I started my rooftop garden exactly a year ago with almost no knowledge on what it takes to grow a vegetable plant at home. Today, I have evolved to a point where I can share my harvest with neighbours even during these times. It all started with my daughter, who was 2.5 years old, who loved lady’s finger. I started with vegetables like lady’s finger, brinjal, spinach (amaranthus and palak), curry leaves, tomato along with a few flowering plants. Over the last one year, I joined a few groups on Facebook that guided me on how to prepare manure organically as well. Banana peel water, buttermilk, homemade compost helped me to get a good yield. I also slowly expanded my garden with cucumber, bitterguard, mint leaves, green chilli, broad beans, radish and capsicum. However bug infestation is something I am still working on and have lost quite a few plants to it. During these lockdown days where availability of vegetables was scarce, in addition to collecting vegetables for our own consumption, I was able to share it with our neighbours. My husband and I take turns to water the plants and find this to be therapeutic and relaxing.

Anyone with a 300-400 sq. ft. space in terrace or balcony could start organic gardening. We could be self-sufficient for 50-60% of our requirement covered from our terrace yield.

(Radhika Sundararaman is a resident of Rams Ragashree Villas, Perungudi)

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