Creating a garden on your terrace has multiple benefits

How about running up to your terrace when you need mint leaves for the morning cup of tea and harvesting fresh greens for lunch instead of purchasing from the vendor? To many of us it may sound remote. But ask Jeyabharathi who has almost stopped buying vegetables from the market and insulated herself from the mercurial inflation of vegetable prices in the last six months.

If at all, her market visits are for hunting used flexes, bricks, pots, manure and sand. She spreads the flex boards on the terrace, spreads sand over it and builds bund on three sides. The flex boards prevent seepage. She converts any junk like waste bottles, discarded car tyres, broken buckets into a container.

Using a simple technique, Jeyabharati has created wonders in her 200-square feet terrace garden which now gives her spinach, brinjal, ladies finger, beans, tomato, ginger, coriander, mint leaves, methi, chillies, bottle gourd and pumpkin.

“I eat fresh and fertilizer-free vegetables grown under my supervision. It is a pleasure every one should experience,” she says and adds “gardens, however, small have therapeutic benefits.”

She finds her garden rejuvenating after a hectic schedule as a Maths professor. Jeyabharathi does weeding, deadheading daily before plucking vegetables for dinner.

She says the success of a success of a terrace vegetable garden is in understanding the season of each vegetable. For example, if you are harvesting ladies finger, keep extra saplings so as to replace the fully grown plants for a continuous harvest.

“For a self-contained garden all you require,” says Jeyabharathi, “is a water hose and a composting unit on the terrace. “I collect vegetable wastes, onion peels and used tea leaves for use as manure in the garden.”

Andrew Kirup Singh and his sister Anupa Elizabeth maintain a 100-square feet garden of ornamental and flowering plants in their house on Bypass Road.

‘“Watching the plants grow and flower, watering and feeding them is a fulfilling experience,” says Andrew. “It is a hobby that allows children to enjoy nature’s company. They spend their time fruitfully instead of idling away in front of the television,” says his father, Philip Samuel.

Horticulture/Animal Husbandry consultant, S. Kannan, pleads that people should use the space on their roofs as a viable horticultural heaven. Wander early in the day, smell and touch the flowers, you won’t ask for anything else.”

“Every cubic feet of space on the terrace can be used both horizontally and vertically,” he says, adding, “the idea is to create more greenery in less space.”

“Terrace gardens are known to have multi-dimensional advantages. They help fight global warming and the soaring inflation besides keeping the environ cool.”

“If you have 650-square feet on your terrace, you can grow all necessary vegetables,” says Kannan. From pots and buckets to wooden and empty boxes, just about anything can be used for growing plants.

These days plants are also available in special packets that prevent seepage.

People have developed interest in developing terrace garden and garden in available spaces. In a recent seminar held in city, participants evinced interest in developing terrace gardens and greening whatever space they have in their homes.

As many as 20 people committed to setting up terrace gardens.