Easy tips to use rain water for gardening... during the monsoon

Rain water harvesting

The world is filled with 2/3 of wter but most of it salty water unfit for consumption either for humans or animals or plants.

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Statistics reveal that only 3% of the water is fit for consumption and out of this 3%, 70% is part of glaciers around the world and cannot be consumed. Hence, it is the duty of every citizen to use water judiciously. We can all use the rain water for watering the plants by storing this water for few days during the monsoon season.

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The preservation of rain water also helps in systematic maintenance of the garden by supplying the plants with adequate supply of water. For harvesting rain water as a storage for watering plants, one can build small channels through the roof and pathway around the home which can be directed to a tank or reservoir for storing water for gardening purposes. Another easier way for harvesting rain water is to just fill big buckets kept out in the rain for gardening usage.

Usage as natural sprinklers

The pots in the home either indoor plants or plants in the closed balcony can be kept in the open after the first rain. The rain water during the monsoon season acts as natural sprinklers for the plants in our garden. Even proper gardening techniques insist that plants should be watered through sprinklers and not with mug of water from a bucket.

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Sprinklers help in uniform availability of water to the plant and to the leaves. This natural sprinklers falling with adequate force act as activating agents for the plants.

Shading the plants during monsoon

There is a risk of erosion of fertile top soil in the garden due to heavy rains during the monsoon season and the plants might be deprived of their natural nutrients available in the top soil. Some people put up plastic sheets on top of their plants during monsoon season to prevent the plants and soil from damage.

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Instead of covering the plant with opaque sheets and totally depriving the plant in the garden of rain water, we can use perforated sheets specially made for the purpose of plants to allow rain water to reach the plant as sprinkler and benefit them.

Terrace Garden

Monsoon is the best time of the year to develop a terrace garden. Terrace garden is a method of gardening wherein one cultivates plants, shrubs and grass on a terrace or a raised platform. It is generally given the shape of terraces so that water can flow down. The increase in apartments has reduced the space available for gardening around the house and so this concept of terrace gardening is catching up in India. Rainy season helps in faster setting of the soil and aids growth of plants.

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The raised platform can be built just before the rainy season and wait for the rains to set it firmly. However, care should be taken not to use tap root plants in terrace gardening as the roots can harm the building. It is also important to note that the roof or platform where the terrace garden is being set up is strong enough to withstand the weight of soil and plants. Many apartment builders are providing for terrace gardens within the building instead of around the building for lack of space.

Pruning

Pruning is necessary in all seasons but pruning the plants just prior and during the monsoon season helps in faster growth of plants and aids budding of flowers in them.

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It also ensures that enough air and sunlight reaches every part of plant/ trees and also that nearby plants growing in their shade get adequate sun and air. Pruning is an important part of gardening activities. Every type of plant requires different kind of pruning.

Flowering plants: Deadheading is a common method of pruning flowering plants. When the flowers in the plant start to wither, they are cut off from their stem/ head which helps in formation of next flowering bud.

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This method helps in increasing the length of flowering season but if the flower has some pollen or seeds to aid further reproduction, this type of pruning is not recommended.

Shrubs and hedges: Hedging method of pruning is applicable when there are shrubs and hedges in the garden. This method is started when new leaves start growing during the monsoon season.

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The shrubs are cut according to the shape required in the garden, either circular or oval or square or any specific shape.

Grass: The lawn grass grows very quickly during the monsoon season in the garden and it needs to be chopped as close as possible during the season.

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Even if the grass seems to be dying the grass should be mowed as it can give a new lease of life to the grass.

Foilage plants: Handpicking and selective cropping is the method used for foliage plants in the garden. The foliage plants do have distinct stems and the leaves tend to get damaged or get dry especially during the monsoon season.

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Gardening implies that the plants should be kept lush green and hence, the damaged leaves and part of the plant needs to picked by hand or cropped very carefully for a certain portion to let the remaining part grow and bloom.

The rain water can be properly to gain maximum advantage for the plants in our garden but then the same monsoon season also has some damaging effect for the plants in the garden. Proper care and caution is required to keep the plants lush green and healthy