then. This in turn will keep your greens healthy. Here’s how to prepare organic fertilizers at home.
If you are planning to build soil patches and raised beds on your terrace then it’s important to start with waterproofing. It will help you to prevent any potential damage to the building. Waterproofing can be easily done and the great thing is that it’s only a one-time job.
Waterproofing is an important step in the process of building a terrace garden. It’s like laying the foundation of the building before you start constructing. Leakages and roof damage can get difficult to manage for the people living in and around the building.
Waterproofing can be done in various ways, one of the effective ways to waterproof your roof is by the application of polymer coating on the concrete slab. Once the coating is done, you can get started with your terrace garden.
If you are located in a place where your plants are exposed to strong winds, then installing some wind barriers can help protect them. Wind barriers can reduce the pressure of the wind and provide shelter for your plants.
Start by figuring out the direction of the wind and build your wind barriers accordingly. Trellises, hedges, fences, or shelterbelts can be effective windbreakers.
Ensure that the wind barrier you install reduces the wind pressure but should allow proper air circulation for your plants. Installing wind barriers doesn’t have to be a costly affair, you can build one on your own by using a helping hand. Trellis prove to be the best wind barriers.
Analyze the hours of the sunlight your balcony receives and the areas that get the maximum amount of sunlight. Pick your plants and place them in the spots that receive ample sunlight.
If your balcony is shady, you can pick out the plants that can thrive in lesser sunlight. Notice the hours of indirect sunlight coming to your balcony and pick your plants accordingly.
All salad greens like arugula, lettuce, spinach, mustard, chard, kale, mizuna, komatsuna can do well in partial shade but all these plants need some amount of sunlight every day to thrive.