Introduction: Roof Gardening
So who's ready for a lecture about roof gardening... Roof gardening sounds different isn't.... there are many kind of gardening being developed due lack of space only for garden. we are now gonna explore the method of roof garden done in our terrace not to mention that it is economical way to obtain healthy organic fruits and vegetables. sounds delicious, so lets start !!!
Step 1: Preparation
Entire Roof Gardening Kit is provided by our government on lesser rate to promote roof gardening in each and every home, Also this is a DO IT YOURSELF kit, so this kit comes along with
- Polyurethane bags (UV treated)
- Compressed Cocopeat brick
- Ten varieties of seeds
- Compost have to brought separately
- Manure (our personal choice. we make our own organic manure by decomposing dried leaves, fruit skin, Egg shells, and any kitchen waste that is organic)
Procedure to make your cocopeat bags
- As this is a compressed cocopeat, adding water its maximise its size as water is added. since all our Polyurethane bags are with holes hence i placed the cocopeat in large plate and poured water.
- Within minutes it will expand as much water is being continuously added at a stage it will stop absorbing as it will be fully expanded. i.e., four to five times its brick size
- Add Compost, Biofertilizer, Biofungicide and mix it will cocopeat. For one cocopeat bag, one kg compost is to be added (this quantity came in the specification book, same as been followed)
- Allow this mixture to decompose for 7-8 days, it will turn black colour (last image)
- Now we are ready to plant, lets sow and harvest
Step 2: Sowing & Nuturing
Make a list of your favourite songs, turn it on... and start sowing...
Me and my dad do it together, chit chat he used tell his story from his childhood how much he is interested in planting , growing and harvesting them. That drew me interest in gardening .
Anyways there are two types of sowing
- Direct sowing
In direct sowing, the depth of seed sowing should be two and half times the seed size.
Depending upon the size of plant, number of seeds are to be sowed, such as Lady fingers can be placed 4 seeds as rectangle with required clearance between the seeds in one bag., like wise climbers such as Bitter gourd, Bottle gourd, snake gourd are also 4 per bag. Brinjal, tomato are 2 per bag.
Step 3: Transplanting
Transplanting is one of sowing method for plant like Tomato, Brinjal, Chillies, Capsicum are sowed in container (first image) and they are to be transplanted into bag (second image). It takes about 30 - 35 days for their transplantation. Mean while green leaves (spinach) can be sowed and harvested in a month, so that transplantation can take place.
Step 4: Stages of Plants
Everybody would have gone through this part of botany in their school, experiment in school, science activity.. ahh, those are fun. same follows here,
Final stage (Budding, flowering, ripening are explained for each variety of plant separately below).. Excited to explore !?!
Step 5: Capsicum AKA Bell Pepper
Capsicum are transplanting type, hence for 30 days they will grow in different place and after 30 days growth they will be transplanted into bag, 4 plant in one bag
So far we harvested orange, yellow, green and red. Each colour have their own special characteristic nutrient value.
Funny part is, i was in anxiety since all the pepper where in green colour even for orange, yellow and red.. too many thoughts in my head like did i mix up the seeds or did i buy the wrong seeds, or seed selling guy fooled me by saying all different colour, later after few days we started seeing a colour changes green coloured are changing into their respective colour.. then i was like uhhh Thank god .. finally i got what i planned for :)
Step 6: Lady's Finger
Here comes my queen ... My Faavvv veggie of all
Lady's Finger is direct sowing , four seeds per bag or pot (we have big cement pots too).. for precautionary we put 5-6 seeds, atleast out six , four should come out.. sometimes every seed will germinate at that time we put into other bags. Because per bag above four will not have sufficient nutrient or space for healthy growth.
Few health benefits
- It is a supreme vegetable for those feeling weak, exhausted and suffering from depression
- It is used for healing ulcers and to keep joints limber
- It is good for summer heat treatment (In our country it is very much suitable coz most of the time its sunny)
- It is good in normalizing the blood sugar and cholesterol level
Step 7: Spinach (Greens)
Spinach always reminds of one strong guy... guess who ... its Popeye the sailor man ...
My childhood cartoon character who gets healthy every time when he eats spinach.. In fact its very true though greens/spinach are full of vitamins, minerals and disease fighting phytochemicals.
Varieties which we grow
1.Tropical Amaranthus - Is used for ulcers, stomach upset, swollen mouth and throat. It is also used to treat high cholesterol.
2.False daisy / Bhringraj - According to Ayurveda, the leaf is a powerful liver cleanser.Bhringraj oil can be used for treating various hair and skin problems.
3.Balloon vine / Mudakathan keerai - Leaves has strong anti-inflammatory properties. It is widely used for treating ear pain and discharge, joint pains, cough and cold.
4.Drum stick - It extracts contain properties that might help prevent cancer developing. It also contains niazimicin, which is a compound that suppresses the development of cancer cells.
Actually these turn into tree, so once they bring bigger you should change its location to ground level.
5.Gongura - It is a great source of potassium and magnesium, making it a suitable remedy for hypertension. Also it contains high levels of vitamin A that helps in improving eyesight and preventing night blindness. The antioxidants in gongura are beneficial in preventing age related macular degeneration and cataract.
6.Alternanthera sessilis / Ponna kanni - It is given to treat skin diseases, night blindness, indigestion, and fever.
7.Fenugreek leaves - leaves benefits are anti-diabetic, healthy heart, reduce cholesterol and blood clotting, prevents strokes, increase blood haemoglobin.
8.Black Night shade / manathakali keerai - It reduces the body heat and prevents diseases that are caused by excessive heat. Manathakkali keerai acts as a medicine to treat dropsy. For acne, eczema and psoriasis solanum nigrum is the best medicine prescribed by grandmothers.
