If I could have a beautiful rooftop garden. Yes, it is possible to grow fruits, flowers, and even vegetables on the roof of the house if the initiative is taken in a planned manner. In order to have a successful rooftop garden first you need to know how to prepare the soil, what kind of pot/tub is required for trees and to take proper care of the garden with adequate arrangements for regular irrigation.
1. Materials required for rooftop garden:
- An empty roof.
- Half drums, cement or earthen tubs, plastic straws.
- Permanent bed in a place where the sun is always on the roof (space should be left between the roof and the bed).
- Spade, scissors, shower, bucket, saw, hand spray machine etc.
- Sandy loam or hilly red soil, rotten dry dung and compost, sand and brick cobbles, etc .
- Seedlings/cuttings or seeds etc.
2. Trees suitable for making a rooftop garden:
When on a rooftop garden it is important to take care that the tree is not too big. Short-growing, fast-growing, and fruit-bearing trees are ideal for rooftop gardens. It is best to plant hybrids for roof gardening. Below are the names of some of the trees suitable for cultivation-
- Fruits: Mango, Pepe, Ata, Sharifa, Grape, Batabilebu, Cool, White, Small Banana, Pineapple, Kamranga, Olive, Guava, Pomegranate, Mango, Karamcha, Orange, Malta Jamrul, etc.
- Vegetables: red spinach, spinach, radish, datashak, kalmishak, puinshak, lettuce, eggplant, tomato, potato, capsicum, bean, barbati, cucumber, karla, patol, lau, dhundal, broccoli etc.
- National spices: pepper, coriander, mint, onion, garlic, ginger etc.
- Medicinal Properties: Aloe vera, Tulsi, Thankuni etc.
- Flowers: Rose, Belly, Togger, Jasmine, Gandharaja, Jaba, Ticoma, Gerbera, Shiuli, Elmonda, Garden Bilas and various seasonal flowers.
3. Fertilizer soil preparation for rooftop garden:
For rooftop garden first, you need to collect loam and sandy loam soil. Then you have to purify the soil. For purification, take an adequate amount of soil, sprinkle water mixed with formaldehyde (100 ml/liter of water), and cover the whole soil with thick polythene for 4-5 days. After removing the polythene, the soil should be kept open in sunlight for 4-5 days. When the smell of formalin is over, an equal amount of dung or organic manure, if necessary, chemical manure should be mixed to make compost soil.
4. Method of the rooftop garden:
Tub method: This is considered an easy method for a rooftop garden as it can be easily moved from one place to another. However, the size of the tub is usually not very good for fruit trees. An adequate amount of organic manure should be used for tub cultivation. For a tub measuring 14 inches to 16 inches, mix 100 g TSP and 50 g MOP fertilizer well with organic manure and leave it for 10-12 days.
Half-drum method: Nowadays most people do roof gardening in a half drum system. Make a hole in the bottom of the half-drum and close the hole with a piece of broken brick. First 1 inch amount of khoya or surki should be given on the bottom of the drum and one inch amount of organic manure or rotten dung should be given in it. In addition to organic manure, 200 grams of TSP, 100 grams of MOP and 500 grams of bone powder can be used in each drum. Pots for vegetables, small flower tubs or flowers. But in the case of fruit, the bigger the pot / drum, the better.
Permanent bed method: Permanent bedding is a modern method for a roof garden. Of course before gardening in a permanent bed arrangement, the roof must be specially welded and net finished. There are two methods. E.g.
- Permanent bed method around the roof: In this method for a rooftop garden 1.5 feet high walls with 2 feet width on both sides of the roof are made by casting a 3-inch masonry net finishing cast. Later a permanent bed should be made by filling the dung manure and soil mixture. Excess water drainage systems should be maintained.
- Tank method: Rooftop garden can be done by tank method. That is why the tank is made of 3 feet long, 2 feet wide and 1.5 feet high 3-inch masonry net finishing cast on 4 pillars one foot high on the roof.
