Tips to care for home garden during monsoon


Are you planning to develop and care for your home garden this monsoon? Monsoon season provides ideal environment for inducing growth in plants as the low temperatures and humidity help the roots swing into action. This is an excellent period for introducing new plants into the garden, starting a new home garden, planning a terrace garden and maintaining the existing home garden. This article provides a comprehensive guide on how to use rain water for gardening and tips to develop a thriving garden at home.

The monsoon clouds have started looming over the sky and this is the time when the scorching heat of the summer subsides to pave way for the monsoon clouds. While rains evoke different moods for different people, it is also true that time of rains is the best time to tend to the beautiful greenery in the backyard, garden or on the balcony. Monsoons are in fact, a joyous time of the year for those who love gardening to see their plants grow faster and bloom in the glory of the rains. It is not only the rains but the fresh and cool breeze blowing all day long during the monsoon season and the humidity in the air that acts as a boon for the plants.

Home gardens, have been proven to be the best stress busters for a human being when they take care of the plants with ultimate care. Monsoon is the most conducive climate to grow indoor plants at home as they absorb the humidity in the air and also get the help of little sunlight that peeps through the clouds. However, monsoon also requires extra care to be given to the plants in our garden as this is a climate for breeding of insects, worms and weeds. People should ensure that the plants are not having any stagnant water and worms. The stagnant water and worms during the monsoon in the plants can let the plant die in a very short time before any corrective action can be taken by us.


How to use rain water for gardening


Rain water harvesting


The world is filled with 2/3 of wter but most of it salty water unfit for consumption either for humans or animals or plants. Statistics reveal that only 3% of the water is fit for consumption and out of this 3%, 70% is part of glaciers around the world and cannot be consumed. Hence, it is the duty of every citizen to use water judiciously. We can all use the rain water for watering the plants by storing this water for few days during the monsoon season. The preservation of rain water also helps in systematic maintenance of the garden by supplying the plants with adequate supply of water. For harvesting rain water as a storage for watering plants, one can build small channels through the roof and pathway around the home which can be directed to a tank or reservoir for storing water for gardening purposes. Another easier way for harvesting rain water is to just fill big buckets kept out in the rain for gardening usage.

Usage as natural sprinklers


The pots in the home either indoor plants or plants in the closed balcony can be kept in the open after the first rain. The rain water during the monsoon season acts as natural sprinklers for the plants in our garden. Even proper gardening techniques insist that plants should be watered through sprinklers and not with mug of water from a bucket. Sprinklers help in uniform availability of water to the plant and to the leaves. This natural sprinklers falling with adequate force act as activating agents for the plants.

Shading the plants during monsoon


There is a risk of erosion of fertile top soil in the garden due to heavy rains during the monsoon season and the plants might be deprived of their natural nutrients available in the top soil. Some people put up plastic sheets on top of their plants during monsoon season to prevent the plants and soil from damage. Instead of covering the plant with opaque sheets and totally depriving the plant in the garden of rain water, we can use perforated sheets specially made for the purpose of plants to allow rain water to reach the plant as sprinkler and benefit them.

Terrace Garden


Monsoon is the best time of the year to develop a terrace garden. Terrace garden is a method of gardening wherein one cultivates plants, shrubs and grass on a terrace or a raised platform. It is generally given the shape of terraces so that water can flow down. The increase in apartments has reduced the space available for gardening around the house and so this concept of terrace gardening is catching up in India. Rainy season helps in faster setting of the soil and aids growth of plants. The raised platform can be built just before the rainy season and wait for the rains to set it firmly. However, care should be taken not to use tap root plants in terrace gardening as the roots can harm the building. It is also important to note that the roof or platform where the terrace garden is being set up is strong enough to withstand the weight of soil and plants. Many apartment builders are providing for terrace gardens within the building instead of around the building for lack of space.

Pruning


Pruning is necessary in all seasons but pruning the plants just prior and during the monsoon season helps in faster growth of plants and aids budding of flowers in them. It also ensures that enough air and sunlight reaches every part of plant/ trees and also that nearby plants growing in their shade get adequate sun and air. Pruning is an important part of gardening activities. Every type of plant requires different kind of pruning.

Flowering plants: Deadheading is a common method of pruning flowering plants. When the flowers in the plant start to wither, they are cut off from their stem/ head which helps in formation of next flowering bud. This method helps in increasing the length of flowering season but if the flower has some pollen or seeds to aid further reproduction, this type of pruning is not recommended.

Shrubs and hedges: Hedging method of pruning is applicable when there are shrubs and hedges in the garden. This method is started when new leaves start growing during the monsoon season. The shrubs are cut according to the shape required in the garden, either circular or oval or square or any specific shape.

Grass: The lawn grass grows very quickly during the monsoon season in the garden and it needs to be chopped as close as possible during the season. Even if the grass seems to be dying the grass should be mowed as it can give a new lease of life to the grass.

