In my earlier post, I wrote about gardening as a hobby and how relaxing it is. I have since received a few suggestions and requests to write another post on helpful tips. I have gathered a few tricks from my readers, friends and family. These will help you get better results and grow healthier plants.
The first thing to remember with gardening and care for plants is that they are just like every other living being. Plants need nutrition, healthy soil, sufficient air and sunlight. If any of these are missing or in deficiency, the plants will not flourish. Now that we have established the basics, here are a few tricks to help you grow plants better.
Specific plants have specific routines for care. Cacti should not be watered daily. Succulents grow fatter with water but can survive without daily watering. Flowering plants like roses, jasmine, lilies need daily watering. Hibiscus requires lesser water than other flowering plants. Get complete information about watering routines before planting them.
Plants need nutrients like calcium, potassium, nitrogen, and other minerals and vitamins too. Once a fortnight or week, make sure to give them nutrition. I use this trick because I am lazy, but hope it helps you too. I crush a multivitamin and multi-mineral capsule into a bottle full of water and spray it into the soil generously every week.
Vegetable and fruit peel, eggshells etc. are a natural source of nutrition. Take dried up skin and peels and cut them up into tiny pieces. Sprinkle them in the soil before watering the plants. This will ensure that the plant flowers regularly and stays fresh and green.
I use natural pesticides as often as possible. Neem oil, turmeric decoction, green tea powder, soap nuts water etc. help to keep out many of the common pests that affect the plants.
Protect your plants from slugs and snails. They eat up the leaves and destroy all your hard work. Slugs and snails prefer moist places and gardens are an ideal environment for them. Conduct regular checks around your pots, planters and underneath wood planks. Discard them if you see any slugs or snails. You have traps lure them and kill; you can try it if you don’t mind killing them.
Once in a while, loosen the soil to aerate it. This is important for the healthy growth of plants.
Regularly remove unwanted grass and weeds from your garden. Weeds take up all the water and nutrition and leave very little for your plants.
Dead insects and birds can be buried in the garden; they disintegrate into the soil and make it richer.
Collect all dried leaves and dead plants in your garden in a container and cover it with soil. It enriches the soil over time.
I have gathered all these tips from other readers and followers. If you have any other useful ideas, please feel free to share. This list is not a comprehensive list of all ideas, it is just a list of ideas that I have used and found to be helpful.
Hello everybody. How are all of you doing? It has been raining a lot all week here in Montego Bay. I love the rain because it cools down the temperature and nature looks bright and beautiful after the rain. This morning, I took a walk in the yard with my phone and started clicking. Can you see the blades of grass still holding on to the tiny droplets of rain?
My curry leaf plant is in full bloom and there are so many bees buzzing all over it.
These are some other plants I have at home.
I love these pink bougainvillea. The only problem with it is the thorns. A bougainvillea thorn prick is very painful. It takes a long time to heal. I found out that these thorns are toxic. They cause itching, rash, and pain.
This red hibiscus attracts a lot of hummingbirds. Unfortunately, I did not get one in this picture. Hummingbirds like red coloured flowers. Maybe one day, I will be able to get a picture of a hummingbird and I will definitely share with all of you.
The firecracker flower is a new plant in my garden. Since my childhood, I always liked these flowers. My grandmother used to make beautiful garlands with a combination of jasmine and orange firecracker flowers. These flowers bring back all those memories and I smile every time I look at them. One day, I saw this plant growing wild on the pavement and a paid worker was chopping all the wild growth. I understood that he would chop the plant anyway so I requested him to dig out the plant and give it to me. And that’s how I have it in my garden today.
I love wildflowers. No one waters them; they grow on their own and provide the bees with nectar. They make my yard look beautiful. Sometimes the entire yard is filled with these beautiful, white, wild daisies. They attract a lot of butterflies and dragonflies. Sitting for even ten minutes in my yard and watching the bees, butterflies, and dragonflies refreshes my mind as it would if I did half an hour of meditation. That’s the power of nature.
Most of us practice gardening as a hobby, a pastime or some times as a relaxation. Recently, a friend of mine opened my eyes to a different thinking. Gardening can also be a therapy or a door to a healthy way of life. It might not be the most glamorous of hobbies, but it is one hobby that will pay you back many times. As with all my blogs there is a backstory to this too. So, here goes….
A friend of mine faced a personal tragedy and was totally lost. I would say he was in a state of depression, but he never approached a psychiatrist due to the stigma attached to it. For a long time he refused to accept the fact too and persevered on. We could all see him go on a downward spiral, but no one was able to get through to him. My friend strongly resisted any help in the form of therapy or otherwise. We were at our wits end on how to help him.
The solution came to us quite unexpectedly. One day we had a chance meeting with an owner of a nursery for plants. The owner was trying to market his plants and sat down to tell us the different benefits of each plant. The fresh and cool air around the plants, the aroma of wet soil and perfume of flowers gave my friends a sense of peace. From here his healing process started. Initially, he volunteered to take care of the plants at the nursery and slowly built his own terrace garden. He said working closely with a plant right from its germination up till it flourishes on its own, it gave him a sense of achievement. He considered them as his children and would spend most of his time in his garden. For a time we were worried for his sanity as he started talking to his plants about innate things and events. He brushed away our fear saying that he was just encouraging his plants to grow better. His smile and joy told us that we have nothing to worry anymore.
Though he found his peace and recovered completely, he continued his gardening and turned it into his own organic farm. At one time he was growing crotons and flowering plants for beauty. Now, he spent more effort to grow vegetables and fruits. He strongly avoided chemical pesticides and used organic means like neem oil, mango leaves, green tea, guava leaves, turmeric etc. He says using chemicals harms the nutritional value of the plant products. He also started growing more of plants like Areca palm, money plant, snake plant etc. They are indoor plants that produce more oxygen at night and day, while also removing harmful pollutants from air around us. More oxygen in the air not only makes breathing easy, but also helps keep the mind sharp and energetic.
Gardening involves not just growing plants, but also taking care of the soil, the air and the water quality. So, by making them healthy, we are in turn making ourselves healthy. This is one hobby that is worth trying.