Rss Feed
Tweeter button
Facebook button

Archives for April 5, 2017

Plants Can Feel the Heat Too! Here Are 15 Tips to Keep Your Garden Blooming Through Summer

Think summers and ice-cream and mangoes come to mind almost the same time as sweat and a perennial yearning for an AC. While we find our respite in summer-fresh foods and cooling hacks, our beloved gardens often end up taking the brunt of the harsh sunlight and rising temperatures. Excessive heat can be a source of stress for plants, particularly the home garden varieties, and cause plants to dry up or wither. Here are some simple ways in which you can ensure that the sunny days don’t leave your favourite plants high and dry.

1. Seasonal plants endure the weather better

Watermelons make for great summer plants. Image source: Geekgardener

Plants are essentially seasonal beings. Some plants are best grown in winter, while others thrive in the sunny days. With proper hydration and manure, chillies, cucumbers, brinjals and watermelon are ideal plants for the season and can even be grown in pots.


2. A ‘shade’ in time saves nine

A garden shade. Image source: Flickr

Invest in a shade cloth for your plants, easily available in online stores and horticultural dealerships. The fabric thickness may vary; choose the fabric according to the plants of your garden. Install it over the trees and/or partially on the sides.

3. Water plants at the right hour

The best time to water your plants during summer is early morning or evening. The water is cooler during these hours. The best time to put on your gardening cap? Before 10am or post 4pm.

4. Shower your plants in small doses

Water sprinklers, or buckets and mugs, make for efficient watering tools. Image source: Pixabay

Eschew the water hose for sprinklers or mugs. Summers are accompanied by dry spells — with growing water scarcity, it’s important to use the most economical means of watering plants.

5. Plants can be friends too

Bigger, sturdier plants can often help to provide shade for smaller and more delicate greens. Consider it a buddy system for your garden, and plan the arrangement of trees with this strategy in mind.

6. Keep tab on soil moisture

Image source: Pixabay

There is such a thing as too much water for your plants. Before you turn on the sprinkler, check to see if the soil is moist under the surface. Wait till the soil is somewhat drier, or simply sprinkle water on the leaves and branches.

7. Still waters run deep

Prevent water from stagnating, whether on the soil or pots and trays. Standing water can pave the way for a mosquito infestation in addition to giving your beloved plants an H2O overdose.

8. A splash of colour

Bougainvilleas love summer. Image source: Pixabay

Flowering plants will help add some colour to a summer garden. Zinnia, bougainvillea, marigold and roses are some of the blooms that will keep your terrace garden lively through the heat.

9. Light and shade

While most plants benefit from sunlight, the rising heat in cities can do our terrace gardens more harm than good. If you have potted plants, try moving them to an area with balanced light and shade.

You might also like: Learn the Art of Composting in Your Home Watch Your Kitchen Waste Turn to Wealth

10. Compost goes a long way

Along with watering the plants, composting helps to keep your plants — especially fruit-bearing and flowering ones — hydrated and healthy. You can easily make compost at home or purchase organic compost from community groups like Bengaluru’s Kora3B Compost.

11. A spot of sun for indoor plants

Though indoor plants do not require a lot of sunlight, placing them next to windows will help them thrive.

12. Mulch for healthy plants

Mulch. Image source: Flickr

The other summer must-have is mulch, used to describe material spread on soil surface to keep it cool, prevent weeds and aid hydration. Mulch includes tree bark, compost, newspaper, bits of grass, shredded leaves and sawdust. Turn the mulch around every few days and remember to replace it when the mulch decomposes.

13. Ignore your lawn

Unfortunately, summer is no time for indulgent gardening. While plants need their hydration, big lawns will drain your home of too much water. Minimise watering and trimming during these months.

You might also like: Swooning Over China’s Vertical Gardens? Just Grow a Vertical Garden in Your Own Terrace!

14. Snip, snip, snip

Trimming can do wonders for our hair — turns out, it can have a positive impact on plants too. Gently snip away withering or dried branches, twigs and blossoms from your plants once a week.

15. Rooftop gardening can cool you down

If you are a novice gardener, or don’t have a ready garden yet, start with planting on the rooftop. The soil will cool your home naturally, and using plastic sheets as a base will help to prevent seepage.

Like this story? Or have something to share? Write to us: [email protected], or connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.
NEW: Click here to get positive news on WhatsApp!

