How to do Post Monsoon care of your Home Garden:
Updated: Oct 9, 2022
“When God wants to move you to bigger blessings, He will allow a heavy storm to pour on you. Every plant grows after rain.”
Check pots and planters’ drainage: drainage holes have its own great importance when it comes to the health of the plant. Pots and planters can easily become flooded if the drainage is compromised. Check them before, during and after rain, and cover if necessary. And it is quite necessary to decant the rain water stored in the pots. Potted plants with poor drainage will store water and that can be detrimental to the plant. Always fill the bottom of the pot with loose stones and ensure the soil is not clayey. You need a potting mix that does not retain water. If the soil in the pot appears wet and there is green moss beginning to grow on it then that indicates a drainage problem. Additionally, the excessive rain could have destroyed all the useful microorganisms present in the soil, which can have an adverse effect on the plant. It is an opportune time for pests and diseases to attack the plant. It is advisable to re-pot the plant, with a better potting medium- one that does not retain water. Use a container with ample drainage holes.
Check the roots or root rot: Once the rain has stopped, make sure there are no exposed roots following soil erosion. Recover them with soil or compost before they dry out and risk harming the plant. Keep a watch on the plants, if you notice the plant drooping or the foliage blackening or yellowing then you might have a problem at hand. Unseen to the eyes, the excessive rain may have damaged the roots of the plants, setting a condition called root rot. You can salvage the plant by spraying systemic fungicide to control the problem. The earlier root rot can be identified, the better the odds are that you will be able to save the affected plants. If you suspect that your plant is suffering from root rot then first identify the problem, clean the roots under running water, remove affected areas, discard the soil, wash the pot and your equipment thoroughly and repot the plant in fresh soil. Sometimes, root rot is unavoidable, still there are many instances in which root rot is entirely preventable by using new potting soil, water as needed, using fertiliser sparingly, skipping the rocks, and also being careful with chemical treatments and fungicides.
Check on the weeds: after rain, you are likely to see increased amounts of weed activity in your garden. This is because weed seeds can be spread through rain and flood waters which make their way through your garden, also moist soil is the perfect germinating environment. Not only are weeds unsightly coming into your garden, they also start competing and sharing with the roots of your plants for nutrients and water. Pluck weeds out by hand as you see them. The soft ground and soil is the perfect time for extended clearing of weeds. In addition to tidying up the general debris, remove all weeds present which will be much easier now compared to drier conditions. To pull weeds, start by breaking up the soil where the stem meets the top of the soil bed. Then, grip the bottom of the weed in your hand and pull firmly at a straight angle to remove it by the roots. Alternatively, use a weeding tool to dig into the ground and tear out the root. And once the soil has dried a little, add a layer of mulch like organic sugar cane, which decomposes to add even more nutrients to the soil. When weeding, prevent seeds from getting into the soil, you should also be sure to avoid the spread of weed seeds. And for this, a proper disposal is also very important. A weed-free garden is a happy one where your pants are getting all the nutrients they need.
Check the aeration of soil: Aerating the lawn is an integral part of garden care as it allows much needed air to reach the grass roots and soil while alleviating the problems caused by excessive thatching and compacting. Garden aeration is the best way to minimise the impact of soil compactness. Over time soil can get compact due to excessive foot traffic, heavy and frequent rain or watering. The more compact the soil is, the harder it is for water, nutrients, and oxygen to reach the roots. When a heavy rain causes the soil to compact in garden beds and pots, a simple fork or a dedicated aerated tool can be used to create little air pockets and holes in the soil to allow air to flow and improve drainage. Regardless of your chosen tool, the best time to aerate the garden is when the ground is a little moist. Too wet or too risk plugging the tines with muddy soil. However, aerating bone-dry soil will make it difficult for the tines to get as deep as they should. After aerating the soil, the first thing you should do is add the extracted soil plugs to the garden, so they can serve as an additional nutrition source as they break down. The next step is to add fertiliser, so the deeper grass-roots can absorb vital nutrients as quickly as possible. Fertiliser will allow the grass to grow faster and thicker, which can suffocate the growth of unwanted weeds. If you have areas of patchy lawn, aeration gives you the option of re-seeding the grass. And finally after a proper aeration process, you will have to water the garden. This is especially important if you have re-seeded parts of the garden.
