Terrace Gardening- By Mrs. Usha Gajapathi Raju.P

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    Terrace gardens are now becoming popular because of limited ground space in most of the cities. There is a conscious shift of mindset from different sections of the society towards home gardening. Terrace Gardening provides temperature control of roof, gives decorative benefits- be it with ornamental flowers, bonsai, flowers from gourds. The benefits of having your own food garden are tremendous – it improves health, save money, exercise benefits, provides great satisfaction and a feeling of accomplishment when you harvest your own home grown vegetables and also works as a great stress buster.

    Just like every other Vizagite, Hudhud cyclone made me realize how much damage we have been doing to this most beautiful city. Hence became serious in greening Vizag, and have become an avid learner of different gardening techniques. I have shifted to natural farming techniques and have seen very good results with the use of Jeevamrutham.
    My compost bin takes in all my kitchen waste, leaves from pruning, dry flowers and leaves and gives back nutrient rich humus for my plants. From Oct 2014 I have not used chemical fertilizer or pesticides and my roof top has become my food factory.

    Aerobic composting

    What is composting?
    Composting is nature’s way of recycling. Dry waste and food wastes are broken down and become food for plants.

    What is required for aerobic composting?
    Plastic Container with lid, or earthen pots (Khamba) Greens (Kitchen waste), Browns (Dry waste), Accelerator (Buttermilk or cow dung slurry) & Oxygen.

    How to kick start?
    Drill holes at the bottom of the plastic container for draining excess moisture. Drill holes to lid and all around the container top 2 inch area for air circulation. Collect kitchen waste and dry leaves etc.

    Get going:

    1. Place the container in an area to protect from direct sun and rain.
    2. Lay an old newspaper at the bottom of the container, add layer of dry leaves to absorb moisture.
    3. Add equal parts kitchen waste (fruit peels, veg peels, kitchen scraps, coffee grounds, used tea bags) and brown material (Dry leaves, Old newspaper, egg cartons, cardboard, egg shells) to the container.
    4. Add a little amount of accelerator (sour buttermilk/cow dung slurry) to introduce microbes into the container and mix well, turnover the pile every day and keep it moist.
    5. Cover it with dry leaves or newspaper to avoid flies.

    Repeat steps 3, 4 and 5 every day or as and when you generate kitchen waste. Once your container is full, stop adding fresh waste and keep stirring once in 2 days. Fresh earthy smelling nutrient rich compost will be ready in 45 – 60 days. To speed up the process you can chop the kitchen waste into smaller pieces and crush the dry leaves.

    Things to keep in mind:
    1. Dry browns – rich in carbon
    2. Wet greens – rich in nitrogen
    3. Moisture – is created when the kitchen waste starts decomposing
    4. Accelerator – for introducing microbes
    5. Aeration- for Oxygen
    6. If you find the contents in the container soggy or wet add some dry leaves or shredded black and white newspaper.
    7. Always keep collection tray below the container so that the excess liquid can be collected from compost bin.
    Benefits of composting at home:

    You made a huge positive impact by keeping organic materials out of landfill.

    Minimize transport of waste to landfill hence saves fuel and energy, reduced methane production (greenhouse gas) and helps save the planet.
    Compost is great for plants, increases organic matter in your soil, help plants to absorb nutrients, balance soil pH, saves money on fertilizers.
    Compost when used in your garden fetches you healthy nutritious fresh veggies and beautiful flowers. Home composting is fun, easy to do and satisfying.

    • This topic was modified 4 years, 4 months ago by  Sukreeta.
    • This topic was modified 4 years, 4 months ago by  Sukreeta.

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