Take Care of Plants in The Garden

​​Entering the Rainy Season, How To Take Care of Plants in The Garden?

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Topik Pembahasan

Entering the end of the year means welcoming more rounds of rain. As a tropical country, Indonesia typically has its change of season from sunny to rainy during the last months of the year continuing into the first months of the year. This year the Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) is predicting the rainy season to start around October and will last through November and December. They also predict that its peak for some regions in Indonesia will be around January and February. 

But this year, for the second time in a row Indonesia’s weather will be affected by La Niña, a weather pattern that occurs in the Pacific Ocean. During La Niña, the changes in Pacific Ocean temperatures affect the pattern of tropical rainfall from Indonesia to the west coast of South America. Resulting in what the BMKG reported as an increase of rain intensity by 20-70 percent above normal level as reported from JakartaPost. This increase is to be expected around this month and in December. 

Preparing for weather change could mean remembering to bring an umbrella and wearing more layers to protect from the cold. But it also means providing extra care for your plants.

Caring for plants in the garden during the rainy season

As the rainy season is already upon us, it is important to note how the different weather changes can affect the growth of plants. The rainy season means a rise in rain occurrences. For some areas, it could happen every day. While rainwater is not inherently bad for the plant, the continuous stream of rainwater could mean rotting roots, high humidity that could increase the threat of diseases, and the rising number of pests on the soil. 

Whether planted straight on the ground or on the pot, the threat that comes with the rainy season is all the same. Here are a few things that you should take careful watch for during the rainy season for a thriving plant.

  1. Watering frequency. It is important to reduce the frequency of watering during the rainy season. Sticking to the regular watering schedule in the rainy season can lead to overwatering and in turn results in a rotting root, killing the plant. Instead, do a little soil inspection before watering. If there’s still moisture in the soil, hold off on watering until the soil feels a little drier. 
  1. Ventilation and drainage. Make sure that there are no puddles of water around the plant area. Puddles can mean bad drainage and can lead to rotting roots and spores. While ventilation is essential to help dry the wet leaves. Constantly wet leaves can also lead to rotting and spore growth, threatening the health of the plant. 
  1. Cover young plants with plastic. If you are tending to young plants or sowing seeds, make sure to cover them with plastics or some type of transparent shade. The rain can be hard for young plants with growing, weak roots. Exposure to rain can lead to them collapsing and breaking in the branches. Also, make sure that the covering has enough ventilation that allows the plant to breathe. If using plastics, make sure that it has enough holes.
  1. Rise of pests. During the rainy season, pests, like earthworms, tend to rise from the ground. While earthworms are good for soil fertility and aerating the soil, too much of them can cause damage to the roots from being over-eaten. If you find that there are too many pests around your plant, pesticide or natural method such as salt for earthworms can be applied.

Plants that can’t get a lot of water

Some plants can withstand drought, and some need frequent watering. If you are planning on adding a new plant to your garden during this rainy season, take note of these three plants that can’t thrive in the rain and maybe save them for the summertime.

  • Begonia. Commonly known as the painted leaf, this beautiful decorative plant is known for its colorful big leaves. This plant is recommended to be watered every week and can be sensitive to overwatering. Overwatering begonia can cause the foliage to turn yellow and lose its beautiful coloring.
  • ZZ plant. Zamioculcas zamiifolia (ZZ) or Zanzibar gem, this waxy leaves plants need a long period between watering. This is because its supple leaves can store moisture. As with the other plants in this list, ZZ plants’ beauty can lessen from overwatering and can be very hard to bring back.
  • Lavender. This beautiful and scented plant thrives in the sun. While lavender can grow during the colder season, lavender prefers dry, sand, and fast-drying soil, making them not applicable to plant during the rainy season. 

Fertilizer recommendation during the rainy season

Heavy rain and increased rainfall tend to wash away nutrients and recently applied fertilizer. It is why during the rainy season it’s recommended to use pelted NPK fertilizer or organic fertilizer that tends to not wash out as quickly as liquid fertilizers. Cybex, a cyber extension website of the Ministry of Agriculture, recommended reducing the use of nitrogen fertilizer and basic fertilizer such as UREA or ZA during the rainy season. This is because during the rainy season the free nitrogen content in the air is very high. Adding nitrogen in the form of fertilizer to the soil can lead to an excessive amount that not only will be absorbed by the plant but can also be absorbed by pathogenic fungi such as anthracnose.  

Rain can also disrupt the schedule of regular fertilizer, the constant rain can lead to soaked soil making it hard to fertilize. Try to apply the fertilizer in the morning. The morning is the perfect moment to apply fertilizer because of the cold and the morning dew that can help to maximize fertilizer performance. As long as it’s not raining, around 7-11 am is preferable for applying fertilizer.

Written by: Safaanah

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