Preparing Your Garden
The rainy season is an excellent time to grow new plants, but excess water can prove to be too much of a good thing. Make sure that young plants and plants that are too fragile to withstand the onslaught of a storm are well sheltered.
Trim your trees and plants before the rain starts. This ensures that enough air and sunshine gets through to every part of the tree and also to any plants that are growing in their shade. Clear your garden and ensure that water does not stagnate anywhere. Excess water that collects and stagnates can cause the plants to rot and die. If you are putting in new plants, choose those plants that can withstand the moisture of the season. Prepare the ground around new plants so that the excess water drains away.
Make sure that the pits around your plants are shallow during this season. Stagnant water not only serves as a breeding ground for mosquitoes, it can also result in root-rot. Spread mulch around your plants. The rain water that soaks through this will bring in additional nutrients for your garden.
Earthworms are good for your garden, so if you find them concentrated in a single place, pick them up and spread them around. They dig deep into the earth and nitrate the soil.
Getting Rid of Weeds and Pests
Remember, if the select plants of your choice can thrive in this season, so can weeds. Pull them out and ensure that they don’t grow back again during this season. Otherwise they could spread fast and choke up your garden.
Grasshoppers and other insects that can attack your plants also thrive during the monsoon season. Take preventive measures to keep them out and address the issue at once if you see any signs of pests in your garden. Frogs, toads and birds are excellent natural pest control options. Encourage them, if you have the space, with small ponds and bird-baths.
If you have to use pesticides, try to go in for the safe and organic options. They might cost more initially, but they can pay back a lot in terms of good health besides being better ecologically.
Watch out for plant mildew, a white powdery substance that can shrivel up leaves and stems, which affects photosynthesis. Get rid of it if you spot it. Constant dampness in the stems and leaves serves an invitation to this disease. Do not water plants from the top during monsoons. Mix a tablespoon of baking soda and some liquid soap in a gallon of water and spray it on susceptible plants. This is a preventive measure; it will not be of much use once the plants are affected.
Take Advantage of the Rains
Move indoor plants outside but ensure that delicate plants are not exposed directly to the rains. Keep these in a sheltered area or under the shades of trees.
Harvest rain water. If you don’t have collecting tanks, at least channel the rain water so that it flows through your garden. Do not allow the rain water to drain away on the streets. Preferably, excess water should be allowed to drain away into the earth so that it can return to the water table.
Take advantage of the rains to grow your garden. You will need to plan well and take measures to control pests and diseases. If you plan your monsoon gardening well, your garden will sport a rich look for the entire year with home-grown fruits and vegetables and beautiful flowers.
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