How to develop terrace garden

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Terrace or roof garden can be created on the roof of any building be it commercial or residential where you can grow flowers, fruits or vegetables. The only way to have greenery right here on the terraces of your homes, go on read for tips to create your own terrace garden.

Prepare the roof

Your roof can take the weight of even trees but avoid developing terrace garden on structures that have shown signs of weakness and structural damage. Check if your building or  house has been constructed with load bearing floors.

Waterproofing and drainage

First of all waterproof your terrace to avoid leakages into the room below. The roof must also have provision for adequate drainage so that rain and extra water quickly drains off. Rather than watering by conventional methods opt for drip irrigation system.

Ensuring the soil

The right mix of soil with nutrients required for this mix compost coir peat (or sand) and vermicompost in equal quantities.

Show your creativity

Bring in variety of plants and containers or introduce environment friendly option by using recycled containers like coconut shells, plastic\coke bottles, kitchen utensils, plastic boxes and broken buckets, bamboo baskets. Make a hole in the bottom for drainage and cover it with stones so that excess water can flow. Fill the pot with soil, wet it to plant the seed or sapling and wait in patience for it to bloom. Keep these pots over wedges or bricks to leave a clear gap between them for cleaning. Or on the roof itself directly create small flower beds by placing soil between the parapet and inner side wall.

Plant selection

 If this is your first step at gardening, start with a small pot and grow vegetable like tomatoes, coriander, fenugreek, gram, chilli, capsicum, spinach, etc which are easier to grow and do not require much effort. Almost all vegetables can be grown on the terrace but root vegetables like potatoes, onion, carrots, radish, groundnuts require a larger area. Or grow varieties of flowers like Antirrhinum, Sweet peas, Pansy, Dahlia, Chrysanthemum, Marigold, Alyssum, Phlox, Dianthus and Verbena which are suitable for terrace garden.

What else to grow on a terrace garden?

You can also grow fruit bearing trees like guava, banana, etc.

Landscaping principles

A terrace garden should have a dominant focal point, like lawn or water garden or a rock garden or even a small tree. On the outer edge of the terrace create a visual barrier by bright color and tall growing plants.

Go vertical

As space is limited for gardening on the terrace is a good idea to opt for vertical gardening by planting more climbers and creepers. These can be made to climb over a pillar, or create an ornamental arch or spread them profusely over the top of the boundary wall and over the side of the building as camouflage for the concrete by planting attractive creepers like Railway creeper, Climbing roses, Passion flower, Bougainvillea  etc. Or you can have hanging baskets or pots in the terrace garden containing flowering or foliage plants.

Important things to remember

Remember to water regularly in the summers, in fact your terrace garden will need watering twice per day. In winters, press the soil with your hand to check moisture and water need based only. Do not water during rainy season.  Another important thing to remember is adequate sunlight and your terrace garden must receive direct sunlight at least for four to six hours and if the sun is too harsh, please use cover from getting the plants scorched.

Maintenance

You need to spend at least an hour in your garden for maintenance  and it is freshening to be out in the open tending to your terrace garden.

Advantages of terrace garden

You can benefit by relaxing in nature, fresh environment plus your home cools by 6-8 degree when you have a garden on your roof. So save on air conditioning, insulation from heat absorption happens by having a green cover on the roof. You get to enjoy not just the fresh air, but also eat healthy, fresh, organically grown vegetables.

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