For Your Garden

A guide to outdoor plant care during rains

Tip:  Delicate or young plants have to be covered with waterproof covers like tarpaulin. Slant the covering cleverly to drain the rainwater away from other plants.

After hot or dry months, gardens welcome rain with wide open arms. The outdoor plants get watered naturally, look lush and grow well. But rough or heavy showers can be damaging at times, and you need to know how to take care of the greenery during monsoons. So take a look at these tips to keep your precious greens safe.

Basic things you can do:

Some of the basic things you can do are mentioned below:

Get rid of dead shoots and limbs – Do this before a rain storm, as this diminishes the chance of tangling or snapping.

Take care of tall plants – Rains accompanied by strong winds can bend and damage tall plants. To support them, drive a metal or wooden pole into the soil and lightly tie it with the plant.

For border plants – Use wire or pea sticks to avoid these plants from keeling over.

Ensure proper drainage – Avoid water-logging in the garden at any cost. It might drown the plants in the vicinity and must be drained. Create slopes away from the garden that allow the water to run off.

Compost care – Turn your compost, so that its nutritional values in the damp layer percolate to the dry layers.

What about delicate plants – Delicate or young plants have to be covered with waterproof covers like tarpaulin. This is especially true for veggies and herbs. Slant the covering cleverly to drain the rainwater away from other plants.

Tip for vegetable roots – After the rain stops, check if the soil has eroded and exposed any vegetable roots. If yes, then cover them again with soil or compost to prevent drying out.

Examine planters – Rain can often flood planters if the drainage is not very good. Check them every now and then during monsoons and cover if required.

Remove weeds – Since the soil will be wet after rains, it will become easier to pull up weeds along with their roots.

Keep your garden safe from snails and slugs – Snails and slugs simply adore wet soil, but they can ham your plants. Here are a few tricks you can follow to keep them away –

  • Sand or gravel – Spread sand or gravel around your garden or plants, so that slugs are unable to slide across the rough patches.
  • Beer – Yes, slugs are immensely attracted to beer. All you have to do is fill a big plastic bowl with beer and bury it halfway in the soil. The slugs will land up in it sooner or later.
  • Plants that repel slugs – Grow strong-smelling mint, garlic, fennel, chives, foxgloves and geraniums around your other plants to keep slugs at bay.
  • Common salt – Sprinkle a little salt on slugs or dunk the pests in saline water. But make sure that the salt doesn’t get dropped on your plants.

Good time for picking lettuce – Rains promote the growth of lettuce and make it sweet and soft. So pick them and add them to salads to enhance flavors. Or you can also make a nourishing soup with lettuce, chopped onions, butter, chicken stock and fresh herbs from the garden.

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How to plan ahead

Don’t wait for it to start pouring when you have beautiful plants to take care of. Plan ahead and brace for heavy showers, snow or storms.

  • Buy mulch, well-rotted manure, gravel, and bark chips online before the rains begin. Apply mulch on the soil right after the rain stops. This will lock in the moisture needed by the plants during summers. Manure is ideal for fruits and veggies, while you can use gravel in rockeries and herb patches. Bark chips will come in handy when you have to walk over wet and muddy soils to reach borders. Just create walking trails with them and go about your job neatly.
  • Landscaped paths made with gravel, stone slabs or pebbles can not only make your garden easy to walk in the rain, but also enhance its visual appeal. Get in touch with a reliable landscape designer to get this task done.
  • Get some wet weather gear like waterproof jackets, gloves, waterproof trousers and wellington boots. Plastic clogs or walking boots can be great alternatives as well.
  • Reserve a space indoors or in the shed to protect some potted greens if needed.
  • Find out which flowers will thrive after heavy showers. Pink rain lilies and certain tulips might be a good choice. Hibiscus, swamp azalea, lotus and succulents grow well after rains too. Remember that the excess water will need to drain off though, especially for succulents. But if frost sets in, don’t forget to cover your succulents with a lightweight fabric or frost cloth.

So, don’t fret about your garden when the monsoons arrive. Just note the above tips, plan beforehand and enjoy a verdant and happy garden.

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