The monsoon clouds have started looming over the sky and the scorching summer heat has slowly started subsiding. Yes the Rainy season is on its way!. This is the best time for beautiful greenery in your garden, backyard, balcony or even terrace garden. The plants are benefited not only by the rains but also the fresh and cool breeze with healthy air circulation around your plants and also the optimum humidity in the air which acts as a boon for our plants.
When it comes to Home gardening specially container gardening, We will quickly run through top 10 tips to follow during monsoon and rains:
- DOUBLE CHECK THE DRAINAGE SYSTEM OF YOUR CONTAINERS: Apart from seeing the water flowing out of the drainage holes, make sure you insert a sharp pointed tool like a screw driver into the drainage hole and make sure its open. This is a very important care tip in rainy season because stagnant water can rot the roots of the plant easily and this is the high time for fungus attacks. This also helps in breeding of mosquitoes and diseases like dengue. Hence, rain water during the monsoon should be drained out completely as much as possible. Its also better to avoid using trays under your pots.
- WATERING: Do not water the plants during the monsoon season unless the soil has turned dry or the leaves have started wilting. Remember this line “OVERWATERING IS THE MOST COMMON PLANT KILLER AND NOT UNDER WATERING”.
- SOIL: A well draining soil is indispensable for your plants specially in rainy season. This is the reason why we always recommend you to prepare a well draining soil for each and every plant during repotting. You can check out my video on universal potting mix formulae from a card linked at top right corner of this video, specially for beginners.
- Earthworms: the gardeners best friends and I called them as Robots of Garden. This is the time when they are found maximum and if you find them concentrated at one container, you can pick them up and spread them around the garden to allow best fertilisation of soil at multiple places. You can also watch my video on the benefits of Earthworms in gardening.
- Protect Young Plants that is Saplings and seedlings from Rain. These plants which are too fragile should be sheltered adequately to protect them from the rains.
- This Point is interesting: Frogs and toads should be allowed in the garden during the monsoon. These are insect eaters and help the garden to be free from these insects – that’s one way of biological control.
- Pruning and deadheading is important just before monsoon for most plants. This helps the fresh shoots to grow and increase branching and growth. For beginners – checkout whats deadheading from my Q & A video playlist.
- Fertilizers: It is better to use natural fertilisers than chemicals for plants during monsoon. Also the requirement increases not only because of plant growth season but also due to rain, there is frequent wash out of applied fertilizers. Slow release fertilizers like Cow dung manure has been proven to be the best manure for plants. You can also use home compost or vermicompost. Some gardeners also use foliar spray to feed plants. During the monsoon season, the pores in the plants open up and spraying the fertiliser helps the plants to absorb them immediately.
- For ground gardening, preparing raised beds is so beneficial, water will never stagnate. For container gardening and ground gardening, make sure you do not have pits around your plants and try to fill it with mulch or try to level it or make it slopy or flat. The main idea is to prevent water stagnation.
- PESTICIDES: Spraying pesticides should be done during the monsoon immediately after fresh shoots start appearing after the pruning process. Most pests and insects prefer to suck fresh leaves and external application of fertiliser will help in controlling these pests. This is honeymoon period for many insects like slugs and snails which can significantly damage your garden.
Best natural pesticide is neem oil. 5ml per liter of water plus 10 drops of liquid dish wash soap – mix well and spray once every 15 days as a prophylactic.
These home gardening tips are very easy to follow but still many people due to hectic work and lack of time, find it difficult to follow this simple schedule.