The Rooftop Gardening - Do It Yourself Kit distributed by the state horticulture department as part of its Urban Horticulture Development Scheme has become a big hit in the city with over 4000 kits being sold over the last one month alone. In an effort to promote urban rooftop vegetable gardens, the horticulture department announced the scheme where the entire kit for setting up a terrace garden is sold to public as a subsidized price.
While registrations for the scheme had been open for a while, the horticulture department began selling the kits to public on February 17, 2014 at a cost of Rs.1325/- per kit. “Over the past one month, the Central Chennai office in Anna Nagar alone has sold over 1300 kits and we are trying hard to keep adequate stocks for the requests we receive,” says Horticulture Officer (Anna Nagar) A. Mohammed Nazeer. If we take the other two offices too, we have already sold over 4000 kits,” he says.
The unique initiative taken up by the horticulture department to promote urban gardening aims to meet the daily vegetable needs of the terrace garden growers. “We do not use soil as base and instead provide coco peat which weighs much less and is not harmful to the terrace. Also, all the fertilizers and necessary nutrients that we provide are fully organic. These crops that are grown in your homes is more organic than the ones bought from shops,” says Nazeer.
The kit contains 20 UV treated polythene bags, vegetable seed kit containing brinjal, tomato, chillies, bhendi, radish, coriander etc, plastic hand sprayer, hand digging fork, organic fertilizers besides other gardening essentials along with a neatly printed booklet.
According to Nazeer, terrace gardeners using the kit can begin reaping its benefits after 45 days of setting up the garden and can harvest the veggies for the next few months. “The main aim of this project is to provide year round supply of fresh vegetables to public and effective utilization of rooftop space,” says the horticulture officer.
For more details, public can contact the Anna Nagar office (near Anna Arch) of TN Horticulture Department at 98411-55808.