5. Rules for planting trees in the roof garden:
Seedlings / grafts should be planted very carefully in tubs / pots / drums / permanent beds. It should be planted in the middle of the soil. Care should be taken to ensure that the soil ball attached to the seedling does not break. In the case of seedlings or cuttings, it should be planted in the seedbed or in the nursery as much as it is below or equal to the soil. Always plant trees in the rooftop garden in the afternoon.
6. Irrigation management of roof garden:
Irrigation or drainage is an important aspect of the rooftop garden. This is because if the soil moisture decreases, just as the plants can be easily carried away, the trees can also be killed due to excess water or moisture. Some trees consume more water (dragon, coconut) and many plants need less water (beans, peppers, eggplants). Therefore, one should always be aware of irrigation in the roof garden, so that excess water does not accumulate at the base of the tree and the water does not dry out again. Every morning It is better to irrigate the roof garden with thin plastic pipes or grating.
7. Roof garden care:
- Tree pruning: Rooftop garden should be kept clean and tidy at all times. That is why dead, diseased, and old stalks, leaves should be carefully cut. This will keep the tree disease-free and the growth and yield of the tree will be good. In the case of cool, litchi, jamrul pear trees, all the branches of the tree should be pruned after eating the fruit in the middle of the month of April.
- Loose and mulching the soil of poles and tubs in the trees: Plant the grafted trees of the desired variety and keep them straight with sticks or poles. This will prevent the tree from tilting or moving and becoming weak. After 15-20 days, the upper layer should be broken with a hoe. This will clear the weeds and facilitate ventilation at the base of the tree. During the dry season in the roof garden, mulching with dry hyacinth or straw, dry leaves around the roots of long-term large trees will preserve the sap, prevent weeds and later use them as perishable fertilizer.
- Changing the soil of the tub or drum: This is also an important part of the rooftop garden, usually, the work can be done at the end of the rainy season. Some sand should be mixed with two parts of sand or two parts of soil and one part of dung. Approximately 40 gms of TSP, 40 gms of potash, 100 gms of bone powder, and 10 gms of mustard oil should be mixed with the soil and left for 10-12 days. Then the soil in the tub that needs to be changed should be dumped 2 inches wide and 6-8 inches deep near the tub of the tree. This applies to 18-20 inch tubs. The old soil has to be removed very carefully and the empty space has to be filled with pre-prepared soil.
- Proper position of the tree: Some trees prefer more sunshine (paper lemon, dragon fruit). Therefore, in order to get more benefits from the rooftop garden, it is necessary to finalize the position of the tree by understanding the condition of getting sun / light air on the roof.
- Fertilizer application: Fruit trees should be fertilized at least twice a year, before and after the monsoon. The use of water to wash fish, meat, and vegetables in the plant fills the food shortage of the plant. It is also good to apply mixed fertilizer, bone powder, and nutrients (zinc, boron, magnesium, manganese) once a year. Fish thorns, bone fragments, eggshells, vegetable scraps, leaves, can be wrapped in a drum and used for a rooftop garden. It is also best to use earthworm manure, compost, and other organic fertilizers in the roof garden. Trees can be made healthier by removing them from relatively small tubs to larger tubs. A variety of nutrients/hormones can be applied to prevent flowering and fruit set.
- Insect and spider control: In the early stages, a limited number of insects or their eggs are seen in the beginning. It is better to collect insects or insect eggs and kill them only after checking the rooftop garden regularly. In many cases, the insects take shelter in the old leaves for a long time. For this, as soon as the leaves turn yellow, they have to be pruned leaving the leaf buds. Soak 2-3 gms of chili powder in one liter of water and strain it the next day. Mix detergent powder and onion juice in it and spray at intervals of 7-10 days. Mites or small spiders cannot be seen with the naked eye. Since the location of the insects is below the leaf, effective measures should be taken to control the insects by spraying this part well. It is better not to use pesticides and fertilizers in the roof garden. However, if pesticides have to be used, care must be taken to ensure that its toxicity is minimal.