Check the need of fertilisers, fungicide and insecticide: Healthy lawns and gardens require a combination of the right elements. In addition to the appropriate amount of water, sunlight, carbon dioxide and oxygen, the roots also need the right kind of nutrients. Just as humans may take vitamins or supplements to ensure they're getting what they need, the same goes for lawns. Gardeners may choose fertiliser, fungicide and insecticides after heavy rainfall because it will help increase the effectiveness of these things in the lawn or garden. It will also help reduce the chances of the fertiliser/ insecticides running off into water systems and polluting it. On the other hand, choosing to water after heavy rainfall could mean that gardeners won't be taking advantage of the natural way to get the fertiliser into the lawn. It's difficult to get the appropriate amount of land coverage just from sprinklers or watering by yourself. However, rain could get the job of watering-in fertiliser done better than any other methods. This is why people incorporate fertilisers and fungicides into their gardening routine, which holds the proper nutrients in the right amounts for most gardens. Heavy rain can cause mold, rot and fungal infections which can cause the plants to wilt after a few days. This can occur a few days or up to a week after the rain has occurred. As excess water stays in the ground, it can cause fungal infections on the roots, stems or leaves.You may notice white or black mold on the leaves or stems or even notice mold growing on the mulch underneath the plants. For plants affected by mold or fungus on their leaves I like to trim and remove the leaves before they infect the rest of the plant.Removing the affected areas is usually enough to stop the spread if the rain has stopped. A fungicide might be needed if the fungus cannot be fully removed by taking off leaves. Do not feed the plant immediately after the rains. Wait for a few days, and apply fertiliser or compost after you notice the plant looking stronger. Applying fertiliser or insecticides on a plant that has been under stress would damage it further. If you'd rather not run the risk of having a heavy rain wash out your fertiliser, you can still use it in your garden after it rains. In this case, wait until the blades of grass are completely dry before you start. Check the weather forecast not only to check for information on upcoming precipitation; also check to see if there will be steady sunlight in the days following your fertiliser use. We all know sunlight is a key component of photosynthesis, and having steady sunlight and ideal weather conditions while the fertiliser is in full effect will help enhance its effectiveness and better improve the quality of your garden.
Check on the fragile and droopy plants: Plants can droop after rain when the leaves and stems become heavy with water and can bend or break. The soil can lack oxygen after multiple days of heavy rain or the plants can suffer from rot. By mulching the plants well, trimming off long stems and adding some extra fertiliser you can save your plants. Very heavy rain can wash away water soluble nutrients, in particular nitrogen. Heavy rain can wash out fertiliser, natural soil nutrients or any liquid fertiliser you might have added. For tall plants with long stems they can easily droop in heavy rain. The rain drops can stick to the leaves, weighting the plant down and the leaves and stems will droop. To prevent damage to plants during heavy rain is to mulch them well. This will prevent soil runoff, can absorb extra water and prevent the soil from becoming soggy. In short, plants can droop after heavy rain due to the weight of the rain pulling down the stems and breaking them. Droop can also occur due to a lack of nutrients, compaction of the soil or fungal infection. Remove any damaged stems, add more mulch to absorb extra water and add a slow release fertiliser.
Check to prune the plants: Pruning, in horticulture, the removal or reduction of parts of a plant, or tree that are not requisite to growth or production, are no longer visually pleasing, or are injurious to the health or development of the plant. Prune your plant with pruning & cutting tools as you see fit and take off the parts as soon as the rains hit. This is the right time for new shoots to grow but they will need some space for that. pruning, in horticulture, the removal or reduction of parts of a plant, tree, or vine that are not requisite to growth or production, are no longer visually pleasing, or are injurious to the health or development of the plant.