With the monsoon at the doorstep, time to take care of your garden and greens

Jasmit Thind

With the onset of monsoons the world around us goes green. The plants and foliage reveal their beauty as they get rid of the dirt and grime that the dust winds brought with them during the long spell of dryness.

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Monsoon is the best time for planting trees and those of you who plan to lay outdoor grass in their garden during this period. The foremost thing to do is to check the drainage system in the garden. Water should not be allowed to stagnate, as it can rot the plants in the garden. The pits around the plants should be shallow to prevent water from collecting around them.

The other thing that of importance is to avoid harsh chemical fertilizers, instead natures’ own compost should be used. Mix a good proportion of soil and compost manure for new plants. The monsoon season provides ideal environment for inducing growth in plants as the low temperature and high humidity helps the plants grow. One can introduce new plants in the garden at this time too.

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Pruning is also important during this season. Just prior to monsoons, pruning helps in faster growth of plants and budding of flowers in them. Potted plants are easy to maintain as they be pruned easily. They can also be re-potted with fresh manure. Plants like Spider plant, ferns, crotons, palms etc grow better in rains.

If rainfall is not too heavy then indoor plants can be kept outside to help the plants get valuable nutrients. Prevent water logging in pots. Place the pots in direct monsoon showers at regular intervals once a week. This will help clean the dust and grime that surrounds the leaves and branches and gives a fresh breath of air to the plants.

Allow toads and frogs inside the garden during the monsoon. They help in controlling insects and bugs that might harm the leaves and flowers on the plants. Also weeds should be taken care of as stagnant water and worms might destroy plants.

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During the period when rains are consistent and heavy, there is a risk of erosion of fertile top soil in the garden. Plants may be deprived of natural nutrients available in the top soil.  Use Perforated sheets instead of plastic sheets to cover the outdoor plants specially to allow rain water to reach the plants as sprinklers, which is beneficial to plants.

Here’s a quick look at some Do’s and Don’ts when taking care of your plants

  • If leaves are turning yellow in a plant then immediate remedy can be mixing of manure and cotton seed meal on top soil and keeping them moist.
  • Don’t water plants during monsoon unless the soil has gone dry or leaves have started to shed.
  • When the flowers on the plants start to wither, they can be cut off from the stem, which helps in next flowering buds.
  • Shrubs and hedges are to be cut when new leaves start to grow. During the monsoon season they can be cut according to choice.
  • Trees can be pruned before and after the monsoons and foliage and branches can be cut, so that new growth can be encouraged.

Monsoons are in fact a joyous time of the year for those who love gardening, for they see their plants grow faster and bloom in the rain. To sum up in words well spoken by Audrey Hepburn,  ‘To plant a Garden is to believe in Tomorrow’. I agree.

(The writer, a gardening enthusiast, is a guest columnist at Simply the City)

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