Reminder: Plants are living beings!

I know it sounds and looks weird…. but we do need a reminder every now and then…

Especially after a beautiful flower series… This is a mandatory post.

Don’t buy plants only for their aesthetic appeal.. Don’t force them to look a particular way. They have their individuality like you have yours. They don’t have to look the way you have imagined it to be. One single flower is as beautiful as a bunch of 15-20 flowers. A plant serves more purpose than just producing flowers. Don’t force the plant to produce excessively by adding excessive chemical fertilizers. Treat a plant like your child!

Happy Gardening 🙂

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What if I am on a vacation? How do I water my plants?

This problem has been topping the charts and has been one of the primal causes as to why one does not have plants. The fact that plants dry up or die when they are not watered is really worrisome.  It is very obvious that we would not be around all the time to water the plants. There are many ways to tackle this problem. So don’t worry about the agony and the pain of seeing dried plants after returning home from your vacation. Here are a few tricks that will help you save your plants!

Always mulch the pots and move them away from sunlight before leaving. To know more about mulching, click here.

Option 1: Self Watering Pots

There are many types of self watering plants available. Yes, they are expensive as compared to the regular pots. But its worth it as with them around, you have to water the plants just once in a week. Have a look at these! Click on the images to know more!



Option 2: Plastic Bottles

Option 3: Bottle with thread idea

Option 4: If it is a monsoon season, you can place them in an open space like your building terrace or open Balcony.

Option 5: Request your neighbors/friends/relatives to water the plants. You can also place the plants in the corridor/terrace/community space which would make it easier for the neighbors to water them.

Option 6: Drip Irrigation Kit

You can use an automated Drip Irrigation System. If you have a manual drip Irrigation installed, you can just add a Timer to it. You can also use a manual drip Irrigation and connect it to neighbor’s tap/ Community Tap and request them to water the plants. Click on the images below to know more.

None of the above steps are required if you’re going out for 3 or less days. In such cases Water the plants three hours before leaving and again water them thoroughly just before leaving.

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Let’s Talk it Out!!

We discussed about creating and designing your Garden.. Now let’s examine all your apprehensions, concerns and issues related to Gardening!
Are you worried that the plants would dry up when you’re out on a business tour or vacation?
Are you worried about your relocation which is expected very soon?
Are you worried about water dripping through the pots?
Are you bothered that the plants might attract insects/pests?
Or is it about the water crunch that happens every summer?
Or is it about one of your not-so-good past experience?
What is it? Please leave your concerns in the comment section below. Together We will definitely find a solution!!

Fighting Pests

I have a very different approach when it comes to fighting pests. I believe, if your plants are healthy, they have a strong resistance towards pests. However if you have NOT been regular with adding your compost, the plants turn weak due to reduced supply of nutrients; thereby having a lower immunity which makes them vulnerable to attacks by Pests.

So the Golden rule is to keep your plant healthy with regular supply of compost. I believe in curing the infected plant by giving plants additional dose of Compost.

Rule No.2 says don’t have same plants besides each other. Different plants attract different pests. So if the same plants are not positioned next to each other, there is a very rare chance of spreading the pests. So only one of the plant gets infected.

Rule No 3: Wait patiently for the plant to fight the pest on its own. Human intervention is not always required.

Rule No 4: Take special care during change of season. Plants are mostly attacked by pests when there is a change of season. So in the last month of a particular season, add generous quantity of compost than you usually do. This enables plants to fight the stress caused by the changing season and the pests.

Rule No 5: In case you want to use any pesticide, use an organic one! Cow urine, Neem Extract and Sour Buttermilk are great pesticides!!

MULCHING

Mulching is nothing but covering the soil around the plants with dried leaves/grass or coco peat. Such a covering stops water from getting evaporated and helps to retain moisture in the soil. Mulching is very beneficial in the winter and summer season.

mulch1
This is just a reference picture. This doesn’t belong to my garden.

After sometime the leaves start decaying and get converted into compost. This improves the fertility and health of soil.

Mulching also reduces the weed growth around the plants thereby saving all the nutrients in the soil just for the plant.

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This is just a reference picture. This doesn’t belong to my garden.

Mulching is ideal for slightly bigger plants. You can also mulch the soil around bigger plants by planting smaller plants around them. This may not add to the fertility of soil but it definitely help to retain the moisture in the soil and reduce the weed growth.

What is wrong with my plant?

IMG_20160428_101316I have been asked by many of my readers as to what is wrong with their plant because the

  • The plant does not have flowers or the flowers wither before blooming
  • The plant got infected or there are white spots visible on the plant
  • The plant looks unhealthy and is drying up very quickly

To solve the above problems we will have to first identify their causes:

Whenever you buy plants from any plant nursery/ seller, please understand that those plants have been supplemented with lots of chemical fertilizers. It is because of these chemical fertilizers that you see those wonderful flowers blooming and many a buds on the plant. The effect of these chemical fertilizers stays for about 1-3 months. Now what happens once you have bought these plants:

  1. The chemical fertilizers have killed all the microbes present in the soil. The soil is now devoid of any nutrients.
  2. To this plant you have not added any fertilizer/compost.
  3. With no nutrients available, the plant first stops flowering. Then slowly it develops a weak immunity to resist pests and other diseases.
  4. The plant either gets infected or it just dries up.

SOLUTION:

Once you have bought the plant, immediately while potting it, add Organic Compost to it. For initial 6 months keep adding compost, every month, to the soil. Once you have added organic compost for 6 months the soil has abundant supply of nutrients. You will see the plant flowering as well as being healthy. It will now have a very strong immune system and it will fight any pest on its own. You will not need any pesticide or insecticide. After 6 months you can add compost once in 2 months and then gradually after a year, once in 3 months. I sincerely request you, please do not use any chemical fertilizers for your plant!

I hope this answers your questions. If not, please do contact me here.

UNDERSTANDING STRESS

cropped-dsc00532.jpgLike any being on this planet, plants too have three major requirements:

  1. Air
  2. Water
  3. Nutrients

All of the above should be available to the plant in the soil. I repeat, the SOIL should contain adequate amount of air, water and nutrients for the roots to absorb and grow.

Inadequacy of any of these leads to STRESS thereby resulting in a not-so-healthy plant. Hence it is a gardener’s prime duty to ensure that the plants receive all of these. This can be ensured only when one understands and studies the types of soil thoroughly.

Don’t worry!! I had assured you that I’ll not be using any technical terms nor will I get too deep into the technicalities! The following is a simplified version of soil study!

Soil is majorly classified into three categories:

  1. Clay soil
  2. Sandy soil
  3. Loam soil

This is a simplified classification. The rest of the soil types are nothing but different proportions of clay, sand and silt!!