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A Handbook of Organic Terrace Gardening – Bangalore, India


“Dr. B. N. Vishwanath, a pioneer in promoting urban agriculture in India, said that the only way to counter the health hazards of chemical poisons in food is to take up organic terrace gardening.

“With the pressure on farmlands and its rising cost in the urbanisation process, there is hardly any space to have a garden. This is where terraces come into the picture, he says.

“Giving some alarming information, Indian Institute of Horticulture Research (IIHR) scientist Dr. M. Prabhakar says that vegetables grown in the peri-urban area around Bangalore contain higher chemical residues than what is accepted at the international level. Presence of sewage and heavy metal effluents in water used for irrigation purposes and chemical pesticides render the yield unfit for human consumption.”

“You can grow commonly used vegetables on your terrace, including leafy vegetables such as amaranthus (dantu, keerai), coriander (dhaniya, kothambari), fenugreek (menthe), Indian spinach (basale) and lettuce; gourds like pumpkin, ash gourd (boodu kumbala), ridge gourd (hirekai), bitter gourd (hagalakai), bottle gourd (sorekai), chow chow (seeme badane), cucumber, little gourd (thondekai), sponge gourd (thuppada hirekai), snake gourd (padavalakai), watermelon (kallangadi hannu) and muskmelon (karabooja); root vegetables such as radish, carrot, beetroot, onion, garlic, ginger and mango ginger (mavina shunti) and other vegetables such as cabbage, cauliflower, capsicum, chillies, tomato, bhendi (bende kai) and brinjal. Similarly, you can grow a variety of fruit plants in big pots including mango, orange, pomegranate, musambi, custard apples, banana and guava.

“Bringing up flowering plants is yet another interesting aspect. Spice crops such as black pepper, clove, and cardamom could also be grown on the terrace besides betel vine (veelyadele).

Dr. Vishwanath has written a book “A Handbook of Organic Terrace Gardening” brought out by the APOF, priced at Rs. 100. APOF, headed by former UAS Vice-Chancellor, G.K. Veeresh, can be contacted at Alumni Association Building, Veterinary College Building, Bellary Road, Ph: 23516060,
email: aporganic@yahoo.comn

Dr. Vishwanath conducts one-day training programmes for housewives and other interested persons on organic terrace gardening.
He can be contacted on 28485717, 9845627217,


“A Handbook of Organic Terrace Gardening is a good maiden effort of Dr. B.N. Viswanath “It has something of every thing for a beginner of Terrace Gardening. In these days people are not finding time and patience for elaborate reading, this book serves adequately the interested in terrace gardening.”

“Terrace gardening is a healthy hobby, not only to keep one engaged for a couple of hours in a week but it gives the pleasure of being in the midst of a growing garden. It gives an opportunity particularly for housewives to take a breath from the routine of running the affairs of house and smiling with flowers and fruits of their own creation. Terrace gardening also provides some compensation of recreating the agricultural land lost for building houses, for growing immediate household needs. Like any other habits developing by repetition, terrace gardening can become a fruitful habit for young and old if attempts are deliberately made in the beginning. These days every thing is available at the doorstep if attempts are made earnestly.

“The author Dr. B. N Viswanath has pioneered terrace gardening in Bangalore by providing training to residents in their own locality and supplying the needed inputs like seeds, manure, plant protection materials, implements, containers etc. It is learnt that more than a thousand terrace gardens have come up in Bangalore in recent years. It is on the request of some of these gardeners a good effort has been made by the author. He provides basic information on terrace gardening through this book.

“The pictures and his photographs keep the reader interested. Nursery preparation, pot making, different methods of sowing, planning terrace garden, important tools and equipments needed and information on different types of vegetables that could be grown on the terrace are adequate for beginners.

“Preparation of compost, vermicompost, measures to prevent pests and diseases, water management are all useful guidance. Not many people venture into such professions like popularization of terrace gardening and providing needed training and material as involves a lot of time and effort without commensurate returns, I have great appreciation for Dr. B.N. Vishwanath’ s dedication and wish him great success. His book serves the purpose for which it has been written.

“Why urbanites have to grow organic food for consumption? Due to migration of people to urban areas, fertile agricultural land has been converted into houses and other infrastructures. Thus reducing the land for cultivation. By 2030, people living in cities will reach nearly 60%.

“These urbanities not only ingest food grown elsewhere but the organic nutrient waste generated in urban areas, instead of recycling back to land, goes waste without putting into use.

“The Terrace garden can use household organic waste as manure and reduce pollution. Estimates show that as many as 20 million people are engaged in urban agriculture all over the world. Half of Latin American cities and 40 percent of African cities, 72% of urban house holds in Russia and 14 largest cities in China produce 85% of the vegetables, not only from Terraces, empty sites, unbuilt areas, parks etc.

