Fruit and Vegetables

Vegetable garden on the terrace

Vegetable garden on the terrace



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Vegetable garden on the terrace


The small garden on the terrace can be a family creature, in which each member will have a specific task, or he will take care of some plants. Children are usually enthusiastic about this adventure, both because they are "officially authorized" to get dirty and because they witness their creatures growing day by day and can taste the products; many inappetents thus began to eat vegetables. Consider that there will be a fairly substantial initial work phase, which will pass through the project, the purchase of the pots and the earth, the preparation, the procurement of the seeds and the actual sowing. After which you will enter a fairly light routine, more than anything else based on transplanting new plants, checking the general state and harvesting the fruits. If in the initial plan you include an irrigation system, the unpleasant task of administering the water daily will be up to the machine. Do not, however, make majestic programs: for the first time proceed gradually, introducing new species from month to month and thus also giving you the opportunity to gain experience and understand what are your resources and the peculiarities of the spaces you have.

The project



With a small initial project, identify the spaces on the terrace that you can dedicate to your home garden. Calculate the usable surface: you will understand how many vases you can have, taking into consideration also the planters to hang and the step pot holders. Even the panels to hang on the wall with roomy pockets are enough to accommodate small plants. As an indication, you could create a program in which in the hanging planters you will grow aromatic herbs, in rectangular containers of good size (especially quite deep) and leaning against the walls will give space to tomatoes, aubergines, courgettes or beans; in smaller pots arranged on steps or in various corners of the terrace you will host lettuces, garlic, onion, carrots. It is clear that many species can coexist in the same vessel; this is the case of aromatic plants which, among other things, also have their base at the base of vegetables that exploit height (for example, under tomatoes).
If you can, choose fixed terracotta containers. For hanging planters, bet on plastic, easier to lift.
The plants need at least 5-6 hours of direct sunlight throughout the day, so the most suitable orientation for your garden will be towards the east, south and west. Starting from the characteristic temperature of your area, you can decide which plants to include and which to discard from your work plan beforehand.

Cultivation on the terrace



Our advice is to start from the realization of one or more seedbeds, where the various species will be sown starting from the spring and the seedlings will come out, to then be transplanted and spaced in the vases prepared for them. The seedbed consists of a fairly large container, but no more than 30 centimeters high; on the bottom spread expanded clay, then a layer of 10 cm of soil mixed with peat and an equal layer of soil. Since the seeds must be kept at about 20 degrees of temperature, provide for a removable transparent cover; keep in the shade anyway and always turn a little air. Water gently by steaming.
When it is time to transplant the new plants and thin them, take great care in preparing the containers. They must be deep enough and have drainage holes in the bottom, with a saucer. The best soil is a mixture of soil, peat and rough sand. Arrange the jars in order to easily water them: the best solution is to set up an irrigation system with the tube with the holes, because it guarantees delicacy in the water jet. Program the system so that it lights up in the evening hours: lacking sunlight, which evaporates liquids, plants will have more water resources available.
As for the fertilizer, in general you should know that the vegetable garden does not have great needs; It is sufficient to mix a little earth of earthworm with the soil that is prepared for repotting.
Regarding diseases and adversities, we can say that the balcony is a sort of guarantee against these attacks. This happens because in a reduced space humidity and temperature remain constant, therefore the plants remain fresh and well drained. The aromatic herbs also act as a natural repellent for some pests and insects.
An important indication: if you notice color changes in the leaves of the vegetable plants, it could be suffering from pollution. Act by covering the plant with a non-woven fabric that blocks fine particles and washing the fruits well with water and bicarbonate before consuming them. When the vegetable also takes on this color, throw it and wait for new healthy fruits.

Vegetables



Carrot (Daucus carota): they are biennial plants grown as annuals. Sown in late spring and thinned leaving 7 centimeters between plants. They are harvested after about ten weeks.
Lettuce (Lactuca sativa): it is an annual with many varieties. Reserve a shady spot. Sown at two to three week intervals from March to August; transplant the seedlings with 5 or 6 leaves. The cutting lettuce is ready after two months.
Garlic (Allium sativum): it is a biennial grown as an annual. He needs cold for at least a month. His wedges are planted in the fall. When the leaves begin to wither, they should be left to dry.
Onion (Allium cepa): is an annual plant. Plant the bulbs in early spring; in 3-4 months the onions will be ready. They must be removed from the earth with their leaves.
Tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum): choose a variety that does not become too high. Sown in spring and thinned out when two or three leaves emerge; tie the branches to supports.
Radish (Raphanus sativus): sow the variety from the round root at the beginning of spring, every two weeks, at 2-3 centimeters away. It matures in three to four weeks.

Aromatic herbs



Anise (Pimpinella anisum): annual plant, which is sown from March to May. Seeds are harvested in early summer.
Basil (Ocimum basilicum): annual, which is sown from March to May.
Chives (Allium schoenoprasum): a perennial species, which must be sown from March to May.
Marjoram (Origanum majorana): perennial, to be sown in spring. Fears the cold.
Mint (Mentha piperita): perennial sown in spring. The leaves are used, fresh or dried.
Oregano (Origanum vulgare): a perennial plant, which can be sown both in spring and in autumn. The flowers are gathered and dried.
Parsley (Petroselinum sativum): biennial to be sown in spring and summer. The leaves can be eaten fresh or frozen.
Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis): perennial, bushy bearing. It is sown from March to May.
Sage (Salvia officinalis): it is a perennial that does not tolerate cold and wet climates. It should be sown in spring.
Thyme (Thymus vulgaris): perennial plant, to be sown in late spring. Fears the cold.