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  • How to take care of your Home Garden during Monsoon Season

    Monsoon is beautiful weather for plants to grow and flourish.This is the best period for growing new plants, starting a new home garden, planning a terrace garden and maintaining your current home garden. In monsoon, plants grow very rapidly so they require extra care. Here, we are going to talk about how to take advantage of this naturally occurring cycle, and work with nature to create some beauty in your home garden. Home Garden Care Tips During Monsoon: Fertilisation: Fertilise the plants to accelerate the growth. You could use 6 months old cow manure (FYM - Farm yard Manure), home-compost or vermi-compost for plants. It is better to use natural fertilisers than chemicals for plants during monsoon. Also the requirement increases not only because of plant growth season but also due to rain, there is frequent wash out of applied fertilisers. Slow release fertilisers like Cow dung manure has been proven to be the best manure for plants. Some gardeners also use foliar spray of NP&K (nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium) nutrients to feed plants. During the monsoon season, the stomata (pores) in the plants open up and spraying the fertiliser helps the plants to absorb them immediately. Soil: The soil mixture should be a well draining soil to avoid water stagnation and root rot. A well draining soil is indispensable for your plants especially in the rainy season. This is the reason why we always recommend you to prepare a well draining soil for each and every plant during repotting. Use up to 30% coco-peat in a potting mixture. Watering: Overwatering is the most common cause of plants to die during monsoon. Root rot is very common so to avoid it, water the plant only when you see the drying soil. Excessive watering can suffocate roots and affect the soil’s fertility and your plants may not survive for long. Proper drainage in pots: Double-check the drainage holes of pots and remove any obstruction if present for draining of excessive water. Make sure you insert a sharp pointed tool like a screwdriver into the drainage hole and make sure it's open. This is a very important care tip in the rainy season because stagnant water can suffocate and rot the roots of the plant easily and this is the high time for fungus attacks. This also helps in breeding of mosquitoes and diseases like dengue. Hence, rain water during the monsoon should be drained out completely as much as possible. It's also better to avoid using trays under your pots. It is important to move your pots to a place where the plants are not damaged by heavy rain and get enough light. This is especially essential to avoid soil erosion. Pest control:During monsoons the pests like slugs, snails flourish so spray insecticide regularly to avoid pest infestation. Mix neem oil in water and sprinkle on plants as a natural pest repellent. Though, some pests like earthworms help in plant growth by aerating the soil. This is the time when they are found maximum and if you find them concentrated in one container, you can pick them up and spread them around the garden to allow best fertilisation of soil at multiple places. And frogs, on the other hand, help in pest control in gardens so they are called Gardener’s friends. Trim/ Prune: Plant growth is maximum in the rainy season. Trim or Prune regularly to enable fresh growth of the plants in your garden. Trim the branches of your trees and get rid of dry and dead leaves and extra growth that may have happened. Prune and trim the plants either just before the season starts or during the season to boost flower budding and prevent wild growth.This helps the fresh shoots to grow and increase branching and growth. Pull out the weeds: Weeds can grow rapidly during the rains and thus soak up the nourishment intended for your plants. Hence, keep weeding in timely intervals to avoid harmful growth. Important points to note: Check there is no stagnation of water in pots. Remove excessive plant growth Protect plants from insect pests.

  • Best Plants for a Vastu Friendly Home Garden

    Vastu is an ancient Indian science of architecture and buildings which helps in making compatible settings or a place to live and work in a most scientific way taking advantage of the benefits granted by nature, its elements and energy fields to amplify wealth, health, prosperity and happiness. According to Vastu-Shastra, North and East direction is considered auspicious for gardening in the home. If a garden is set up in this direction, it will always maintain positive energy in your home and keep negative energy away. Vastu-shastra suggests, the garden should never be kept in a South or West direction. If the gardening or plantation is done in the North then it brings new opportunities in your career and helps in professional growth. According to Vastu-shastra, one should never plant a spiky or thorny plant in the North direction. Planning and designing your garden as per Vastu Shastra can remarkably alter your mood, while also establishing health and prosperity. TOP TEN RECOMMENDED PLANTS FOR YOUR HOMES:

  • How to Grow and Care for Osteospermum

    African daisies (Osteospermum spp.) look a lot like common daisies, with petals radiating around a center disk. They are even members of the Asteraceae family, along with Bellis perennis daisy and zinnias. But their vivid colouring is not at all like the classic daisy. In fact, when African daisies were first introduced to the market, some people thought they must have been dyed. The center disks of the flowers even can look like they're coloured with metallic paint. Petals can be smooth and flat like a typical daisy, or they can radiate out in a tubular spoon shape. The leaves vary by variety; they can be lance-like or broadly ovate and smooth, toothed, or lobed. These flowers are best planted in winter when night temperature reaches 20°C, and they have a fairly quick growth rate, blooming about three months after sprouting from seeds. These tender perennials are planted as annuals. African Daisy Care African daisies work equally well in the ground or in containers. Blooms peak in late spring to early summer. Because African daisies stop blooming during hot spells, they are best grown in combination with other plants that will have visual interest in the peak of summer. These flowers are fairly low-maintenance when grown in an environment they like. Make sure they have lots of sun and soil with good drainage. Plan to water and fertilize regularly throughout the growing season (spring to fall). Also, deadhead the plants (remove the spent blooms) to encourage reblooming. Light African daisies bloom best in full sun. They can tolerate partial shade, but this will likely cause them to produce fewer flowers. The blooms generally open in response to light and close at night and during overcast weather. However, some newer cultivars, including '4D Pink', '4D Silver', and '4D Berry', remain open at night. Soil African daisies prefer organically rich soil with sharp drainage and a slightly acidic soil pH. Add compost or other organic matter to the soil at the time of planting to improve drainage and add nutrients. Water Although somewhat drought-tolerant once established, African daisies still need at least 1 inch of water per week to grow their best. During periods of drought or intense heat, the plants will slow down and go dormant. Aim to keep the soil evenly moist. But don't overwater, as soggy soil can encourage diseases such as root rot. Temperature and Humidity African daisies prefer mild weather, which is when they bloom most profusely. They can handle nighttime temperatures down to about 40 degrees Fahrenheit, though frost will damage or kill them. Humidity typically isn't an issue for them, as long as they have good air circulation and proper watering and soil drainage. Fertiliser These flowers like a lot of food to grow and bloom at their best. Besides mixing compost into the soil, apply a balanced fertiliser for flowering plants monthly throughout the growing season. Potted plants may require even more frequent feeding. How to Get African Daisies to Bloom African daisies generally don't need a lot of encouragement to bloom, but like many flowering plants, regular deadheading of spent flowers will prompt additional blooming. Several conditions can cause reduced blooming: Poor nutrition: If your plants don't bloom well, try increasing their feeding to every two to three weeks. Potted plants in particular require more fertiliser. Extreme heat and extreme dryness: Try shading your plants and giving them extra water if they don't bloom adequately. Insufficient light: African daisies generally tolerate partial shade, but too little sun will result in leggy plants that don't bloom very much.

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