“The advantages of terrace gardens are many. It reduces the distance the organic food has to travel before reaching the mouth of an urbanite. Part of urban and household organic waste is converted to wealth, prevents contaminated vegetables and fruits getting into human systems, provides fresh vegetables and fruits, keeps members of the house hold everyday engaged for few hours productive healthy hobby and keeps the mind in tune with nature by living in the midst of growing plants. Above all the children will develop to love the plants and the terrace gardens and kitchen gardens provide them a practical field to learn their biology lessons.

“We also have to remember that eating chemical food continuously will allow it to accumulate and it affects our genes as it has been shown on children in the group of villages around Padre in Kasargod, leading to the birth of handicapped children. You may remember the story of Chanukya who used to nourish girl children on low doses of poison to be used against the kings and commanders of the opposite side where these Vishakanya spend a night with them and by morning they used to be dead. Do we need our future children to be Vishakanya’s and Vishapursha’s by feeding them food laced with chemicals? The book ‘Silent Spring’ by Rachel Carson gives details about the ill effects of chemical agriculture as early as 1960’s. To reduce eating poisonous food, grow your own healthy vegetable and fruits at your doorstep, enjoy life with living plants.

“How to go about Terrance gardening? Planning is the most important factor in terrace gardens. Depending on the number of people in the household and the space available on the terrace and around the house, one can plan the Terrace garden to grow vegetables, fruits and medicinal plants etc. In addition to reduce the pollution in your microclimate, it increases oxygen production, reduces the temperature it weans away from unproductive, often expensive habits to healthy, productive life style.

“Go Organic on Your Balcony” Bangalore. May 7, 2009

“‘Terrace-farming’ of a different kind.” in the Hindu, India’s National Newspaper.May 11, 2009

Link to article: “Orchards and Vegetable Gardens in the Sky”.


1 Rachna { 03.21.12 at 10:19 am }

Would love to know when your next workshop is. Please let me know…

2 anitha ajtih { 03.23.12 at 10:34 pm }

i am interested in attending your class . please let me know the venue.

3 Deenanath Jhade { 04.08.12 at 10:57 pm }


4 Dr.B.N.Viswanath { 04.11.12 at 8:31 am }

Hi All………. the book is available from Ms.Shobha of AME foundation pl. call 080-26699512 R Mr.Kantharaj on 080-33516060 during office hrs
our group Garden City Farmers conducts workshops regularly
pl. contact Dr.Rajendra Hegde on 9448629528 … there is one in the month of may
for people from Maharashtra pl. contact Ms.Preeti patil of Urban leaves on9819197071
others who want to talk to me call my no. 9845627217 only after july 15th as I am outside the country at present R emailme at
Bangaloreans pl look out for OOTA FROM YOUR THOTA events also
chennai resident …. there will be a national seminar in Jan 2012 …. watch for details in your local papers

5 seema { 04.14.12 at 8:17 am }

I have just started setting up my teraace garden,however I had started a couple of months ago and most of the plants did’nt survive ,I don’t know if it’s be’coz of the harsh sunlight most plants were infected and it was painful to see my garden vanish.Well I need ur guidance to set up a fresh garden.Pl.let me know when ur workshop is scheduled I live in Bangalore

6 Santosh Nanda { 04.23.12 at 7:38 pm }

The parapet wall of my new building is partially a stretch of 100′ concrete channel of 17″ by 17″ size. I want to have plantations and small kitchen garden. Guidance is needed for appropriat mixtures of soil / manure filling and piping for drift irrigation.

7 R.K.MISHRA,LALA { 05.10.12 at 10:40 pm }

Dear Sir
I live in Patna and having a ta race garden of various
ornamental, succulent,cactus and Bonsai.Doing this since long.Any body interested in inter action over gardening,music he is welcome.

8 viswanath { 06.05.12 at 11:11 am }

Hi Friends
those who want information pl. log on to our facebook page given above by Lakshminarayan and others who want the book pl. write to my e-mail ID …. because we dont know where to send as your address is not available … we have given the address where to and whom to contact for the book

9 Laxminarayan { 07.30.12 at 11:53 pm }

Dear Namita, The workshop happens in Bangalore. Drop us a mail on, we’ll figure out on how to send the book.

10 sheetal { 08.02.12 at 2:11 am }


kindly guide where can i get this book in mumbai. In future any workshop planned in mumbai

11 Richa { 08.04.12 at 12:01 am }

Intrested in organic farming have a 2.5acre land

12 Lalitha { 08.23.12 at 6:24 am }

Please let me know of your next workshop in Bangalore. I will like to take part in it. Also do let me know how I can procure your book. Thank You

13 SAI { 08.29.12 at 9:55 pm }

I would like to know details of your next workshop in Bangalore. Thx.

14 Rita Borgall { 09.03.12 at 11:14 pm }

I would like to know when and where the next workshop is going to be held in Bengaluru. Please send details to my e-mail id. Thank you.

15 SHYLAJA { 09.04.12 at 6:43 am }

I reside near BTM Layout, Bangalore. I attended the “thotadinda oota” roof gardening exhibition last month, at the east end Bangalore. Since then I have been reading many articles on the net regarding this. Is it possible for me to buy this book and start off? Also interested in the workshop. Please keep me informed regarding this.