9.Lettuce - Lowers Cholesterol Levels, Induces Sleep, Antioxidant Agent, Antimicrobial Agent, Controls Anxiety.
Please note: Benefits point have been taken from google.
Step 8: Water Melon
This is my ever green love, One of the beautiful creation of god (atleast i think in that way) because i love it so much.
Even though water melon is down climber as its vines spread in all angle and weight of the fruit is heavy. but i wanted to make my watermelon... yes my attempt was success but not in big kilogram weight. yet it is the best watermelon i have ever tasted.
Step 9: Chilli
Who is ready for hot spicy food or snack... Hero of the food maker is here.
Chilli is a tranplanting type, hence similar procedure as capsicum for sowing and transplanting.
How many of you know that, chilli that are more spicy grows upside, believe me the image attached is not upside down, but the chilli is... it is one of the spiciest chilli variety. It will not be big.. it will be sharp and spicy
Step 10: Tomato
Its a transplant type. Two plant per bag, Needs support when they are 60 days old, hence branch or stick should be provided to tie them along with it.
Same old question Tomato is a fruit or vegetable - same old answer it's both
Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit, wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad
Who cares, we will eat our raw tomato as its very tasty with little bit tanginess.
In our cooking method we use both raw tomato and ripen. Raw tomato used for pickle or gravy. once i made tomato sauce for pizza, and the taste was extraordinary (not bragging but it was really good)
Step 11: Pumpkin
Pumpkin are grown by direct sowing method.
Four seeds per bag, we have built climber grill on our parapet wall for these cuties to spread out. sometimes they get hold on to nearby plants too..
In our home there are two floor for roof garden, top most floor we plant mostly climbers due to their special need to spread their vines.
Pumpkin are highly nutritious and particularly rich in vitamin A
Step 12: Bitter Gourd
Name sounds bitter, but it is the beauty that has lot of benefits and medicinal values. Both of my parents are diabetic hence they must consume bitter gourd twice or thrice in week. so i have planted more bitter gourd plants in different place when the bag gets empty.
Step 13: Gourd Family
In "Gourd" we have following plants
They are also planted four per bag, and in top floor where climber rail is present
- Ridge gourd - The vegetable is rich in nutrients – Vitamin C, riboflavin, zinc and is also full of antioxidants.
- Bottle gourd - It has always been regarded as one of the healthiest veggies. This very versatile vegetable is full of water (about 92%) and minerals
- Snake gourd - Benefits of snake gourd include stronger immune system, relief from digestive issues, healthy hair and diabetes control.
Step 14: Pineapple and Pomegranate
Have you ever wondered how new pineapple plant grows as it has no seeds. ????
Here i'll tell you how, once my dad bought pineapple from store, i started cutting to make Pineapple pudding. at that time i was about to throw the head of pineapple, my dad stopped me and told we shall make a pineapple plant, i went blank.. later he planted the head, it was very small ( i don't have that picture), i started taking picture once started growing..
Pomegranate i bought as a small plant, this is the first fruit we got from it.
Step 15: Board Beans
They are grown by direct sowing method, four seeds per bag, they are of two variety climber and plant. we have both . Their flowers are beautiful like christmas morning
Step 16: Sweet Corn
Another rare variety that to be grown in terrace, we planted two seeds per bag, they grow fast.. but if you have different stages of corn in different places (bag). Once the older one gets mature, they make the other one to mature faster even though they are not suppose too. so plant at the same duration, don't plant with days different like 10 to 15 days. start planting them even.
we have tasted the American sweet corn in Indian soil.. Yummyyyy
Step 17: Herb & Spices
1) Plectranthus amboinicus / Cuban oregano
- A decotion of Plectranthus amboinicus help alleviate cold and cough. Juice of fresh leaves is used in urticaria and other allergic conditions.
- It helps in eliminating toxins from the body and promotes perspirations.
- It also increases absorption of nutrients and helps regulate female menstruation
To grow them, all you know need a small stem. they spread fast. consuming this daily keeps you away from cold and fever (personal experience, i was allergic and catch cold in no time, this was my one way ticket to cold free life)
Rosemary was traditionally used to help alleviate muscle pain, improve memory, boost the immune and circulatory system, and promote hair growth
Step 18: Trees
Trees in roof ?? how is it possible ??
Check out the images, yes we didn't leave trees too, all of them were grown from scratch except palm tree they were bought small but now they have grown like amazon jungle i hope no tarzan lives there
- Palm trees
Initally as a seed we put them in small bag or Drum and they get transplanted to big drums
Palm trees and banana have their own mud bed, as it was planned and house was built that way. so proper weather proofing and extra care have been taken before planting them.
Step 19: Brinjal
Its a transplant type. Two plant per bag, Needs support (optional) when they are 60 days old, incase if the climate gets windy, hence branch or stick should be provided to tie them along with it.
Their purple flower are feast to eye
Step 20: Harvest
These are the few among many.. Daily we cultivate different variety and cook them. No words to describe that "Happiness" as it feels like an achievement, that we have done something with effort, for that price is being paid as good health and nourishment.
Step 21: Preparation of Ginger, Garlic, Chilli Extract
If you are planning to make organic vegetables & fruits you must be prepared to protect your plants from small insects.
Another organic way to eradicate the bugs that spoils your good healthy plant.
This is three plant extract
Garlic - 18 gms
Ginger - 9 gms
Chilli - 9 gms
Put them in mixie grinder and extract their juice mix it with 1 litre water, put the mixture the sprayer start spraying them.
This is one of the safety measure provided along with the kit
Second Prize in the