Five important tips for the care of our garden

19/06/2020

If you enjoy the care and maintenance of a garden at home, the researcher of the Food and Development Research Center (CIAD), Aldo Gutiérrez Saldaña, shares with you some science-based advice to clarify common doubts in this practice.

5 tips for the care of our garden
5 tips for the care of our garden

"Nature is wise" is a well-known saying, and the mechanisms that plants possess to grow and reproduce do not need human help; in fact, any ecosystem would probably be healthier without the intervention of people.

Should we water the plants during the day or at night?

To make the most of the water, it is recommended that watering be done when the temperature of the environment is cooler, during the afternoon and evening or in the early hours of the day, as this is when the plant is most active, allowing it to make better use of the resources. In addition, the aim is to prevent the direct rays of the sun from producing the evaporation of the liquid and that this damages the leaves of the plants.

Does all organic waste, solid or liquid, benefit the plants?

There is a belief that any organic waste can serve as fertilizer for plants and that this will benefit their growth. However, we must consider that not all waste is suitable for direct use, since it must first comply with its correct decomposition process.

Such is the case of vegetable remains, which if thrown into the ground directly in large quantities can emit compounds (acids and gases) harmful to our plants, so if you want to use them as fertilizer, the appropriate thing to do is to make compost and then nourish the soil with it.

With regard to meat leftovers, these should not be incorporated into the soil as a source of sustenance because they will attract harmful fauna such as insects or crawling animals.

How do you know how often to water a plant?

In general, plants that are naturally adapted to withstand high sun exposure require less frequent watering than those that are conditioned to live in the shade or inside the home.

One way to notice if they lack moisture is to check the top layer (2 or 3 centimeters) of the soil, as it should not be too dry. Also, you should pay attention to their leaves, because when they look decayed or lose color, they are signs that they may need to be hydrated.

For vegetation found outdoors, it is recommended that irrigation be repeated three to four times a week, while for flora found in spaces with moderate light, it is advisable to ensure that they maintain a constant humidity, as long as it does not become stagnant, so that their roots can be oxygenated.

In the case of gardens with desert plants, the frequency of irrigation should be extended, since these are species that have adapted to survive in adverse climates and excess humidity is harmful to them.

What is the correct pruning technique?

When we are looking to give an aesthetic form to our trees and plants, the technique that helps us decide which are the arms that we should remove consists of choosing those that are directing their growth downwards, and making a cut near the trunk that gives rise to it, which will help their quick recovery.

The best time to prune is during the change of season, preferably in October or April, as this promotes the recovery of the plant. Another recommendation to shape its development is the use of "guides", which are very useful to keep our vegetation upright.

How should I fumigate them?

A common problem occurs when plants are attacked by pests that damage their leaves, or that can even lead them to death, so it is necessary to see the schedule of activity of these organisms to spray at that time the fumigant and this will achieve that the effect of this substance has better results. Similarly, it is recommended that the manufacturer's instructions for use are always followed. Also, we can include some home treatment (soapy water with vinegar, coffee, garlic extract, etc.) or some plants that release repellents naturally (marigold, citronella, mint, rosemary, basil, agerate, etc.).

Seven gardening trends to explore the world

Traveling is not only an opportunity to discover other cultures, but you can also get some gardening tips along the way. Discover a series of solutions and tips to make your garden or terrace look great this summer.

The perfect English lawn

English grass has always been one of the most precious. But how to get it? The key is to cut often, but only the tips. If the grass is cut too short, it will grow back slowly and may dry out or even die in a hot climate. Therefore, it is advisable to cut it every 7-14 days, or program a robotic mower, up to about 4 cm. In addition, one way to ensure that the grass grows thickly and evenly, while improving the quality of the soil, is to leave grass residues as fertilizer.

Mediterranean-style gardening

What is the secret of Mediterranean gardening? The light. Mediterranean plants such as olive and fig trees can thrive in any home if they receive enough sunlight. Therefore, the most important thing is to place them in places where the sun can reach them for as many hours as possible. It is also essential to regularly trim the bushes to ensure that the lower branches and any neighboring plants receive sufficient sunshine. A great idea is to recreate the hills and mountains of Tuscany using boxes and flower stands so that sunlight can enter everywhere.

Fighting moss with Coca-Cola

Coca-Cola is one of the best remedies to prevent moss from growing in the garden. Thanks to the sugar and phosphoric acid it contains, it prevents its growth. Besides, as it is not poisonous, there are no restrictions to be taken into account when using it. A remedy that comes from the other side of the Atlantic whose use is recommended for small gardens to be effective.

Makeshift water supply

One trick to keep plants perfectly hydrated at all times, especially on vacation when there is no one to take care of them, is to have a water tank for plants like in the houses of Israel.

To create a homemade water tank, you just need to take a plastic bottle, cut the bottom, and make some small holes in the lid. Once finished, it is placed upside down in the pot and fill with water. The water will filter slowly, keeping the plants hydrated for some time. This solution is very practical as it allows you to control how much water the plants receive depending on what they need, by adjusting the number of holes you make in the lid.

To prevent the pots from drying out too quickly after watering, the surface of the soil should always be covered with a thin layer of cloth to protect it from evaporation.

Snails in the garden

One gardening tip from Western and Central Europe is to use Roman snails to prevent slug infestations. This is because the snails eat their eggs, thus getting rid of the pest. Today, Roman snails are endangered due to eutrophication and pesticides, and because they are a popular delicacy in French kitchens. But you can buy specially bred Roman snails for consumption and at the same time give the wild variety home in your garden.

Urban gardening, just like in Manhattan

Activist Adam Purple, who made New York City his home, is recognized as the founder of urban gardening. In 1975, he began planting flowers and vegetables in a vacant lot next to his home in Manhattan, entirely by hand, and, when possible, in an environmentally friendly way. Manhattan is also home to the High Line, a former railroad that is now used as a park. And what can you learn from this? That everywhere there is room for nature and colorful flowers.

Bokashi, Japan's natural fertilizer

An ecological way to recycle waste and enrich the soil of your plants without artificial chemical additives is to use natural fertilizer or organic compost in your garden.

The bokashi is an activator of fermentation and composting of organic waste generated in the kitchen. It consists of a granulate inoculated by efficient microorganisms (also known as EM), which ferments the waste, preventing it from rotting. From this process, liquid fertilizer is obtained on the one hand, and on the other hand, the perfect solid waste to generate compost.

By Mexicanist, with information from Bosch