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Colorful annuals that you can grow in winter season!

Winter season is always the best time to grow beautiful flowers in your garden. If you are planning to grow some beautiful blooms in your garden then the right time to sow seeds in October- November. Some seeds grow in colder times that is in December and January.

In India,  you will find different seasons and diversity. Winter season make our surrounding colorful and this is all because of the beautiful flowers. These blooms always spread happiness around us. For healthy growth and  flowering, proper amount of sunlight, water and care are very important. 

Site, Soil and watering :

Selects the site according to your landscape which receives a good amount of sunlight for colorful annuals. Watering needs to be done carefully. Smaller plants are more susceptible to over or under-watering. Use good soil which contains a good amount of organic compost like vermicompost which is rich in nutrients.

Winter flowering annuals :

Petunia, cockscomb, zinnia, calendula, chrysanthemum, cineraria, and marigold are some best colorful annuals  that we can grow in the Indian climate during the winter season. Flower plants need soil up to 5 inches deep. So, dig a hole in the soil and bury the seed about 2 inches deep. After 6 weeks, you will see the seeds sprout into saplings. 

Tips for growing winter annuals:

  1. Plants annuals in a sunny area and close to each other.
  2. Don’t overwater and keep the soil moist.
  3. This bright colorful annuals suitable to make ornamental edging, container gardening and for hanging baskets
  4. Use these colorful flowering pots for instant display.
  5. This bright color annual helps to attract butterflies, honey bees in your landscape.

Petunia

One of the most popular annual flowering plants, they are quick-growing and known for their beautiful blooms pink, purple, violet, red, white. Winter is the perfect season to grow petunias in the garden. Petunia seeds can be sown when the temperature is cool. Petunias are perfect for hanging basket and container gardening. The seeds are very small, so one needs to take extra care while sowing. Sprinkle seeds on well-drained soil and gently push them down. Light sandy soil is ideal. Do not cover them with soil, as they need light to germinate. 

Petunia

Cockscomb or celosia

Cockscomb known for its unique flowers, it produces feathery flower spikes in a pyramidal fashion resembling ostrich-plums in various colors, deep rust red is the most common color, although purple, yellow and pink varieties have gained popularity in recent years. It is best to grow cockscomb plants in large groups. Germination time is five days to two weeks. Celosia prefers full sunlight and can tolerate little shade. Maintain  moist soil with regular watering.          

Celosia

Cineraria

The Cineraria plant, the term cineraria means “ash gray,” so it’s not surprising to be called the ashplant. These plants are not suited for growing in hot, dry climates. Cineraria should be grown in partial to full shade and planted in slightly acidic, rich, well-drained soil with high compost content. Water them regularly to keep the soil evenly moist.

Cineraria

 

Zinnia

Zinnias are one of the easiest flowers to grow, as they grow quickly and bloom heavily. Zinnia flowers can create a massive burst of color in the garden. Grow zinnias in a spot with full sun for most prolific blooms. Zinnias are very drought tolerant and don’t usually need any supplemental watering. If your soil is poor, you can add some compost to give the plants a boost, but they will grow in even bad soil. Zinnia is one of the first flowers to bloom in the space. 

Zinnia

 

Marigold

No annual is more cheerful or easier to grow than the marigold. Marigolds are a very versatile flower. They enjoy full sun and hot days and grows well in dry or moist soil. This hardiness is one of the reasons that they are often used as bedding plants and container plants. Plant the marigolds in a prepared garden site that has been tilled to a depth of about 6 to 8 inches and amended with a layer of compost or other organic matter. Space the plants about 8 to 10 inches apart. Increase the spacing by 2 inches if you grow a large variety.

 

Marigold

Dianthus

Dianthus flowers (Dianthus spp.) are also called “pinks.” Plants are small and usually between 6 and 18 inches tall. Dianthus flowers are most often in pink, salmon, red and white hues. The foliage is slender and sparsely spread on thick stems. Dianthus plants grow easily from seeds sown indoors in trays or sown directly outdoors. For dianthus plants choose a location in full sun with loose, well-drained soil. The addition of organic matter (leaf mold, compost, well-rotted manure)  encourages plant growth and blooms. Water them only at the base of the plant to keep the foliage dry and prevent mildew spotting.

 

Dianthus

Grow these colorful annuals to your garden, which adds color contrast wherever you need them!  

Which winter annual will you choose? We love to hear from our garden lovers. Do tell us in the comment section below.

 Happy gardening

 

tejas.rane7@gmail.com'

What exactly is a Rock Garden?

