Increased humidity and temperature during the monsoon are favourable for the growth of plants. This is the time to lay new grass, sow late summer vegetables, care for seasonal flowers and prepare chrysanthemum cuttings. Also maintenance operations like removal of weeds, annual application of manure, besides selective pruning and managing pest attacks are done during this period.
Rainwash the indoor foliage
Exotic foliage pot plants like areca, chlamandorea, raphis palm, aglaonema, dieffenbachia, schefflera, drascena, syhgonium, philodendrum, which are usually kept indoors, must be brought outdoors for a rain wash. Drain excess water.
Prepare Chrysanthemum cuttings
Terminal cuttings of 3”-4” taken from the mother stock should be treated with root promoting hormone and planted in sand under shade. The cuttings take two to three weeks to get ready. Cutting in ‘thumb pots’ are also available in nurseries. Since chrysanthemum is prone to diseases, pot mixture should be completely disinfected. The best time to do so is during peak summer. Prepare pot mixture consisting of one part garden soil, one part of farm yard manure (FYM), two parts of leaf mould and two tablespoons of bone meal. While planting the seedlings, add diammonium phosphate (DAP) and administer a dose of Captan (0.3 %) 2 ml in one litre of water to avoid rotting of cuttings. Three plants in claypots of 10 inches and five plants in a 12 inch pot are ideally planted. Initially, keep these in semi-shade. Later shift these to a sunny location. Rotate the pots every two to three days.
Time for the Lilies
A favourable time to plant your favourite lilies like crinum Asiaticum (spider lily), a tall bulbous perennial with strap-shaped leaves and scented spidery-looking white flowers, tuberose (rajnigandha), which gives sporadic flowering and aroma, or zephyranthus (rain lily), which sparkles the garden in three colours of white, yellow and pink. Daffodils, hyacinths, iris, tulip, freesia, gladiolus, lily Asiatic, lily oriental and ranunculus should be planted in September-October.
Make way for the roses
New plantation of roses is done from September till January. It requires a well drained sunny spot with at least six hours of direct sunlight. The plant-to-plant distance should be two feet in the flowerbed. The pit should be two feet wide and two feet deep. It is to be filled with FYM and superphosphate to ensure strong root growth.
Organic Veggies on your plate
Go in for a spree of summer bhindi, brinjal, tomato, bitter gourd, cucumber, long melon (tar), kaddu, coriander, mint and chillies. Grow vegetables on raised beds with proper drainage, especially in the rainy season.
Plant fruit trees
A suitable time to plant mango, citrus fruits (kinnow, lemon, etc), papaya, guava, ber, litchi, loquat in the home garden. Dig a pit 3’x3’and add FYM. Yearly dose of FYM in August-September.
Lay the grass
Light loamy soil allows air circulation and good drainage. Use vermicompost, one kg per sq m and apply 2 kg DAP per 500 sq feet. Irrigate the lawn to make the soil soft. Dig the soil deep so that the weeds are removed. Mowing should be done frequently. Ensure proper drainage. Fortnightly apply urea 15 gm/ sq m.
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