There is a welcome change in the air after a rather scorching and extended summer this year. Read on, to catch up with this monsoon for a bountiful harvest!
The good news is, in spite of the El Nino effect catching up, the Met department forecasts a near normal monsoon this year and let's make the most of it!
Though the onset of southwest monsoon is delayed by a full week, Its smell is already in the air! Atmosphere is getting heavy with humidity and early mornings are dusky. The making of perfect condition to start preparing our gardens for the monsoon to make the most of it!!
Hence, we gardeners need to adapt to the changes in the weather. Here are some pointers:
1) Reduce/remove mulching to facilitate proper drainage and reduce dampness.
Slugs & snails and millipedes are common soil pests with excess mulch induced dampness. Also may foster fungal infections leading to stem rot.
2) Sowing: Due to lower ambient tempr. and lack of Sun, outdoor sowing may lead to poor germination. Switch to sowing in protrays indoor where you can provider warmer conditions until germination. Immediately after germination they need to be brought outdoors to expose them to the Sun how much ever available.
3) Switch to rainy season crops as per the chart given below. Now you can consider crop rotation and companion planting during transition. This is not an exhaustive list. You may add in other veggies you deem appropriate.
It is also the best time of the year to sow papaya, propagate drumstick from cuttings or seeds, plant sweet potato and other roots, various herbs like mint, curry leaf, oregano, basil etc., and transplant fruit trees.
4) Time to reprogram your automated drip controllers if installed to reduce the watering duration/frequency (if not, reduce your manual watering suitably)
5) You should expect that the rains leach out essential nutrients from the potting mix in to the drain.
And applying compost may splash the organic matter all around.
Resort to more frequent foliar spray of liquid nutrients (Ex. PG, Phytonic Plus, bokashi brew etc.) Timed just after the spell of a rain to compensate for the losses dur to leaching.
6) Keep your garden clean by removing old rotten leaves, vines and branches allowing good cross ventillation and sunlight. This is also the time to remove summer plants which have given their harvests and make space for new veggies.
7) Before starting a new plant, ensure the soil mix is well draining with appropriate soil amendments.
8) Last but not the least, you may go slow to adapt to the changing season but never stop gardening. The show must go on!!