September 24, 2011
We moved to Muthiyal Nagar (near Mathikere & behind JP Park) in June, 2003.
After settling down in the new house, we thought of having a garden in the house. There was some space available in the front near the car parking area where we had planted Bogan-villa and Money Plants and put some indoor plants in the pots. However, we wanted to use the open space available in the Terrace around 1800 sft. My son-in-law late Shri RS Rajan started buying pots and plants from the nursery vendors and decorated the terrace. Slowly the interest for growing more plants motivated us to increase the number of pots and we bought some Flower Plants from Lal Bagh nursery. The garden was fully developed in about two years time with mostly flower plants like Hibuscus, Roses and Jasmine varieties. The growing interested in the garden led to growing vegetables like Brinjal, Tomato, Radish, Carrot and greens like Coriander, Spinach, Fenugreek etc. Started getting more and more interest, I started regularly visiting Lalbagh, Siddhapur market etc. for purchase of manure and saplings. In the meantime, we were tempted to have a small grass-plot in the terrace and we developed the same.
I have been searching the internet for some tips and suggestions about gardening and landed up with the book titled : Organic Terrace Gardening by Dr Viswanath and started following the suggestions made in the book. Because of my age (79 yrs) I couldnot make it up to attend Workshops on Roof Gardening which was far from my residence.
Through an article under the heading Earth Warriors, the Bangalore Mirror carried a news item about a workshop being held under the auspicious of Vithal Mallya Scientific Research Foundation (VMSRF). I attended the workshop and learnt lots of things about gardening and particularly Terrace Gardening. Dr Rajendra Hegde conducted the workshop which was very useful. However, I could not follow much of the deliberations in view of a large number of participants coupled with my old age and hard of hearing. On my request, Dr Hegde ageed to meet me separately to guide me on various aspects of Roof Gardening. Two of his juniors Shri Kaushik Hatti and Shri T. Raghava patiently explained various aspects of the roof gardening and spent nearly 3 hours with me. I have gained a fair knowledge of gardening during my meeting with Dr Hegde and his juniors. I gained a good knowledge about various nuances of gardening and periodically I approach them with some specific problems and received suggestions and advice.
I also visit a website “geek gardener” authored by Shri Manikantan who has been helpful in guiding me whenever I had a specific problem. Even though, I sincerely wished to visit his garden and get guidance, the distance factor and the age has not been favourable to fulfill my desire. However, I am sure, one day I will be able to personally visit Geekgardner.
The pots are kept on a row of steel stands made specifically to avoid accumulation of wastes. There are permanent plants like Hibuscus, Roses, Jasmine etc. In the small pots I grow Mary Gold which I am told acts as a pesticide in the garden. I grow regularly Brinjal and tomatoes and sometimes grow Gourds like Bottle Gourds, Bitter Gourd, Snake Gourd etc. However, I am not very happy about the Gourd Plants, since some of them do not poduce anything, sometimes the small ones wither away in about three four days.
I have rectangular pots, where I grow the greens like Palak, Coriander, Fenugreek etc. Initially I was using red soil and manure (sheep dung) for the pots. However, of late I have started mixing Soil+Sand+cocopeat and also add Nitroplex compost for the pots. I have provided some climbing facility for the creepers in the corners of the terrace. However, I am not satisfied with the Pandal for the Creepers.
My neighbor Dr Manujunath R. Hegde of the Indian Institute of Horticultural Research was kind enough to visit our Roof Garden and had given lots of suggestions for improvement in the cultivation.
Thanking all and geekgardener particularly for their cooperation. -- rkrajagopalan (09986700475)