Urban Leaves India: 5 tips on Daily Care

Tuesday 2 August 2011

5 tips on Daily Care

If you have always desired to own the thumb green,
Here is the key to fulfill your long cherished dream....

Just as you are wished every morning by the  golden sun,
Wish your plants a good morning, as you would your little one.

Check the underside of leaves, for aphids and mealybugs,
Save your plants by nipping those pests off the buds.

Check for moisture in the soil, it should be moist not wet,
Water plants only when necessary, excess water could be a threat.

Check for excessive growth, have your plants timely pruned,
A cut here and a trim there will render them festooned.

Always keep the soil covered with straw or leaves dried,
Then see your green family turn into, your prized possession and pride!

                                                                                                -- Swati Barve
1. Say a very good morning  to your plants

Purvita in her terrace garden

Plants grow in the moonlight and look fresh and green early in the morning. An early morning loving touch, rejuvenates the plant as well our soul.

2. Look out for any signs of aphids, mealy bugs in the underside of leaves and fresh new nodes.
Red spider mite
The problem when detected and nipped in the bud can go a long way in saving your plant.If you observe any of the above, wash and rub them away with a spray of water, and prune off affected parts.
As we believe in the philosophy, " treat the soil and not the plant" check the soil for too much compaction or water.
Add a fistful of wood ash to supplement nutritional deficiency and neutralise acidity of the soil.
Do not use any kind of pesticide. Pests develop resistance to all pesticides, even the so called organic pesticides.

3. Check for moisture and water only when necessary
Soil should be moist and not wet. While watering sprinkle water away from the main stem, under the canopy.Too much water creates anaerobic conditions in the soil, kills microbes and causes disease and pests.

4. Check for too much vegetative growth

a variety of spinach

tiny plant has grown
Prune branches and do not allow to grow straight

Pruning encourages the stem to branch out
and results in bushier plant
Prune regularly to encourage bushy growth.There are different ways to pruning different plants. Observe their physiology, study their growth, flowering and fruiting patterns to prune effectively.
As a thumb rule cut off the branches growing towards the ground. Cut off the smaller dead stems/branches jutting out from main stem.Try to prune and maintain an umbrella shape of  the plant.
Pruned material can be shredded, dried and recycled back to the container/pot itself where the plant is growing.

5. Always keep soil mulched.
spinach in tub, mulched with sugarcane bagasse
Mulch with dried twigs, leaves, sugarcane bagasse, shredded paper, wasted jute bags etc..Mulching keeps the microbes happy, prevents evaporation of water and adds carbon to your soil. All these factors benefit in terms of higher yields and healthy growth of plants.

A little care and discipline will go a long way in fulfilling your dream of a healthy home kitchen garden.

Get started Now!

Thanks to my dear little sister Swati (swatibarve@rediffmail.com) 
for churning out some amazing poems!

Smiles and best wishes
Urban Leaves