GNcareers, from Gulf News

The many ways to care for your patch of green

Cleaning your gardenImage Credit: Supplied

The highlight of any villa feature is, undoubtedly, its garden. While you may have gone to great lengths to do up the interiors of your home, if your garden lacks greenery and appears lifeless, dull and ill-manicured, this can be a major downer. There are several ways to ensure that the latter does not happen and, if it does, to salvage it.

Invest in a good gardener, preferably one that belongs to a reputed garden maintenance company. Besides being willing to work outdoors in extreme conditions, he should be proactive with a keen interest in plants. Once he is on board, have a clear communication with him in terms of what you expect.

The regular chores of a gardener involve watering plants and mowing the lawn. The summer months demand frequent watering (up to three times a day), and preferably at hours when evaporation is at its minimum, namely early mornings and at night. Mowing, on the other hand, becomes necessary as and when the grass grows. An experienced gardener will be quick to identify this. Gardens may need to be trimmed up to three times a week in the hotter months when growth is accelerated, while one to two times a week is generally sufficient in the cooler months.

Even though good quality soil directly translates into a good garden, it becomes necessary to add fertilizers from time to time to enhance its fertility. Fertilizer requirements differ from season to season and from plant to plant, and this is where a skilled gardener steps in with recommendations of what to use. The three primary nutrients that facilitate plant growth are nitrogen-phosphorus-potassium (N-P-K), in the same order. However, each individual nutrient fulfills different gardening objectives and, hence, should be used judiciously for the long-term health of the soil.

Despite regular care, if the plants appear to be dying, you need to act immediately. Maintain a regular watering schedule and start pumping the nutrients at the first sign of wilting. If the grass has started rotting, apply compost as soon as possible. With minimum effort and expenditure, you can expect a lush green garden in no time.

Handy Hints
• Underwatering of plants is a more common problem than overwatering
• N-P-K must be used judiciously depending on gardening requirements
• Maintain a regular watering schedule and add nutrients at first sign of wilting

Source: Priyanka Wade, Special to Properties
The writer is a freelancer