Rock gardens are a great way to display rocks and sunny, alpine plants together. Rock garden should look natural and not superimposed. It can be made in open sunshine or partial shade.

What exactly is a Rock garden?

Garden planned around natural rock formations or rocks artificially arranged to replicate natural (often mountainous) conditions. The concept of rock gardens is believed to have been introduced from China and Japan into the Western world in the 17th cent. They have since gained wide popularity as an ideal method for the cultivation of mountain flora and for beautifying hilly, stony or other awkward terrain. 

Rock plants usually have long roots that enable them to obtain moisture even when the surface is hot and dry. Low plants requiring well-drained conditions are suited to rock gardens: besides alpine plants, these include stonecrops and species of phlox, bluebell, and succulents.

A rock garden can provide several different habitats even in quite a small area. A rock, for example, can be placed so that sun-loving plants make the most of its sunny face whereas shade-tolerant plants can nestle in its north-facing shadow. A large garden is not essential as it is possible to incorporate a rock garden into all sizes of the plot.

Choosing the right site:

  • Aim to use the most open position, away from overhanging trees or tree roots, where plants will receive sun for the greater part of the day.
  • It is better to have fewer hours of sun per day than the whole day in light shade
  • Choose a position where the drainage is perfect unless you are prepared to build raised beds or enhance drainage in other ways.

Choosing the best Rocks for garden:

      Rock gardens are quite an investment in hard materials such as rock, stone, gravel or slate.Choose local stone if possible.

  • Sandstone is an example of a suitable rock, widely available, that is not too alkaline (limestone) or hard and dense (granite).
  • Limestone from natural ‘limestone pavements’ was widely used.  These pavements are a scarce and finite resource with a unique flora.  
  • Choose stone in a range of to construct a natural-looking outcrop.

Placing the stone:

To create as natural a rock garden as possible select large stones to act as ‘keystones’. Position the larger of these first and place the remaining ones so that the layer look natural. Use a spade to dig out hollows to set the stone into. A crowbar will help move the stones into their permanent positions. Support them with smaller stones or bricks underneath. Aim for a naturalistic look when setting the rock in place. The rocks should tilt backward, with the strata running the same way. Use weed-free topsoil for the top layer of the rock garden, working it underneath and between the stones to set them firmly in place.  Bury the stones up to a third of their depth, firming them in place. Leave the areas between the stones uniform and add the specially made compost over the area to create planting pockets.


Planting the rock garden: 

Remove the plant from the pot, make sure the plants are planted firmly in the compost mix and are top-dressed with gravel or soil. Set a few plants first, then add rocks around them. Try to cover as much of the surface as possible with rocks and plants.

Plants for rock garden:

A wide range of plants called’ Alpines’ can be grown successfully, like achillea, alyssum, azalea, begonia semperflorens, dianthus, gazania, linum, primula. Perennials like – phlox, saxifrage, verbena can be grown too. Besides, one can grow cacti, succulents, euphorbia milli, sedum, miniature roses, lantana, and ferns.

There are many ways you can design your rock garden. Select the perfect site that is suitable to your landscape conditions to achieve a better effect and if you choose plants wisely, no matter what kind of design you have chosen, you will have a beautiful, thriving rock garden to be proud of !

Happy gardening

 

 

 

tejas.rane7@gmail.com'

Use of Bamboo In Landscaping

Bamboo is a spectacular exotic and incredibly durable plant that can be seen in many gardens. Most varieties grow to be extremely tall and even though they can be trimmed from the top, most grow to be well above three feet in height.

This article will give you the tips that you need to grow bamboo in your garden as well as show you a few ideas that will inspire you to incorporate bamboo into your outside decor. Bamboo is one of the most beautiful, hardy, drought-and-pest-tolerant plants a homeowner can add to his yard. Many bamboo types make perfect privacy screens, hedges, and ornamental landscapes.

What is Bamboo?

Bamboo is a perennial evergreen in the grass family – yes, it’s not a tree – but it’s a grass! More than 1,200 different species grow around the world. Various species grow to heights of 100 feet or more. It grows new shoots without replanting and can be harvested within five years for building materials.

There are two main types of bamboo –

  1. Running bamboos are considered invasive because they spawn underground “runners” (called rhizomes) that extend away from the parent plant by large distances.
  2. Clumping bamboos produce a different type of underground rhizome that sprout new stems (clums) next to the original plant, which then expand slowly each year.Clumping bamboo is most often used in landscaping because it’s dense, fast-growing, and prunable.

