Planning and materializing a terrace garden can be a matter of great satisfaction and achievement for the homeowners. In fact, this concept is quite prevailing all over the state of Kerala, particularly in the cities like Kollam, Kannur, Kozhikode, Palakkad, Malappuram, Thrissur, etc. People these days get less gardening place on the ground, instead, they find the terrace or roof top as the best place to design and develop a beautiful garden. For terrace garden construction, different innovative ideas are often given by the experts. Most of these are simple terrace garden ideas that anyone can adopt even in a small rooftop like in apartments or small-sized houses.
Most essential aspects in terrace gardening
Before materializing any concept in terrace gardening, even in small terrace garden design ideas, the below mentioned essential aspects need foremost attention:
- The house owner should ensure that the terrace is completely waterproof. Any leakage or damage is to be refurbished before starting to fill up the place with pots, soil, and plants.
- Right type of soil is essential for rooftop gardening. It again depends on the type of plants to be potted. Almost any kinds of plants can be reared on the terrace, even the big trees, and fruit plants. Everything depends on the soil quality.
- It is not feasible to think anything complicated. People often get motivated seeing nice and gorgeous terrace garden apartments of their friends and relatives. But these are not created all of a sudden. First-time terrace gardeners should start in small steps with one or two plants or vegetables.
- For a healthy garden, plants need necessary water and light. These two aspects can’t be neglected. House or apartment owners should acquire enough knowledge on these before starting a terrace garden.
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What kinds of plants could be grown on the terrace?
As per the experts, any kinds of plants or trees can be grown on the terrace. People regularly grow common vegetables like beans, chilies, tomatoes, brinjal, lime, etc. In many terrace vegetable gardens greens like potatoes, onion, radish, etc. could also be seen apart from common flowering and home decorating trees. Many homeowners in several Keralan cities even grow coconut and mango plants. As such, anything can be grown on the terrace through proper methods and nourishment.
Top terrace garden design ideas and tips
Some people think that terrace gardening is a complicated and time-consuming matter, whereas for many people it is a hobby and they can do anything to develop and create terrace or rooftop garden. This hobby keeps people fit, happy, and innovative. In Kerala, the idea is spreading rapidly, people often want to know how to build a terrace garden? Here are the most important terrace gardening ideas that will help every terrace gardener:
- Careful plantation: While planting for the first time, it is necessary to keep in mind the weather condition of the area and the design of the terrace. Kerala is a state with diversified temperature zones. In some cities or areas temperature reaches as high as 30 degrees centigrade in summer while the mountainous areas remain cold throughout the year. So, if the rooftop is completely open plantation needs to be according to the weather condition and average rainfall, whereas if the terrace is shaded then many other types of plants and trees can be thought of.
- Tall plants and a complete garden concept: If the terrace is large enough and possessing a bad view, growing tall trees or developing a complete garden can be a good idea. In this concept, little high vegetation around the walls can be visually soothing. This also prevents the bad view of the outer world. If rearing time is limited bamboos and grass can be planted around the walls keeping the inner space for growing various other trees, flowers, shrubs, and plants. In a large space, ideas are unlimited which can be materialized according to the investable time, maintenance capability, and budget.
- Citrus plants: Varieties of dwarf citrus plants in pots make a terrace vegetable garden Kerala utterly beautiful. With a right kind of rearing they can be bountiful too as far as the citrus fruits are concerned. With terra cotta pots and right kinds of soil, lemons, oranges, limes, including Meyer lemon, Calamondin, Citron can be grown without much effort on the terrace.
- Raised beds: If the roof supports, creating raised beds around the walls and just at the center of the terrace can be a good idea. Ideal raised beds are normally 2 feet high and at least 1 feet wide. Raised beds can be created with metal or concrete. But, they need proper drainage system commensurate with the drainage system of the terrace. Having raised beds can make the terrace gardening ideas more fruitful as the house owners can develop wide varieties of plants in the terrace. The soil in a raised bed requires regular maintenance with manure and water.
- Ideal shrubs on the rooftop: While selecting shrubs for terrace gardening, it’s vital to keep the original size of the plant and growth rate in mind. Some shrubs grow fast and can be voluminous within a month. Maintaining such shrubs, especially for the new gardeners may be a bit tricky. So, it is feasible to plant small, slow growing, compact shaped shrubs initially. Andromeda, Aster, Acuba Japonica, Azalea, Bougainvillea, Butterfly Bush, Boxwood, Bottle Brush, Camellia, etc. are the perfect shrubs in Kerala. Shrubs mostly love sheds or semi-shaded areas, but without some shrubs beautification of terrace garden couldn’t be completed.
- Container and pot: Experts opine pot is not mandatory always. In fact, many other useless containers in the home that ultimately go to the garbage bin can be designed to develop terrace vegetable garden ideas. Unused milk or vegetable crates, wooden boxes, pitchers, paint buckets, rice and cement bags, and many more articles can be used and refurbished for planting terrace garden plants and trees . Pots made of metal, cement, and terra cotta can be used for the same purpose. A combination of recyclable containers that people through away will save hundreds of rupees and make the idea really productive.
- Perfect use of vertical spaces: The available vertical spaces like part of the walls of the building, terrace fencing walls, railings, etc. can be used to hand light weight pots with plants mainly climbers. The best way to use these spaces is to create iron frames, protected shelves, and hangers.
- Terrace lighting: It is another important factor in terrace gardening. In terrace garden apartments, nice and sufficient lighting is necessary for adding vibrancy and serenity at night. If the space is a covered one, various lighting concepts can be added to bring a heavenly environment where family members may want to spend some quality time. Some particular spaces like near the stairwell, door, bigger trees, etc. lightening is very much necessary.
- Furniture for terrace garden: It is important to concentrate on terrace garden furniture to give a complete garden look to this space of the house. The contrasting sitting arrangement with chairs or permanently built sitting arrangement in some part of the wall makes it a place where the family members can spend some quality time. If the space permit, a tea table can also be placed along with sitting arrangement surrounding it.
- Winter specific plants: Terrace gardens can be literally turned into heaven during winter. Experts ask to keep specific areas in the garden for winter-specific flowering plants, fruits, and vegetables. Cabbage, cauliflower radish, tomato, parsley, brinjal, etc. can be grown in small quantities in the raised beds. Besides, lilies, acacia, merry gold, dahlia, amaryllis, cyclamen, carnation, pansies, etc. are some colorful winter flowers that can be reared.
- Cactus: No terrace garden idea is complete without cactuses. People need to take special care in designing the cactus pots too. Normally, these plants need very low maintenance, yet they play a vital part in adding an aesthetic look to the garden. Cactuses can be arranged in different ways. An area can be kept specifically for cactuses, they can be arranged in the vertical spaces as discussed before, or they can be arranged all over the terrace with other plants. In a more modern concept, cactuses are reared on a specially prepared bed created on the terrace floor with cactus-specific soil.Also find more details on Eco-Friendly Ways to Keep your Apartment Cool this Summer
Scores of other terrace gardening ideas can be created for the best use of the terrace space without causing any harm to the building. A rooftop garden or terrace garden has many benefits to the Keralans. It keeps the homeowner mentally and physically fit, motivates him or her to spend some quality time amidst greeneries, beauties the entire building, and keeps the environment clean. Terrace gardening is not an expensive idea. Anyone can develop a nice garden on the rooftop with locally available plants and vegetables. Observing the growth plants, fruits, and flowers gave immense satisfaction to a gardener. It is indeed a positive habit that every individual can adopt.
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