Article source:

MASTER GARDENERS: Use these safety tips for healthy gardening

Dress for protection: Wear safety goggles, sturdy shoes and long pants to prevent injury when using power tools and heavier equipment. Protect your hearing when using machinery. If you have to raise your voice to talk with someone who is an arm’s length away, the noise can be potentially harmful to your hearing.

Wear gloves to lower the risk for skin irritation, cuts and certain contaminants. Use insect repellant and sunscreen of at least 30 SPF when in the garden. Never go without a wide-brimmed hat and a water bottle. Even short periods in a sunny garden can cause serious health problems in the heat.

Drink a cup of water before going out to the garden and also avoid alcohol or large amounts of sugar when working in extreme heat. Take breaks often, resting in the shade so your body thermostat can recover. Stop working if you get breathless or experience muscle soreness, headache, rapid pulse, dizziness, nausea or confusion.

If you have arthritis use tools that are lightweight and easy to grip. Take your cell phone to the garden for contact in case of emergency. Vary your garden activities not only for interest but to work different muscle groups.

All adults should get a tetanus vaccination every 10 years. Tetanus lives in soil and enters the body via breaks in the skin. Because gardeners use sharp tools to dig in the soil and handle plants with sharp points, they are particularly prone to tetanus infection. Before you start gardening this season, make sure your tetanus/diphtheria (TD) vaccination is up to date. Ask your healthcare provider if you need any other vaccinations as well.

Winter will soon be a memory and we will be in the garden again. We forget we are one year older and may need to pace ourselves better for the 2017 garden season.

Master gardeners have been working at a busy pace, providing horticultural presentations at the Bemidji Public Library, presenting a community workshop, writing these articles, and now have resumed assisting folks with gardening questions via the Beltrami County Horticulture Hotline. Call us at (218) 444-7916, tell us your gardening problem, leave your phone number and name and a master gardener will give you a call. If you have suggestions for articles that would be of interest to you, you can leave that information on the hotline voicemail as well.

Article source:

What to expect of Greenbrier Farms’ plant sale, and gardening tips straight from a farmer

While you may have wanted to start your garden back when we got up to nearly 80 degrees back in February, hopefully you waited (thank you, frost back in mid-March). Whether you did or didn’t wait on planting this year, you’ve got an opportunity to build an awesome garden this year, thanks to Greenbrier Farms’ upcoming plant sale. The annual event will feature some 3,000 plants, all certified-organic and started in the rich soil at Greenbrier Farms.

“I do believe that plants that are started in the region that they are grown makes for healthier garden plants,” says Chad Bishop, who co-owns and operates Greenbrier with his wife, Amy and partner, Roddy Pick.

This year, they’ve got lots of heirloom and other varieties of tomatoes, peppers, squash, eggplant, beans, okra, greens…you get the picture.

In addition, the sale will include fruit trees and ornamental and edible flowers and bushes from oher local vendors, so, Bishop says, “you can really shop for your whole garden.”

Never done a garden before? Bishop has some tips. Try cherry tomatoes, as they tend to be more forgiving and offer ample bounty.

Also, when planting said tomato plants, makes rue to put them far enough into the ground. The best is to put most of the plant beneath the soil with just a few leaves and a couple of inches of stalk sticking out. Tomato plants root off of their stem, Bishop says, so planting this way will ensure a sturdier, heartier plant.

Make sure to leave enough space around plants, especially squash, peppers, tomatoes and watermelons, which need a couple of feet in all directions.

Another tip, Bishop adds is not to get discouraged when zucchini, squash and cucumber only produce one batch, These plants are meant to be planted a couple of times throughout a season, he says.

Also, know that squash, zucchini and cucumbers are meant to be grown a couple times over the course of the season.

“Those plants are only meant to last a certain amount of time,” Bishop says. “So instead of trying to get more and more, just yank it up and put another seed in the ground or go get you another plant.”

And you don’t even have to get a new plant, he adds. Just save one of the seeds from one of the squash that is produced and plant it in the same spot.

And one last tip, mulch, mulch mulch. Look for weed straw, not pine straw, Bishop says, which will make your soil acidic, or hay or wood bark mulch.

“Or mulch it first and then plant into it,” Bishop says. “People go on vacation, and people aren’t fulltime farmers like I am, so mulch helps it retain water and moisture.”

The Greenbrier Farms annual plant sale will take place at the farm, 766 Hester Store Rd., Easley, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m., April 15. For more visit

Article source: