Summer is here, so get your gloves on and do these things in your garden:
- Group plants with similar water requirements together, ” birds of a feather flock together”.
- Segregate your plants into groups; sun loving, those who prefer semi shade, shade loving and those going into dormancy.
- Keep shade nets ready. They can be hung like curtains on rods and rolled back when not needed.
- Make frequent rounds of your garden to check for pest/ insect attacks, so that they can be tackled in the early stages.
- Water your plants either in the early morning or late evening and not during the middle of the day when the sun is at its hottest. It may be necessary to water your plants twice a day.
- Mulch your garden, each pot, each soil. Mulching retains moisture. It is added to the top layer of soil to help improve growing conditions. It is made of natural fibres like wood chips, tree bark, leaves, yard waste or cocopeat which make the surface of the soil porous so that water and air can reach the roots. Mulching also cools the soil, protecting roots from the heat of the sun.
Mulch minimises soil erosion and evaporation and as it decomposes valuable nutrients are added to the soil . A thin layer of mulch discourages bugs and pests, keeping your plants healthy.
- Spread old rugs on the floor of your garden to retain moisture and reduce the temperature during the scorching heat of summer.
- Make proper trellises for vines, whether they are flowering plants or vegetables.
- Enjoy your garden every morning with a cup of tea and a small pruning scissor in your hand to clear dead branches, dried flower heads and dried leaves. Pinch and prune branches and leaves to make your plants bushy. Use this time to clear weeds too.
- Use wood ash, soap nut water, neem water or dry neem leaves for protection from disease. Particular attention should be paid to plants in shady areas as these are more prone to infestation by pests.
- Maintaining a water garden helps attract bees which will automatically help in pollination, increasing flower and fruit setting in your plants. Planting mint in your garden will also help to attract bees.
- Keep manuring fortnightly, alternate between adding solid manure and liquid fertiliser. The liquid fertiliser can be in the form of Jeevamrutha or bioenzyme.
- Vegetables that can be grown at this time include, mirch, baingan, kaddu, bhindi, kundru, tori, gwar phali, haldi and spring onion.
- Herbs that can be grown in the summer months are mint, lemongrass, tulsi and basil.
- Many colourful and scented flowers grow well during the summer months. These include, zinnia, balsam, marigold, madhumalti, harsinsingar, tecoma, summer lily, adenium, jasmines, portulaca, aparajita, kaner, champa, water lily, lotus and bougainvillea.
Plants have incredible benefits which most of us don’t even realise, they work for us round the clock to keep the environment and us healthy, so look after your plants in the scorching heat of the summer and you will reap the rewards.