6 summer planting hacks from Farmers Garden

People nowadays--most especially moms--have explored gardening during this pandemic for different reasons: to grow their own produce, to add some refreshing shade at home, to relieve stress, or even just to kill time at home. 

There are numerous plants to choose from. But this summer season can be challenging, as the scorching heat and unwelcomed pests can take over our pots.

So this season, take extra time and effort to preserve the health of your plants. We have gathered these 6 helpful tips from our friends at Farmers Garden to help you avoid ending up with withered plants and dry soil.

1. Water smart

It is better to water deeply once a week rather than water superficially more often. Watering deeply means that water must reach at least eight inches below the soil surface. Doing this helps roots to find the bottom of the pot or the ground, which strengthens them and helps them to survive droughts.

It also minimizes the chances of water to evaporate or dissipate quickly, and may not reach the roots, whereas a thorough soaking several inches below the soil surface will linger long enough for your plant's roots to get a good drink.


2. Water at the right time

It is advised to water plants early in the morning or during the cool of the day. If you water in the afternoon, allow enough time for foliage to dry out before sunset. Don’t water the plants at night because the warmth and moisture can cause fungus to grow and spoil the roots of our plants.

When you’ve also achieved watering deeply, there’s no need to water your plants everyday as your soil has enough moisture to feed the plants.


3.      Enhance your plant's nutrition  

As you water plants deeply, use that opportunity to simultaneously feed and correct mineral deficiencies of your plants. Apply a fertilizer with added seaweed. Put potash in the soil as it has a rich amount of potassium that generally helps to improve plant vigor and resistance to foliar fungi.

Also, provide enough amount of magnesium in the soil to encourage robust growth and production of energy in plants. Add 1 heaped teaspoon of Epsom salts to 4.5L of water. Either spray the foliage or water it in at the roots.

If the leaves of citrus, banksia, grevillea, camellia or azalea become stunted and mottled yellow, boost the iron content of soil by applying iron chelates. This acidifies soil and adds iron necessary for healthy growth. It takes a month or so to see a result.


4.      Keep pots cool 

Potted plants are vulnerable to overheating. Lightly mulch and, if possible, position them out of direct sunshine. 

Remember that putting potted plants on saucers filled with water encourages root rot and mosquito breeding. Instead, fill the saucers with sand, and keep the sand moist. This ensures that roots stay cool and plants remain healthy.


5.      Combat pests 

Our Farmers Garden lessees support organic farming and are against using pesticides and other chemicals. Instead, plant some strong-scented herbs near your home-grown plants (like calendula coriander and garlic, which are effective to prevent garden pests).

You may also plant herbs like hyssop, chives, and thyme to help prevent garden pests.

Neem oil, a organic pesticide found in the seeds of neem trees, is available in Farmers Garden. It reduces insect feeding and acts as a repellent that interferes with insect hormone system, making it harder for insects to grow and lay eggs. 

Fun fact: did you know that neem oil is also good for our skin, and can treat acne and scars? Just use a cotton swab to apply the neem oil to your pimples and scars and leave it on overnight. 


6.      Add shade

A good way to prevent plants from heat stress is to protect them from direct sunlight with a shade cloth or row cover. There’s a range of coveralls in Farmers Garden that you may choose from and bring home.

But for small space gardens, you can simply move your plants away from direct sunlight, and just use the available and existing shades.

Does these tips encourage you to get more plants for your home? Or, are you planning to buy plants as a Mother's Day gift? Visit the HandyMoms Fair at the Activity Area of Farmers Plaza from May 6 to 12, 10 am to 7pm, and check out the hottest plants and gardening materials for your home garden. 

Click this link to get in touch with any of the Farmers Garden specialists to help you further on your home gardening adventures.