The UN has proclaimed 22nd May as the International Day for Biological Diversity to increase understanding and awareness of biodiversity issues. The importance of biodiversity is increasingly being recognized as of serious concern on national and international levels. It goes without saying that government needs to take action to find practical and workable ways to increase biological diversity. However, individuals can also begin to act in their own ways and help create ecological change and increase biodiversity.
Biodiversity Day 2021 is being celebrated under the theme, ‘We’re part of the solution #ForNature’. Gardening for biodiversity and inviting nature to our doorstop is the least we can do to resolve issues pertaining to biodiversity.
During spring and summers, Jaipur always turns much more colourful because of the vast variety of flowers and plants blooming across the city and we know how much Jaipurites have been missing visiting the lovely nurseries of our Pink City due to the lockdown. But we can assure you that creating your home garden is great fun and a great hobby to pursue. So come on, get up and start planting! Let’s make our Pink City way more vibrant with shades of whites, greens, pinks, yellows, magentas, violets and reds.
Below are few tips which will help you in growing our own home garden –
- Choose the correct space to grow your garden. The space you choose should get at least 5-6 hours of direct sunlight daily. Avoid a space that receive strong winds to protect your young and budding plants.
- Soil packed with nutrients are always beneficial to plants. Check the texture of your soil. It should be easily shovelled and crumble in your hands. You can improve the quality of your soil by adding organic compost made of tea, vegetable peels etc.
- Once you have your place and soil ready, you definitely would be needing some gardening tools. Some must have gardening tools are – Pruning scissors, spade, trowel, garden fork, hose pipe, watering can and gardening knife.
- Picking your greens. Study various plants and then decide which plants to grow. Some plants might need direct sunlight and others might need shade. Picking the plants that are native to your area is advisable.
- Choose the right time to grow your plant. Monsoon is the best time to plant seeds of tomatoes, beans, cabbage, peas, basil, oregano etc. Colorful flowing plans like marigold, daffodils, bougainvillea etc. bloom in summers. Flowering plants like hibiscus, lotus, gul mohar bloom in monsoon season.
- Water your plants right. The best way to water your plants is slowly, allowing the water to reach deep into the soil. Overwatering your plants can lead to waterlogging which can damage your plants. Plants at different stages of development also require different dosages of water. Young plants will need to be watered every day to encourage the growth of the plant and healthy roots, whereas developed plants will need to be watered once every 2-3 days, depending on the weather conditions.
- The fertilizer is the gardener’s best friend. Adding organic fertilizers to your soil will help it to retain moisture, stimulate good bacteria growth, and fight pests and diseases. It will also help you to reduce your carbon footprint. Make your own organic fertilizer to give your plants the extra boost to grow. Start with compost – organic material that can be added to your garden to help your plants grow. This can be anything from tea bags, grounded coffee, lawn trimmings, crushed fruit peels, etc.
- Pests and diseases are more attracted to plants that are stressed or have some deficiency. If your plants get infected, chances are there’s an organic solution. Pro Tip- Mix up some neem oil, water and a few drops of dish soap. Shake it well and spray it on your plants once every two weeks to keep the pests away.
- Although the task of trimming beautiful plants can be hard for gardeners to swallow, regular pruning keeps most plants healthy and encourages new growth. But when and what to prune depends on the type of plant and the climate you stay in. Proper maintenance of your plants is the greatest and the most rewarding thing you can give your garden.
Congratulations, you are now a plant parent. Happy Gardening!