Saturday, July 15, 2017
With the rising number of buildings and the decreasing open space, terrace gardening is emerging as a great option to have the best of both worlds. A few decades ago, almost all houses in Chennai had a garden since plenty of space was available. However, since the IT boom, this space has been shrinking and today, it is almost non-existent. In spite of scarcity of accommodation, many people have come up with novel ways to grow plants even in the little available space. Terrace gardening is one of them.

CTC conducts free workshops for Terrace gardening regularly. And I am sure there is a lot of interest growing among CTCians to have their own terrace garden. On 1st of July 15 like-minded people gathered at our fellow CTCian Mr. Sundar’s house who has turned his house roof in to a green garden. He is growing a variety of Vegetables, fruits and some herb plants in his garden. He ensures that all the organic waste produced in his house are recycled and converts them in to nutrients and feeds to his plants. He prepares his own Organic pesticides like Fish Amino acid, Panchagavya…etc.

Home Composting

Mr.Sundar started the session with home composting. He advised to do Cooked waste composting separately and Kitchen (i.e veggies, fruits) Waste (any decomposing waste) separately which will enable the composting quickly. Then he explained the composting process.

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Simple steps for home composting

1. Buy one medium size pot and put holes in the bottom and below neck of the pot to allow aeration.
2. Keep the pot above any empty paint buckets (or any other vessel which suits to hold the pot) to collect the dripping water from the pot.
3. Put some newspaper or dry leaves in the bottom of the pot. You can also add some coco peat or soil as a base.
4. Then dump your daily food waste in to the pot. Stir them. Add some coco peat and little bit of butter milk or cow dung regularly to decompose properly.
5. After some days you will spot some insects inside the pot which is good for composting process. No need to panic. Don’t kill them.
6. After 50 to 60 days your compost will be ready.

You can refer the following link which may help you to learn more
about composting .

Then we were asked to separate the manure from the collected compost pot by sieving them. While sieving the collected insects like earth worm, maggots are again put in to the compost pot for the next cycle
 of composting to speedy the process. The sieved manure was smelled like fresh soil and then it was stored separately which will be used as fertiliser by mixing with soil.

The benefits of home composting are
•       Reduce wet waste separating them mechanically from other wastes like plastic, glass, metals, etc.
•       Reduce wet waste delivered to landfills or other destinations used in waste collection, such as incinerators.
•       Prevent atmospheric pollutants production which would generate from waste combustion.
•       Compost small quantities of organic material (with Pot composter).
•       Improve soil fertility.
•       Limit the purchase and use of chemical fertilisers.

Soil Preparation

Whether growing lawn grass, ornamental flowers or garden vegetables, preparing the soil before planting is essential. Soil needs to allow water to enter the ground efficiently so that it may be drawn up and used by developing plants. In addition, soil provides plants the requirednutrients to allow them to grow and produce healthy fruits and flowers. Well-maintained soil is home to fewer garden pests, such as weeds, and ultimately results in the maximum production of blooms and vegetables.

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Simple steps for soil preparation
1. Take required amount of red soil and mix them with small portion of home compost manure, Neem Cake, Cow dung, char coal and coco peat.
2. Mix them properly.
3. Now first put some prepared soil in to the Grow bag or Pot as a base.
4. Then place some neem twigs and neem leaves on it to allow aeration and to keep away from ants and insects.
5. Then fill the grow bag or pot with remaining soil. Shake well to settle the soil equally.
6. Finally on top of soil mulch it with some dry leaves to insulate the soil.
7. Leave it for 5 days and water it daily before you plant any seed or sapling.

Due to time constraint we were able to cover the above two topics only (Home composting and Soil preparation). But participants have got a good practical experience by involving in those two important activities. At the end of the session we were served with fresh homemade Aloe Vera juice.

Mr. Sundar has also agreed to extend his support post of this workshop for any guidance. Mr. Sundar’s passion for Gardening was really inspired us.

Thanks & Regards,



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