After the heat wave of summer, all that we wait for are the monsoon showers. Plants bloom and flower during rainy season and just like us, plant babies do get sick too due to spread of pests in monsoon. Humidity, winds and water in monsoon provide the optimal environment for pests to infest plants. Preparing in advance will not only protect your garden but will also let it flourish. Here are 10 gardening tips from us to help you prepare for the monsoon showers.
- Allow for good drainage: Water logging is a frequent problem in rainy season and restricts plant growth. When the problem is severe, roots do not have enough oxygen to respire and may eventually die. Therefore, prepare your garden with good drainage before the monsoon onsets. Some steps you can take to allow good drainage are use of grow bags, cocopeat or other potting mix that does not hold water.
- Provide support to the plants: Plants often break or fall off during the strong monsoon winds. Provide support to your plants to withstand the monsoon winds.
Image source: Fine Gardening Magazine
- Pruning and mulching: The first monsoon showers shoot up plant growth. Pruning, trimming and removing dead branches before the first showers arrive helps the plant to grow in the right direction. Mulching the garden before monsoon will help soil retain nutrients.
Image source: Caramanico Landscape
- Vermicompost: It is well known that earth worms are farmer’s best friends. Take their aid during monsoon to improve soil fertility, texture and aeration.
- Timely Weeding: Just like your veggies or flowering plants, weeds also thrive during monsoons. Weeding before the monsoon arrives will prevent weeds from absorbing vital nutrients from soil. Moreover, removing weeds when they are young is easier. However, weeding needs to be done regularly during monsoon season to protect your garden.
Image source: RHS school gardening UK
- Harvest the rain-water: If you have the space and time to do so, rainwater harvesting is fun and beautifies your landscape. There are no complex mechanisms required for harvesting rainwater. Simply direct the rainwater to a spot in your garden or collect the rainwater in barrels. If you have enough space on your terrace, you can make a pond in one corner and plant flowers around it. This not only creates a lovely spot on your terrace but also attracts birds and improves bio-diversity.
Image source: Association to preserve cape cod
- Plant the right crops: Not all plants thrive in monsoons. Some plants require hot weather, some require cool weather and some require moist soil. Plants that thrive well in monsoons are typically cucumbers and gourds like ridge gourd and bottle gourd. Get your vegetable calendar ready before each season and become a pro at gardening. Also, eating seasonally grown fruits and veggies is best for your health. If you need guidance, check out our recommendations for Monsoon vegetables here.
Image Source: Freepik
- Cover the plants: Sometimes plants get damaged beyond repaid when there are thunderstorms or hailstorms. Cover your plants appropriately to prevent that.
Image source: Alamanac
- Fertilizers: Soil erosion is common during rainy seasons. The top layers of fertile soil gets washed away with rains. This more often happens if you do not use pots or grow bags in your garden. So apply necessary fertilizers like NPK, cow dung, neem extracts, compost etc to keep the soil fertilized.
- Routinely check on the plants: Last but not the least, monsoons bring ample work for gardeners. Regularly check on your plants to identify broken branches, pests, infections, and water logging. Sometimes getting your hands dirty is worth it! Re-pot your plants, start new seeds and watch them grow!