Bamboo features

  • Bamboo is available in various colors, sizes, shape and height which gives visual interest and a striking design to a landscape.
  • Bamboo is versatile, hardy and very fast-growing, doesn’t require any fertilisers to grow and drought tolerant.
  • Bamboo plants grow successfully in a range of climatic conditions.
  • Bamboo is easy to grow.
  • Bamboo is evergreen.
  • Bamboo is self-renewing.

 Use of bamboo in Landscaping

Bamboo Wall Accent – Bamboo is used in this idea in two different ways. It is first used to create a more three-dimensional wall that stands out and looks amazing against the wood in this garden. Secondly, there are also live bamboo plants that bring life to the corner of the garden.

  

Screening Purpose –Natural bamboo screens can be trimmed to desired heights and widths and grow quicker and taller than shrubs and hedges. Popular bamboo species used for this purpose include clumping varieties, Golden Bamboo and Dwarf Malay.

Bamboo Hedge– Everyone likes to have a bit of privacy in their back yard, and this bamboo idea creates a perfect hedge-like design that will give you just that. The hedge is narrow, so it does not overwhelm the space, but it provides a good bit of cover.

Containers- Growing a bamboo privacy screen in containers is not only a great idea for those who live in densely populated areas where limited space is an issue, but also for those who rent or lease their homes and don’t want to make any permanent changes to the landscape. Containers submerged in the ground, placed on your patio or even grouped around your yard perimeter for a hedge effect always look amazing.

 

Alternative uses– Environmentally friendly and durable bamboos are also used for patio furniture, fencing, edging, water features, wind chime and for ornamental areas such as Zen gardens.

Common Clumping Varieties Used for Landscaping

Alphonse Karr or Multiplex Bamboo -This species has golden culms (bamboo stems) striped with green. This variety can grow as high as 30 feet and is often used for privacy screens.

Image result for alphonse karr bamboo

Golden Bamboo – Golden bamboo is a commonly planted variety with finely textured green leaves and attractive golden-yellow stems. Usually used as a screening plant, it grows quickly more than 20 feet if not trimmed and spreads to create a dense hedge or screen. Unfortunately, this plant becomes invasive so it’s not recommended for all gardens.

Image result for golden bamboo

Giant Buddha’s Belly -This bamboo type features bulging “Buddha belly” culms and long, narrow green leaves, and can grow up to 50 feet.

Buddha belly Bamboo

Murray Island -This type of bamboo forms dense clumps with lighter green, textured leaves and its lush top growth also makes it ideal for privacy screens. It grows up to 13 feet in height.

Chinese Dwarf Bamboo – Compact and lush, this variety lends itself better to pot planting than other clumping species. Chinese Dwarf Bamboo is also a popular hedge choice and can grow up to nine feet tall.

Timor Black Bamboo -This clumping form of black bamboo has light green leaves and dark culms with lighter stripes. It grows upwards of 50 feet.

Black bamboo

I hope this article inspires you to add gorgeous, functional and evergreen bamboo to your landscape!

Happy-gardening

tejas.rane7@gmail.com'

How to care for Plumeria during winter season

Plumeria spp. is a medium, flowering ornamental tree native to the Caribbean, Mexico, Central America, and South America to Brazil.  It is a member of the dogbane family (Apocynaceae) and is known by its common name plumeria or frangipani. It is also known as the Hawaiian lei flower for its use in creating leis and Haku lei (crowns). It is easy to grow in hot and dry areas. It has widespread use in tropical landscapes around the world and is frequently associated with  temples and graveyards. 

Plumeria obtusa

  • Common name: Frangipani, Pagoda tree
  • Botanical name: Plumeria spp. L.
  • Height: 10-15 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)
  • Spacing: 4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)
  • Sun Exposure: Full Sun, Sun to Partial Shade.
  • Water requirement: Moderate, don’t over water.
  • Bloom Color: White, Yellow, Pink and Red
  • Bloom Time: Year-round flowering, Flowers in flushes throughout the year
  • Foliage: Green Shiny, Leathery textured.
  • Propagation Methods: From woody stem cuttings, by grafting or by air layering.
  • Uses in landscape: Accent tree, suitable for road median planting, suitable for avenue planting, look good near water bodies.

    General information about growing plumeria

Plumerias can be grown in the ground or containers as indoors or on a balcony. During the months of active growth, ample sun, food, and water are essential. Healthy plumeria will grow vigorously and bloom regularly and profusely when they receive at least 6 hours of full sun per day and an ample amount of the proper fertilisers. Plumeria love lots of water, but can’t tolerate wet feet, so they must be planted in well drained soil.

