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  • Writer's pictureRajat Kumar

The Role of Terrace Gardens in Lowering the Temperature of Homes This Summer


The Role of Terrace Gardens in Lowering the Temperature of Homes This Summer

Currently when temperature in India has increased to 50 degree Celsius, the intense heat makes it important to find effective ways to cool down our homes. One sustainable and increasingly popular method is to create a terrace garden.


Terrace gardens not only beautify our living spaces but also play a significant role in reducing the indoor temperature. Today we will explore how terrace gardens can help lower home temperatures and provide some tips for setting up your own garden.


Understanding the Benefits of Terrace Gardens


Natural Cooling Effect


Plants have a natural cooling effect on their surroundings. Through a process called transpiration, in which plants release water vapour into the air. This helps to cool the atmosphere around them.


Natural Cooling Effect of Terrace Gardens

When you have a terrace garden, the plants on your roof absorb sunlight and release moisture, which cools down the air above and around your home. This reduces the overall temperature inside your house, making it more comfortable during the hot summer months.


Insulation Properties


A terrace garden acts as a natural insulator. The layer of soil and plants on the terrace roof prevents direct sunlight from heating the building’s surface.


Insulation Properties of Terrace Gardens

This insulation effect helps maintain a lower indoor temperature. Without a terrace garden, the roof would absorb and transfer more heat into the home, increasing the need for artificial cooling methods like air conditioning.


Reduction of Heat Island Effect


Urban areas often experience higher temperatures than rural areas, a phenomenon known as the "heat island effect."


Reduction of Heat Island Effect by Terrace Gardens

This is due to the abundance of concrete, asphalt, and other materials that absorb and retain heat. Terrace gardens help mitigate this effect by providing green cover, which cools the surrounding area and reduces the overall temperature.


Setting Up a Terrace Garden


Planning and Design of Terrace Garden


Before setting up a terrace garden, it's important to plan and design it properly. Consider the following steps:


Planning and Design of Terrace Garden

  1. Assess the Space: Determine the size and shape of your terrace. This will help you decide how many plants you can accommodate.

  2. Choose the Right Plants: Select plants that are suitable for hot climates and require less water. Native plants are usually a good choice as they are adapted to the local weather conditions.

  3. Soil and Containers: Use good quality soil and suitable containers for your plants. Ensure that the containers have proper drainage to prevent waterlogging.


Plant Selection for Terrace Garden


When choosing plants for your terrace garden, opt for varieties that can withstand high temperatures. Some good options include:


Plant Selection for Terrace Garden

  1. Aloe Vera: Known for its cooling properties and low water requirements.

  2. Bougainvillea: A hardy plant that thrives in hot climates.

  3. Money Plant: Easy to grow and helps purify the air.

  4. Cacti and Succulents: These plants store water and are perfect for hot, dry conditions.

  5. Herbs: Basil, mint, and coriander can thrive in a terrace garden and add fresh flavours to your meals.


Maintenance of Terrace Garden


Maintaining a terrace garden requires regular care, especially during the hot summer months:


Maintenance of Terrace Garden

  1. Watering: Water your plants early in the morning or late in the evening to reduce evaporation. Drip irrigation systems can help ensure that your plants receive adequate moisture without wasting water.

  2. Mulching: Apply a layer of mulch to the soil to retain moisture and keep the roots cool.

  3. Shading: Provide temporary shade to delicate plants using garden nets or cloth during the peak heat hours.

  4. Pruning: Regularly prune your plants to promote healthy growth and prevent overcrowding.


Environmental and Health Benefits of Terrace Garden


Improved Air Quality


Plants are natural air purifiers. They absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen, which improves the air quality around your home.


This is especially beneficial in urban areas where pollution levels are high. A terrace garden can create a mini green lung, providing fresher, cleaner air for your household.


Stress Reduction


Gardening is a therapeutic activity that reduces stress and promotes mental well being. Spending time in a green, serene environment can help you relax and unwind.


Terrace Gardening for Stress Reduction

The presence of greenery has been shown to lower blood pressure and reduce the symptoms of anxiety and depression.


Sustainable Living


By growing your own vegetables and herbs, you can reduce your reliance on store bought produce. This not only saves money but also ensures that you are consuming fresh, pesticide free food.


Sustainable Living With The Help of Terrace Gardening

Terrace gardens encourage a sustainable lifestyle, reducing your carbon footprint and contributing to environmental conservation.


Practical Tips for Terrace Gardening


Start Small


If you are new to gardening, start with a small area and gradually expand as you gain more confidence and experience. This will help you manage the garden better and prevent it from becoming overwhelming.


Use Vertical Space


Maximize your available space by using vertical gardening techniques. Install shelves, hanging pots, and trellises to grow climbers and trailing plants. This not only saves space but also adds a visual appeal to your terrace garden.


Regular Monitoring


Keep an eye on your plants for signs of stress or disease. Regularly check the soil moisture, and look out for pests and diseases. Early detection and treatment can prevent major issues and ensure that your garden remains healthy.


Composting


Composting kitchen waste is a great way to produce nutrient-rich soil for your garden. Organic compost improves soil fertility, promotes healthy plant growth, and reduces the need for chemical fertilisers.


In the sweltering heat of Indian summers, terrace gardens offer a practical and eco friendly solution to lower home temperatures. They provide natural cooling, reduce the heat island effect, and offer numerous environmental and health benefits.


With proper planning, the right plant selection, and regular maintenance, you can create a thriving terrace garden that not only enhances the beauty of your home but also makes it a cooler, more comfortable place to live.

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