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There are many untold stories in the rooftops of Dhaka city. And most of these stories accompany rooftop gardens. Some rooftops have flower gardens to enhance the aesthetic. Some have vegetable gardens. Nowadays, most rooftops have trees. During these times of home quarantine, where everyone is locked down at home, doing tids and bits of gardening can help you regain your energy. Let us know about some of the fascinating methods of how you can set up a roof garden during this home quarantine period.

How much space do you have on your rooftop?

You need to plan beforehand the amount of space you want to use for your gardening. It depends on the amount of space and the kinds of plants and trees you can implant on your rooftop. The things that you need to consider in addition to your space are:

  • What is the height of your building?
  • Does enough light, rain and air enter your roof?
  • Is your roof surrounded by other buildings or big trees?

Flowers, fruits or vegetables?

First select a suitable tree for the tub. Deciduous or birch trees do not live long in a tub. Different varieties of seasonal flowers are best for tubs. You can plant flowers for all seasons so that you can get them all throughout the year. There are several fruits or vegetables that will survive in a tub. A matter of concern in most roof gardens is the entire roof might get damaged. It is quite necessary to select your tub/drum/bed for gardening. Cultivating grafting and hybrid varieties of fruits in the roof can bring good results.

The flowers, fruits and vegetables that you can sow

We can easily plant a garden in the roof

In a roof garden, do not plant large trees. Use herbs or shrubs for your gardening. In these cases, you can use hybrid saplings or a grafting method.  There are several hybrid and grafting species of mangoes such as Aam Rupali or mangoes of the Mallika species, guava, lemon, papaya, olive, karamcha, custard apple, pomegranate, and even some species of banana that can be planted. Other than these, there are grafted saplings of olive, sweet Thai olive, custard apple, strawberry, coconut, betelnut, litchi, Thai guava etc. that can be cultivated.

Other than these you can cultivate coconuts of Carola Drop species. For flowers, select roses, apes, bellies, dahlia, chandramallika, bougainvillea, nayantara, etc. But since the garden is on the rooftop, you can easily plant fruits like guava, tamarind, lemon, pears, chili etc. on tubs or drums. Amongst the vegetables you can plant tomatoes, eggplant, chilli, cucumber, sweet pumpkin, beans, parsley, lettuce, broccoli, cauliflower, etc.

Care and attendance before and during plantation

Don’t plant big tree inside a small tub and vice versa

Create the garden in your own way. But it is important to remember to take proper care of the garden rather than just impromptu gardening.

Before planting any sapling, the soil should be prepared by mixing one third of organic manure with loamy soil. You can mix a handful of bone powder, two spoons of lime, and two handfuls of ash. This will keep the fertility of the soil in the tub intact for a long time. It is important to keep an eye on the seedlings from time to time. After planting, the soil should be tightly packed with gentle pressure. Then apply a little amount of water. Do not put it in the sun immediately after planting. Leave it in the shade for a few days and then expose it in the mild sunlight of morning and evening.

You can use bamboo twigs or sticks to keep the tree upright when it starts to grow. But do not let the tub tree grow too big. Cut off excess parts every few days. Once a month, weed the soil with the help of a hoe and apply organic manure. When the flower of the tree is dry, cut it down with some pedicel from the bottom. When new leaves sprout, apply a pinch of urea fertilizer in one liter of water at the base of the plant. You can also use tablet fertilizer. The shape of the flower will be larger. Pesticides are given regularly on the trees. Do not move trees from one tub to another unless necessary.

care after plantation

Togor flower
Togor flower inside a tub

Water the plants regularly inside your roof garden and drain them properly. If you water them twice a day, make 5-6 holes at the bottom of the tubs. Otherwise the water will accumulate and the roots may start rotting. Spray water on the leaves twice a week. Apply fertilizer to the plants regularly. Since the plants are small, one handful is sufficient. Never apply fertilizers to the base of the plants. Apply them at a distance of 4-5 cm. Mixed fertilizers are the best. Cow-dung is the best kind of organic fertilizer for gardening. But the cow-dung must be in powder form before applying it well with the soil. If you want, you can make organic manure by baking vegetable broth, which is also good for plants. Fertilization should be done 2 to 3 weeks before the plants mature or flowers arrive.

If there are trees, there will be various types of insects and pests. In that case you have to be more careful. Leaves or stems infested by these pests should be cut and separated immediately. The whole plant should be sprayed with soapy water. Then there will be a lot of relief from pests.

These are the steps of creating your own roof garden. It enhances the beauty of a house, with its heavenly beauty and graces of greenery. Start working during your own roof garden in leisure times to create your rooftop garden. If you have any suggestions, leave them in the comment section below.

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