How to care in the winter season for Plumeria?

In winter season Plumeria foliage starts turning yellow and even starting to defoliate. Fortunately, this is a natural response to the local climate turning cool to cold. It is very common for Plumerias at this time of the year.

Depending on the variety and flower color, some plants will either start partially or completely defoliate around November. Don’t worry. It’s beneficial for plants to go dormant. They store their energy until the weather warms up, then pushes new foliage and flowers.

Caring for your Plumeria in the winter is simple. Do not water too much and if your plants have no leaves, better to not water them at all until they start to push new foliage in the spring. It is not necessary to add fertilizers at this time.

I hope this information will help you to take care of this wonderful tropical plant in winter season!

Once you know the tricks for plumeria plant care, you’ll be rewarded with fragrant flowers all year long!

Happy gardening

 

tejas.rane7@gmail.com'

Grow Your Own Pumpkins !

A mix of vibrant pumpkin varieties is a valuable staple in your kitchen garden!

Pumpkin is one of the easiest garden vegetables to grow. If you have space in your garden for them, they are a relatively maintenance free. Pumpkin vines grow best in a location with lots of sunlight and good air circulation.

Did you know Pumpkins are also famous during Halloween? 

Modern Halloween comes from the Irish festival Samhain. Tradition dictated huge bonfires built in fields, and it was believed that fairy spirits lurked in the shadows. To distract these spirits from settling into houses and farms, people would carve rudimentary faces into large turnips, and set candles inside. 

As pumpkin carving grew into a multi-million dollar industry, American farmers began to examine the specific types of pumpkins they grew, and breed new lines of squash specifically for carving. Massachusetts farmer John Howden developed the Howden pumpkin in the 1960s, and it is still the most popular carving pumpkin in America.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why Pumpkin? 

In Hindi Pumpkin is called as Kadoo. Pumpkins come in unique shapes, sizes and hues and have diverse flavors. They are a rich source of Vitamin A, potassium and fibre. 

Where to grow Pumpkins?

Ideally grown on the edge of a garden bed where it receives adequate sunlight. As with most plants, they thrive in loose, well-drained soil and under direct sunlight which allows the fruit to ripen evenly. 

Add neem cake or neem solution to the soil a week before planting. Mix organic matter, wood ash and well-rotted manure into the soil.

The mound should be about 8-12 inches high and around 2 feet circumference at the base. This can also be done on a long raised ridge with the same proportions. Though they are considered monsoon crops, pumpkins can be grown throughout the year — successive planting will provide a steady supply of fruits.

How to sow Pumpkin seeds?

Soak the seeds in warm water for a day to promote germination. The seeds can be started in a nursery and shifted later, but for best results sow directly in prepared beds. If they are to be planted on flat ground, keep a distance of atleast 3 feet for the vines to spread out. For raised soil, flatten the top of the heap and press the seeds an inch deep — 3 seeds per mound or 3 feet apart if it is on a ridge. For terrace gardens, use large deep troughs with at least 1.5 feet depth and sow 2 seeds in each.

How to care for Pumpkins?

Once the seeds have sprouted, restrict weed growth around the seedlings with an organic mulch of leaves or grass cuttings. Remove weak seedlings at this stage. As the long vines supply nutrition to the plants, they should be well-maintained by trimming dead leaves and weak side vines. 

Watering is best done early morning or in the evening, preferably by drip tubes which supply water directly to the roots; excess water on the leaves can cause powdery mildew. 

Protect against aphids, ants and other pests by spraying with a neem solution; peppermint solution is another insect repellent which can be sprayed once a week. Look for squash bugs under the leaves and remove them by hand. 

Once the flowers appear, sprinkle wood ash around the plant on alternate weeks to supply potash. Pumpkins produce male and female flowers on the same plant and are naturally pollinated by insects. To ensure this, pollination can be done manually.

Identify the flowers — the female flower has a small fruit at the base and the male is distinguishable by its absence. Rub the male flower over the female flower to transfer pollen. This will increase chances of healthy well-proportioned vegetables.

Female flower

How to harvest Pumpkin?

Most pumpkin varieties can be harvested after three months, when the fruit has ripened on the vine. Pumpkins are ready to harvest when the stem has started to dry and the skin of the pumpkin begins to harden. Remove from the vine leaving about an inch stem.If the stem breaks, the pumpkin won’t cure or store well.

That’s all you need to know about growing pumpkins in your kitchen garden. Pumpkin has so many uses in the kitchen so learning how to grow pumpkins successfully will be truly rewarding experience.

Happy Halloween!

Happy-gardening