With Bengaluru expanding rapidly and choked for space, it has become nearly impossible for the average citizen to connect with nature. Even a couple of decades back, Bengaluru had many houses with small gardens, but today, this sight is fast disappearing.
However, an innovative idea could change all this. Terrace gardening is turning out to be a new trend for the urban denizen who wants to do a bit of gardening or even farming in the small plot he or she has. The idea is to grow plants on the terraces of homes instead of on the ground and maintain a small garden there.
“If anyone has six square feet of a terrace garden, they can grow 16 different vegetables in that space,” said Mallesg Tigali, CEO of Purna Organics, a company that offers products, solutions and even training to people who want to cultivate on their terraces.
Companies that offer terrace gardening products to customers said the demand for the terrace gardening is only increasing. Tigali said his business grew 300 percent last year. In just six years of its existence, the company has managed a turnover of around 1.2 crores.
Tigali offers the whole set if one wants to start a terrace garden in their homes. His products include planter boxes, manure, mud, seeds and also gardening equipment. His products can also be bought from the website itself.
While a planter normal box that needs to be watered manually would cost around Rs 2500. The company also helps its customers install the boxes in their homes. A semi-automatic planter box which contains a water reservoir that plants would use when they require is also available for about Rs 3000.
An innovative planter box that waters itself automatically using floats and pipes costs around Rs 3500 rupees each. This bos stores water at the bottom and is replenished automatically as plants use the water.
Apart from the planter boxes, Tigali also sells manure in the form of vermi-compost which costs Rs 5000. He also sells a composter which can be used to make manure at home that costs about Rs 12000.
Tigali’s main aim is to reach out to people and train them in terrace gardening and the demand for this is only growing. His company offers training programmes in Bengaluru, Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai as well. He trains people through live demonstrations and also through video conferencing. The training modules include the basics of planting and watering and also contain lessons on pest control and plant nutrition. A practice kit is also sent to the students to work on their gardening skills.
Companies also offer maintenance services to their customers to help them sustain a terrace garden in their homes.
The focus these days is also on organic cultivation and the use of traditional methods to grow plants. With the alarming levels of pollution in the city, many have resorted to moving to organic food for their homes. As Tigali points out, “Our ancestors were healthier than we are today and immunity of people is reducing.”
He also felt that organic certification of the products would help in diversifying the industry since many people falsely claim that the products they sell is organic.
With the trend catching up to more and more households in Bengaluru, Tigali is reaching out to corporate through employee connect programmes and also schools as well to help train people on how to cultivate organic vegetables in their own homes. His students are given the necessary items like planter boxes, seeds and manure.
The customers for terrace gardening include housewives, students and working professionals.