The Growth & Need of Terrace Gardening

By: Pulkit Bhardwaj | Date: 26th March 2018

With the increase in pollution and scarcity of space, many multi-story buildings, skyscrapers and condominiums are on the rise in India today.Many garden lovers today are finding an answer to an urban gardener’s dream of having a garden at home and people with a green thumb are finding terrace gardening an outlet for their passion. Cultivated on the terrace or balcony, green roofs have their own share of benefits.

The greatest advantage of these plants increases the flow of oxygen and thereby keeps you away from pollution. Be it Children or Adults, they breathe in the fresh air your garden brings in to develop a stronger immunity system.With a Garden on the terrace the surface of the roof is kept cool and hence provides a cool environment inside the house.

Your home gets a visually appealing look with the existence of a terrace garden.

Parichay; a Tahaan initiative is a step towards increasing awareness and helping farmers gain recognition for their unique efforts towards the improvement in farming. In Parichay, we have taken interviews of farmers for their contributions, motivations, techniques, and the hurdles they face in adopting organic farming and encouraging others to do so as well.

We have been grateful to Mr.Nitin Daware a software engineer based in Pune a true inspiration for his cooperation and time in our project. Here is a extract of a small interview ohhimk with our team.

What is terrace gardening?

Terrace means tht you do gardening with whatever resources available with you. As a responsible citizen you don’t throw the garbage in dumpbins rather use it as fertilizers. In terrace gardening it’s not nessacary you reach to have a full-fledged garden or a lawn. I have been doing gardening in my balcony. In last 7 yr I haven’t thrown any of the garbage out of my house. Thus trying to use as much of vegetable waste like chilly, onion, tomatoes, green vegetables, etc as possible and make a decomposer out of it. We should try to plant vegetables without chemicals making it the most idol terrace gardening.

What made you start gardening ?

I found when you do gardening it refreshes your mind and gives you immese peace. Its like meditation. You can discover yourself more during this time as it will require patience, understanding of plants and nurturing qualities. So as you grow it will help you and the society also environmentally as well as your affection towards it increases because this will help in your personal life to understand your partner, society, friends & family . So that softness and love, care pateince automatically develops inside you.

Which plants do you grow?

I have grown chilly, brinjal, dodka, drum sticks, mudina, tulsi, etc & many types of flowers like rose, mogra, satara, rubber plant etc.

Types of Compost been used by you?

The only compost I have been using is waste from the vegetables.It was unsuccesful at first but eventually by some research and development on the temperature of the city and all otherexternal factores it cmes out well.

What kind of soil you have been using?

Nowadays soil-less gardening is in the trend. I have done the same. I have used wet leaves, dry leaves, sugarcane leftovers, kitchen waste, culture powder, etc in place of soil. I always remove the wet waste and plant them in my society. I was using kitchen waste from my neighbours also. I atleast get satisfaction from doing that which reflects in my family members as well. I also use geeyamrut & flow of chana.

I got problems with soilless approach at the beggining as I was looking to plant vegetables. I understood it was difficult to plant the seed as you have wet waste nut within 4 months it got nicely composed. Still the few first round of vegetables in beginning were not the best of output still I kept on giving it the required time. Eventually it worked well. As of now I am doing an experiment with that I am putting a layer of soil on top of wet waste so I can stove those things. Just to achieve a soilless growth of vegetables I am doing the experiment.

How do you water the plants?

Be it summer or winter I water only once in day or in 2 days as the wet waste lawyer already holds the wetness. I water in the late evening & I use sprinklers these days.

How do you manage Recycling of water?

I collect the utensil washing water in a bucket to water my plants. So plants get the use of different nutrition.

What Process of Decomposing do you use?

For decomposing I use everything available with wet waste and culture powder . Culture power should only be used once a life time.

What problem do you face on daily basis?

When I go to collect the grass people see me as to what am I doing and some do also start making fun about it but I see a positive to it and try to help and aware as many people I interact with. Problems were at home also, first my wife used to say about me getting the dirt inside the home but now she understands and she has been very cooperating and joined in the process.

What do you see as a misconception with people?

People come to me and ask me to take the garbage that was from their house and do gardening. Especially the new generation wants to be part of the cause but also not interested to give the required time. Some come and say we will pay you. The elder people usually understand me faster and support me by he’s right we used to use wet garbage early for farming and now the new generation understand me and they are now to connect with me and my gardening. There were many misconceptions initially but it was also opportunity for awarening those people

We have been informed that you run a Whatsapp group. Please tell us about it?

I started whatsapp group and facebook group for people who do organic gardening. The group aims to discuss about each situation and sharing our idea, thoughts, experiment for gardening. In the group I added my relatives, my friends and I also requested people who’s work has inspired me who most of them are experts who I came across from other such groups where I am a member too. Currently I have a group of 400 members who are actively involved.

What inspired you to do terrace gardening?

I saw that plants are living things too and it feels good when plants are around you. They are a source to our existence and deserve the due respect and the second thing is obviously waste management which helps in keep up with the health of my family.

What’s your say on digital India?

Digital India should go along with nature. What will you do if your earth doesn’t have any crops even if you are a software engineer you need food and the needs of fresh air. If there are no tress we aren’t here & if we aren’t here there is no question of digital India. Everyone should get the habit or interest of growing tress.

We should start with terrace gardening but extend to plant trees wherever it is possible. Everyone should be aware about how farmers are taking the efforts to grow it. People should take initiative for planting trees first in their society and then wherever possible otherwise we will not survive at all. Planting trees won’t only get survival but even happiness to stay in an evergreen environment. People should start to love and show importance to greenery.

The thing about gardening is that it needs a lot of hard work and patience. You will not get instant results. You will have to spend at least 15-20 minutes with your plants every day. You will have to remove weeds, watch out for pests, diseases etc. You will have to add compost to the soil every week, remove dead leaves etc.

But oh the joy of watching a seed sprout, slowly grow, then blossom into a plant that starts giving fruits! It is unmatched! And trust me, once you get the first crop, you will be hooked. It is addictive, this business of growing your own food. It will be the freshest, tastiest stuff you have ever eaten. No amount of money can give you that satisfaction of having something that you have grown yourself.

Give it a start! You don't need a huge space. Just a small balcony which gets adequate sunlight is more than enough to grow beans, tomatoes and greens.

Happy gardening!