Architect’s rooftop organic garden

HO CHI MINH CITY – Inheriting the passion for gardening from his father, a bonsai artist, even though he settled in the city, Duc Tri still made a garden on the roof by himself.

Nguyen Duc Tri, an architect in District 1, started building a 50 m2-wide rooftop garden on the 8th floor two years ago, when the Covid-19 epidemic began.

In addition to the melons in the middle area, in front of the garden he planted green vegetables, on both sides planted many fruit trees, flowers and ornamental plants.

Defining organic gardening, Mr. Tri chooses soil, ash, rice husk, chicken manure, cow dung, peanut oil cake and other natural materials as a substrate, mixes and composts manually before planting.

“The more thorough the first stage, the better the tree will develop in the later stages and less pests and diseases,” said the 9X boy.

Mr. Tri spent about 20 million VND to buy net house and automatic irrigation system. For each crop, he invests about 3-5 million VND more for materials and fertilizers.

“Any terrace farmer wants to successfully grow melons and I am no exception,” he said.

Without using pesticides, during the outbreak of fungi and pests, Mr. Tri had to invest a lot of time and energy in taking care of vegetables and melons. He incubated micro-organisms by himself and bought neem oil, sprayed every 5-7 days to prevent disease.

During the growth of the melon plant, the gardener adds fertilizers such as tomato protein, banana-egg-milk solution, seaweed to water the plants, on average twice a week. At each stage from seedling to flowering, fruiting and about to harvest, plants are fed with different nutrition.

In a melon crop, Mr. Tri planted about 40 pots, only one fruit for each pot.

“Although it takes a lot of effort and expense to invest in gardening, it is very fun to get the results and give them to loved ones. The gift is not big, but it is a lot of effort and love put into it, so everyone appreciates it very much. precious,” he said.

Since gardening until now, Mr. Tri has grown 7 different types of melons. “A year can grow up to four melon crops,” he said.

On both sides of the garden, he grows a variety of flowers and fruit trees such as apples, guavas, plums, sapoche, tomatoes… The biggest difficulty for terrace gardeners, according to Mr. Tri, is choosing tree varieties, knowing How to take care in the conditions of strong sunshine, high winds and take a lot of time and effort.

Having lived in the countryside, familiar with gardening, and learned a lot from his father, a bonsai artist, Mr. Tri planted many ornamental plants on the terrace. “Ornamental plants are easy to grow, mainly pruning to create beautiful trees. For ornamental plants with flowers, it is necessary to choose the right fertilizer for each stage of development,” he said.

Gardeners often water the plants in the morning. In the afternoon, if the sun is hot, it will be watered a second time.

At the height of the epidemic, many families in Ho Chi Minh City lacked vegetables, and Mr. Tri’s family was able to eat clean vegetables. Thanks to the garden, work was stopped due to Covid, he lived slowly and thought more positively. “So, when life returns to normal when there is pressure in work or life, I go to the garden to plant trees, water vegetables, and harvest to relieve stress,” he said.