Top 10 Tips for Summer Gardening in the Tropics
Summertime in the tropics can be a challenging time for gardening. With high temperatures, intense sunlight, and increased rainfall, it’s essential to take the right steps to keep your plants healthy and thriving.
Here are the top 10 tips to help you get started.
1️⃣ Choose the right plants:
It is essential to choose plants that are well-suited to the tropical climate. When you watch many videos or read articles/blogs published by those in the temperate climate, you may easily get mislead. Not because the information shared is wrong, but because the application of acquired knowledge is out of place! Why? because, what they refer as Summer is peak winter in the tropical climate!! Rather, Look for plants that are heat and drought-tolerant, as well as those that can handle high humidity levels.
2️⃣ Water wisely:
During the summer months, your plants will need more water, but be careful not to over-water. Make sure to water deeply and thoroughly, but avoid getting water on the foliage, which can encourage fungal growth. Soil tilth plays a major role too. The soil should be well draining but at the same time should be capable of holding sufficient water without compromising on the breathability. This will ensure the plants stays well hydrated as well as the roots get enough oxygen.
3️⃣ Provide shade:
Intense sunlight can be tough on your plants, especially in the tropics. Make sure to provide adequate shade, either by planting in shadier areas or by using shade net or other means. You can smartly organize the placement of various types of plants in the garden such that a combination of Sun and shade can be created to protect plants that cannot tolerate harsh Sun. If you go for shadenet, 50% filtration works best.
4️⃣ Mulch your beds and pots:
I cannot emphasize enough about the benefits of mulch. Adding a layer of mulch around your plants can help to conserve moisture, regulate soil temperature, protect soil microbiome and suppress weeds. You can use various mulching material.
5️⃣ Manure the plants:
Compost is an excellent and primary source of nutrients for your plants, and is essential to improve soil structure and drainage. Vermicompost, kitchen waste compost. cowdung manure, sheep/goat manure, chicken manure, horse manure... all are good sources. I would highly recommend to make a mix of atleast 2 to 3 of these varieties in order to support the wide varieties of vegetables that you may want to grow in your garden.
6️⃣ Prune regularly:
Pruning your plants regularly can help to promote healthy growth, encourage bushier growth, and keep plants looking their best.
7️⃣ Control pests and diseases:
Summer is the time when many pests and diseases are most active. Stay vigilant and take action promptly if you notice any issues. For more detailed tips on pest control read Pest Advice blogpost
8️⃣ Nourish the plants:
Your plants will need a little extra help during the summer months to keep them healthy and thriving. In addition to manuring, feed a balanced diet with a combination of natural solid and liquid nutrition. While the plant nutrimix, rock phosphate, epsom salt etc form the solid part, panchagavya, phytonic plus, jivamruta are some of the liquid nutrients that you can use. Right dosage, regularity and consistency of application are the corner stones of a well nourished garden!
A more comprehensive nutrition recommendation is covered in my blogpost Nutrition Schedule.
9️⃣ Protect your plants from wind:
Strong winds can cause damage to your plants, especially in the tropics. Consider using windbreaks or staking your plants to help protect them.
🔟 Enjoy your garden:
Finally, take some time to enjoy your garden this summer. Get outside and bask in the beauty of your plants, and don’t be afraid to try something new.
By following these simple tips, you can help to ensure that your garden is healthy and vibrant all summer long.