Sister Phuong Mai in Nghia Lo town divides beds and builds drainage ditches to turn the garden like a field on the third floor terrace.
When she built a house in 2009, she designed her own rooftop garden. At that time, the rooftop vegetable growing movement was not really popular, so she could not learn from anyone but tinker with it herself.
“The motivation for me to do vegetable gardening is my small children. I want my children to eat clean vegetables and fruits, not buy anything, worry about what they eat,” the mother of four shared.
The terrace area is 170 m2, in which she built a swimming pool for the children, a tea table, 70 m2 for growing vegetables and 12 m2 for a chicken coop.
Particularly, the garden soil is very well waterproofed. A week after pouring the roof, she mixed with cement and soaked in water for two months. After polishing, she spread the canvas and began to build the beds.
The whole garden has 9 beds, each bed is 1.1 meters wide and 4.5 meters long. The width of the beds is calculated to fit three plants of cabbage, beans, cauliflower or four kohlrabi, five cabbage…
Instead of buying land, Ms. Mai uses indigenous hilly land and improves it with hunched rice husks and chicken manure. The soil improvement process takes six months before sowing.
Along the beds are drainage ditches, avoiding waterlogging for the garden.
Although investing and gardening methodically, the first time planting is not easy. The biggest difficulty is the deep cold and frost in the Northwest winter, causing the vegetable beds to die after a cold spell. The soil is infertile, the trees are inert after just one night of summer rain. The garden is also always wet, many pests and diseases. “A lot of times, I just improved the bed of fertile soil, the new tree was planted, then after a night of rain, it was successful,” she said.
In 2016, Ms. Mai decided to make more transparent plastic roofs to cover rain, sun, dew and wind. “Since then, gardening has become much simpler and almost anything is a bountiful vegetable,” said Mai.
Currently, the garden is filled with cabbage, kohlrabi, cauliflower, cabbage, beans, and tomatoes.
She has just harvested dozens of cabbages, weighing 12 kg, to make kimchi. The cabbages were collected after only 2.5 months, white and stocky, making everyone’s eyes pleasing to the eye.