Terrace Vegetable Cultivation
In the cities, the major limiting factor is inadequacy of space. In such cases, Terrace vegetable gardening is the most feasible and viable alternative for growing one’s own vegetables to eliminate the need for purchasing chemically contaminated vegetables from the market. It is possible to raise a terrace vegetable garden if one can spare a minimum of 30 minutes a day.
Terrace garden is advantageous as it ensures better growth and yield due to adequate sunlight in the terrace, less incidence of pests and diseases, easiness to water, manure and spray organic plant protection materials. It acts as Horticultural Therapy for better health as it provides an outlet for excellent recreation and mental happiness. The vegetables obtained from terrace garden are of superior quality in size, shape, colour and cleanliness.
Ensure the terrace is leak proof, and walls are reasonably strong. Provide hooks and /or clamps on the side walls wherever necessary. Spread black sheets on the terrace floor. Arrange sufficient quantity of dry coconut husk chips, red soil, sand, coir pith, organic manure etc at a convenient corner. Mix soil, sand and organic manure in the ratio 2:1:1 or 1:1:1. Pots / grow bags/ gunny bags / other convenient trays are arranged above the beam or along the walls 2 feet apart. At the bottom of the containers up to 5 cm fill dry coconut husk chips and remaining 3/4 th of the containers with potting mixture. At one side of the terrace fix GI pipes using clamps to the terrace side walls to provide pandals for trailing vegetables. Bush types are separately placed. Follow attractive designs such as rectangular, square, oval, round etc. Give provision for Azola at one corner. Connect hoses and laterals with drippers from the main tank. If desired provide timer for optimum watering.
Selection of Vegetables is done as per local climatic conditions and as per the choice of the family. Procure quality seeds from reliable sources and raise protray seedlings. Transplant one or two seedlings into containers preferably in the evening. In the case of direct sown crops, sow 2/3 seeds/container and retain one-two healthy seedlings two weeks after sowing. Follow correct aftercare operations like watering, top dressing etc. Top dressing can be done with vermi compost, biogas slurry, cowdung slurry etc. Follow organic plant protection measures. Harvest at optimum maturity.
Terrace gardening is a feasible solution to meet 70 to 80% requirement of vegetables for daily use.