how_to_keep_your_garden_green_red_flower.jpgA garden enthusiast normally sees the garden as another home for the soul, not merely a bunch of leafy greens or yellows that add color, touch, beauty, and whatnot to one’s home. Some of them, in fact, consider gardening as a healthy and cheap way to find their mental and spiritual centers, to catch their breaths away from the hullaballoo of stressful lifestyles, to recuperate from disparaging physical and emotional discomforts, or to bond with their children, or other family members, like their parents. But while most of us turn to our gardens for comfort and healing, our gardens need their own stroke of comforting too, especially during the summer.

In the midst of a sweltering summer, raging deaths of your favorite flower or plant may be more visible and, well, dispiriting. So to lash those summer blues away from your garden, here are cheap tricks to keep your garden green and healthy:

Water your garden in the morning.

Avoid watering between noon time and five in the afternoon–the hottest hours of the day. The heat and sun at this time will quickly dry up the water, eventually drying up your garden as well. You can rather water it after six, seven, or even eight in the evening when the heat and sun have completely subsided, as this gives the water a better chance to slowly drench into the ground and arrive at the roots with minimal water loss. Make sure that, when watering, everything–from the leaf to the soil–has been watered evenly as possible.

Avoid the automatic sprinkler if you can.

Instead, measure the water. Though a sprinkler allows for a more even and measured water delivery to your garden or to the lawn, haven’t we all known by now how water conservation is important? So use automatic sprinkler less, and just measure the water your garden requires to stay in tiptop shape. Go for the traditional tabo at timba when watering. Besides, it’s a healthy exercise for you too!

how_to_keep_your_garden_green_plant.jpgNot too much and not too little now.

Water your plants deeply, but don’t overwater them, either–this can be equally harmful to your garden! Overwatering can lead to iron chlorosis, or that yellowing effect in shrubs, turf, and trees. To know if you’re overwatering, thrust a screwdriver or a rod into the sod and then measure how deep it goes in. Water should infiltrate around 8-10 inches only per application.

Mulch, mulch!

You may also want to try mulching. Mulch is just a protective layer spread on top of a soil, but it can very beneficial to your plants. Mulch can either be organic or inorganic. If you prefer organic, this could be bark chips, grass clippings, leaves, or straw. For the inorganic, you can use plastic, stones, and brick chips. Both organic and inorganic mulches have numerous benefits, though. Mulch sustains the moisture of your soil and also prevents weeds, among its many other benefits.

Know your soil!

Identify the type of your soil, as this will tell you the required frequency in watering. During the mid-summer, loamy soil type requires water every three to four days. Sandy soil type, on the hand, needs water every 2 days. And the clay soil type thirst for water every four to six days.

Waste not want not.

Use manure. Manure comes from animal or plant waste or by-products. These can be poultry or cattle manure, legume clippings, oil cakes, composted rice straw and other crop residues, and sewage sludge, among other things. If you’re maintaining a vegetable garden, adding up manure or other organic material  can bring proper production and enhance soil fertility during the summer. Normally, it is applied evenly across the field or garden two or more weeks prior to being merged into the soil during preparation of land.

Put the shears down.

If you love pruning, stop it! Some plants, unless they have remained dormant, shouldn’t be pruned too much, such as spring-blooming shrubs, trees, vines, and some roses. Unnecessary pruning is a no-no, but a proper trim once in a while will do just fine.

Despite the sometimes-intolerable heat of Mr. Sun, many of us still love our summers, mainly because summer pilots in several adrenaline-boosting activities, such as beach or pool escapades, road trips, air travels, parties, and more parties. However, while everyone’s got their shoes on, running to maximize the summer, the pleasures of this season shouldn’t get in the way of your responsibility toward your garden. So find time to evaluate it a few minutes in every day, even in the midst of a frenzied summer schedule.

(Photos by Lorela U. Sandoval)
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