16 SHYLAJA { 09.04.12 at 6:47 am }

Oops sorry it is OOTA FROM YOUR THOTA

17 Hemanth { 09.18.12 at 6:36 am }

Hi, I am interested in agriculture. However, first I want to start something small, within my house, gain experience and then get into farming. I started searching for organic seeds but could not get any information online and that is how I landed here. Its very interesting.

> Please let me know where I can buy organic seeds
> Please tell me when & where is next workshop.
> I also need the handbook. Where do I buy it?
> Let me know when is next OOTA FROM YOUR THOTA?

18 Dr.B.N.Viswanath { 09.20.12 at 12:08 am }

the event OOTA from your THOTA is in the month of Nov.2012
our workshops R conducted every month …. this month it is full …next one is on 20th of Oct at AME Foundation Banashankari
pl. contact Ms.Shobha for details on 080-26699512/522

19 Dhrubajyoti Saha { 10.15.12 at 8:47 pm }

I live in Tripura, in the NorthEast of India, its not possible for me to attend the classes. I am however eager to procure the book, please suggest.

20 padmanaban { 10.19.12 at 10:27 am }

I am from chennai. I develop a nursery to supply ready to yield vegetables plants at nominal cost for those who are not able to grow in their terrace. I will setup and replace ,if the crop is over. padmanaban 9842224444,adyar, chennai

21 HILDA { 10.20.12 at 8:58 pm }

I live in Jalahalli Bangalore. Interested in attending your course and do some balcony gardening (organic vegetables)

22 krishibid krishna rani das { 11.20.12 at 7:48 am }

dear sir
good afternoon. i am metropoliton agriculture officer, department of agricultural extension,dhaka, bangladesh. i want to have your handbook on terrace gardening. how can i get this? please inform me.
krishna rani das
metropoliton agriculture officer
department of agricultural extension
mohammadpur, dhaka, bangladesh

23 shubham soni { 11.25.12 at 6:44 am }

wow… i am a student of class 11th from indore.
Your information helped me alot in finishing my model of organic terrace gardening.

24 SANGITA AGRAWAL { 11.30.12 at 3:46 am }

Want to attend your workshops conducted in Bangalore.
I live on Bannergatta road.

25 C.S.Karthikeya { 12.08.12 at 12:42 am }

Dear Sir,
I will be grateful to you if you could advise some person who can initiate, provide equipments and also to look after regularly for installing roof garden on my house roof top at No.11,8th main road ,Malleswaram,Bangalore-560 003

26 viswanath { 02.15.13 at 10:56 pm }

Hi All
we have an event called OOTA FROM YOUR THOTA on 24th Feb.13 @triangle park, sadashivanagar… there U can buy my book, interact with people to know more about OTG and also register for the workshop on 16th March

27 Suresh { 03.19.13 at 2:06 am }

Dear Dr. Vishawanth, it was great learning about you. I’m looking forward to know more about oragnic terrace gardening. I just realized i missed your workshop on 16th march. Let me know when is the next workshop. I live HSR Layout. Thanks,Suresh

28 Kala SunderRaman { 03.30.13 at 3:51 am }

Dear DR Vishwanath Sir

I am a working woman and still is interested in growing my own vegetable garden in my terrace. Kindly let me know when is your next workshop. Also kindly let me know, from where i can purchase your book on terrace gardening.

Thank you sir

Kala SunderRaman

29 Dr.M.V.S.Chowdary { 04.01.13 at 1:01 pm }

Long live Dr Viswanth.Please let me know the next ”Oota from your Thota” schedule.

30 Rajulbaj jain { 04.21.13 at 10:29 am }

Respected dr vishwanath sir , I attended your workshop last year and I started terrace gardening but most of the plants could’not survive due to pest.i just want to review by attending your workshop again.i am staying in BTM layout near vmsrf if you r conducting any workshop will be very helpful for me.thanking you

31 viswanath { 04.27.13 at 9:57 am }

our next workshop is on 18th of may at AME Foundation… for details contact Mr. Arun on 080-26699512 0r write to

32 viswanath { 04.27.13 at 8:45 pm }

our next OOTA from your THOTA is tentatively scheduled on 9th of June….. location to be fixed after the elections … details will be on our facebook page….. organic terrace gardening

33 John { 06.24.13 at 3:53 am }

I am interested to know the availability of organic seeds . Please tell me the total cost involved in it and the proper figure of availability of the land

34 Dr.B.N.Viswanath { 06.28.13 at 10:51 pm }

our next workshop is on the third saturday of July ie.,20th of July ….contact Arun of AME Foundation on 9738520619 for details and registration
next OOTA from your THOTA is on the last Sunday of August ie 25th of Aug…. for details pl. watch Organic Terrace Gardening face book page

35 nagarathna rao { 07.29.13 at 6:33 pm }

I am from Mysore and i would like to attend the workshop of terrace gardening Kindly let me the details.