Foilage plants: Handpicking and selective cropping is the method used for foliage plants in the garden. The foliage plants do have distinct stems and the leaves tend to get damaged or get dry especially during the monsoon season. Gardening implies that the plants should be kept lush green and hence, the damaged leaves and part of the plant needs to picked by hand or cropped very carefully for a certain portion to let the remaining part grow and bloom.

Trees: Chopping is the only solution for trees as they are wooden. This is not restricted to monsoon season but can be done any time whenever they seem to falling off or blocking a path or blocking light into the house etc.

The rain water can be properly to gain maximum advantage for the plants in our garden but then the same monsoon season also has some damaging effect for the plants in the garden. Proper care and caution is required to keep the plants lush green and healthy.

Care for the home garden during monsoon


The important factors to be taken care during the monsoon are:

1. Checking the drainage system around the house is a very important care routine for the plants in the garden. Stagnant water can rot the roots of the plant easily and helps in breeding of mosquitoes. Hence, rain water during the monsoon should be drained out completely to have a fresh feel in the garden.

2. The most ideal plants which can thrive easily during the monsoon are bulbs, rajnigandha which have sporadic flowering till December from the start of monsoon season.

3. Earthworms are the best friends for a garden and its plants. They build tunnels in the soil and help to aerate the plants apart from nitrating the soil. If we find them concentrated at one place, we can pick them up and spread them around the garden to allow fertilisation of soil at all places.

4. The pits around the plants should be shallow during the monsoon season to prevent the water from staying around them. Spreading of mulch around the plants helps the plants as the rain water which seeps in brings additional nutrients to the plants in the garden.

5. If one is planting new saplings, one must ensure that only those plants which can adjust to the moisture of the monsoon season should be planted. The young plants in the garden and those plants which are too fragile should be sheltered adequately to protect them from the rains.

6. Frogs and toads should be allowed in the garden during the monsoon by way of flowing water or running stream. They are insect eaters and help the garden to be free from these insects.

7. If the leaves of the plants in the garden start turning yellowish during the monsoon season, then immediate remedy can be mixing of manure or cotton seed meal on top of the soil and keeping them moist.

8. Pruning and application of fertilisers are two important steps for a gardener after the summer with the arrival of monsoon. Removal of dead leaves and dead growth from a plant helps the fresh shoot to grow well whereas manure provides the plants with adequate nourishment.

9. It is better to use natural fertilisers than chemicals for plants. Cow dung manure has been proven to be the best manure for plants. Some gardeners also use foliar fertilisers to help the plants get adequate nutrients. This feritiliser has to be sprayed on the plants and soil. During the monsoon season, the pores in the plants open up and spraying the fertiliser helps the plants to absorb them immediately.

10. While preparing flowerbeds, one should take care to make them on a raised platform as they allow water to flow through and also helps the soil retain moisture. Mix adequate amount of red soil and manure for fresh plants.

11. It is never advisable to water the plants during the monsoon season unless the soil has turned dry or the leaves have started dropping. Even if they have to be watered, adequate amount of water should be given to avoid damage to the plants due to excessive watering.

12. Application of pesticides is the third important step in gardening after pruning and fertilisers. This should be done during the monsoon season immediately after fresh shoots appear after the pruning process. Most insects prefer to suck fresh leaves and external application of fertiliser will help in avoiding any such insects.

13. Never walk on wet soil especially clay. The footprints that get left on the soil are an evidence compression of soil during the monsoon season. They pack the soil particles tightly and squeeze out necessary oxygen.

14. The soil should be loosened instead of tilling before planting a new sapling during the monsoon season. This can be done with the help of a shovel. Very loose soil can be great for new plants which can be made ready by just combing the soil. Repeated tilling can break healthy soil clumps and speed up decay.

15. Insects should be culled in a manual ways they would be numerous and tend to multiply during the monsoon season. The best method to kill insects followed by me is to keep a bowl of kerosene and place a light insect killer near it. The insects get attracted by the smell and light and get eliminated.

Conclusion


The tips related to home gardening are very easy to follow and many would be actually putting them into practice. But due to hectic work, lack of time and energy, people find it difficult to follow the actual schedule required to maintain a flowering and lush green garden at home. However, if we make it a routine to devote at-least one hour daily to gardening, especially during the monsoon season, we can have the most beautiful garden in the town. The gardening tools should be selected properly to have a less tiring work at the garden. Monsoon is the right time to try to get into indoor gardening if there is no space for a lawn or backyard space.


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Comments

Author: Ravi Shankar27 Jul 2012 Member Level: Platinum   Points : 0

Excellent narration point by point, very good article.

Really enjoyed and learnt few things from your article.

Author: Aparna Shankarraman27 Jul 2012 Member Level: Gold   Points : 0

Thanks Ravishankara....



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