Monday, May 30, 2011

ROOFTOP GARDENING: they get everybody involved.

Rooftop gardening does come in with an array of noble ideas. It started off as an incubator entrepreneurial activity handled by an enterprising  group from a to z. Once they have gone through the whole cycle, they should be able to duplicate it somewhere else with confidence. It fits the concept of dare to dream. Then comes the environmental, economical and social issues they will probe further.; about saving energy with temperature drop in buildings, about improving air quality with more green lungs in cities, about idle rooftop generating  decent income, about rooftop turning into a field for social/recreational outlet.

It comes a long way to at last see seedlings growing in white polybags. The idea of rooftop gardening came out early in the year, followed by training and courses on techniques of modern gardening / farming. Then the whole rooftop gardening concept was drafted during the first week of  April 2011. By 19th of April, 1000 chili centil seeds were germinated, a definite landmark on the commitment to see the whole project through. Then components of irrigation system, polybags and growing media were purchased and assembled by the group.  By the 18th of May 780 seedlings were transplanted and another 20 the next day. The whole program was officially launched by Datuk M on the 19th of May 2011.

Phase 1: Working on the irrigation system and growing media in bags


pic 1: crane used to take everything up.

pic 2: Bags of growing media being unloaded at rooftop.

pic 3: Irrigation system being assembled.
pic 4: Irrigation system being assembled, one in one out!


pic 5: Cocopeat and burnt paddy husk as growing media, mixed.

pic 6: mixing of growing media

pic:  at the back of their Tshirts "rooftop gardening"

pic 9: prayer - everything would be alright hopefully

Phase 2: Transplanting of 800 chili centil

pic 10: everybody get involved in transplanting.

pic 11: even the ladies joined in

pic 12: He fixed the drip system
19th of May 2011, The launching of rooftop gardening ~ 800 chili centil

pic12: The young entrepreneurs dressed up for the launching

pic13: Datuk M, firmed the growing media at the base.

pic14: another two dignitaries joining media blitz

The first 10 days.
The irrigation system is working well, pushing through the seedlings into healthy looking chili plants

pic:15 Age of plant  ~  7 days

Pic16 : Age of plant ~ 10 days

The age of plants is normally counted after the day of transplanting. Now they are 10 days old. The  chili centil plants  are getting stronger, stems progressively getting out of the green baby look, becoming slightly darker, and side shoots are appearing at lower nodes. They are going to keep the side shoots.., it seems that will add to the general stability of the plant against wind. A serious farmer had mentioned to them about keeping the side shoots which will later develop into side branches with the promise of bigger harvest.  Farmers do have a lot of secrets under their sleeves and gardening hats.....

 bangchik and kakdah, tanah merah

thanks Aziem for the photos.


  1. Exciting to see the photos of the process...using an unused rooftop to grow vegetables is such a wonderful idea. Thank you for sharing!

  2. great effort.. baru perasan lokasi bangunan tuh,.. agak familiar.. mudahan makin banyak usaha sedemikian.. gud luck!!

  3. Interesting project! You're one in the team? Good luck!

  4. ~ Theanne and Baron
    Idle rooftops needs a little bit of dream and the enthusiasm to realise it. With rooftop gardens all over, flying over cities will offer greener view, definitely healthier!

    ~ Kim and Victoria
    Thanks, the group needs support from all over, to keep adrenalin flowing..

    ~ rashid
    You grew up in Kuala Krai, so this particular building in Tanah Merah is not foreign to you.. The success of this rooftop gardening will definitely be the main anchor for similar project to spring up all over Kelantan...

    ~ Malar
    I am not in the team...., I am offering help in a different capacity.., someone they can refer to. The team is really moving forward....

  5. Excellent, excellent project. Next, all palm trees by the side of our roads should be changed to fruit trees, as should most other ornamental plants around our buidings!

  6. ~AJ
    I don't know about roadside AJ. Ownership is a contributing factor to the success of any endeavor. But as long as the effort is to add more green, the earth will smile.

  7. Rooftop gardening is a great and wonderful concept! Hopefully this will be the spin-off to many more rooftop gardenings! Great work, everyone!

  8. I'm happy your effort shows a great success, even though it must take a few more month to see the result. I pray your effort successful. Good Luck! ( But... Who was the famous celebrity? )

  9. ~kitchen flavours
    I dont think building owners are against such idea... Entrepreneurs can rent rooftop which had been idling for decades...

    Not too long... if everything is alright, the first red chili will appear within 50 days. Planting on 18th of May, so the first red chili should appear by 7th of July. Celebrity?... You have to guess!

  10. Bangchik, do you know why they use white container? Is it polyethylene? Black absorbs heat, but i normally see black polybags here!

  11. ~Andrea
    Why white polybags?.... They are offering three reasons.
    1. White bags give a brighter surroundings, and pests dont seem to like bright place.
    2. The brighter surroundings improve photosynthesis, thus healthier plants.
    3. Roots dont venture out of white bags, they stay inside like a ball. They take water and nutrient better.

  12. Do U need real celeb for yr 1st harvesting ceremony? U can count on me... I think u need a little touch up for yr environment background... get what i mean? lack of "gula la nak tarik semut" :P. Anyway... great project, great leadership & great teamwork! bravo Bangchik!

  13. faudzi
    Thanks... ur info is encouraging indeed... we have tons of gula to offer, but we need to be very selective with semut.. Rooftop gardening ought to be championed through, it has a lot to offer, helping the so called "greentech movement".

  14. Thanks for sharing the photos ^_^ it gave me some ideas to use for my own garden as well...^_^ btw, what are those gray-coloured sheets that's covering the floor of the rooftop? Is it normal plastic sheets? I have only a small exposed cemented area to use as my garden and it gets too hot. So far, i haven't been successful in growing anything. The only plant managed to be grown successfully is the Roselle plants (the seeds which was given by you and KakDah. Thanks again ^_^) But even these plants are stunted in growth. So, hopefully i can do something to reduced the heat. Thanks ^_^ and all the best to everyone for the rooftop gardening project...^_^

  15. ~tooey2010
    Thanks for the comment. The gray sheet is called "silver liner". Farmers normally use these in rows, to keep out weed. For rooftop gardening it is not used for weed control (for obvious reason) but for the reflected lights which help photosynthesis and keep out pests, fungus etc.

    About your plants, they should be able to cope with heat. They are not fussy, enough water (about 1.5 liter per day), enough fertiliser... and penetrable soil for roots to grow.
    Good luck!

  16. That is a big-scale operation going on there! Is the water rain water they will be using?

  17. ~tooey2010

    For the first phase, they will be using normal water supply. They will soon be working on rainwater harvesting...

  18. Assalamualaikum Bangchik, oh what a grand effort and a brilliant idea. I hope the idea will catch on and more will reap the benefits. Malaysia needs to be a grower of our own vegetables.

  19. Wow! This is really an involved process. But I'm sure it is well worth it.

  20. ~Aishah
    Wassalam. Rooftop gardening is an effort to emulate Cameron Highland, on height and coolness. haha. It's about utilising idle space actually... If you wish to develop idle space, you know where to turn to. :)

    Yes, an involved adventure. Everybody will learn along the way. When the two is combined well ~ enthusiasm and commitment, sky is the limit. Recipe for any success story, yea?

  21. - Bangchik -

    I have no recipe for a success least not yet.

    I can't wait to see how this rooftop garden continues.

    Thanks for sharing the pictures.

  22. ZZ
    Thanks... there will be updates of course.

  23. that was great.i am planning to something like you. may Allah give you Baraka.


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