Winter is coming: Is your garden ready?
Winter in India is the most delightful season of gardening. Cold climate, dry air, clear blue skies & pleasant sunlight are perfect for growing all kind of vegetables & flowering plants. If you wish to make the most of this season, your garden place should be ready for it well in advance. Fortunately, you have a small transition period of ‘October heat’ to make all the winter related preparations in your garden.
Here are few crucial things you need to do, to make your garden winter ready:
1. Winter Garden Plan:
Whatever available space you have, it is crucial to plan & design your yard/balcony/terrace garden by drawing it out on paper. While planning for winter vegetables, consider using as much available space in your garden that has access to partial or full sunlight. Also, dedicate plenty of space for flower beds & herbaceous flowering borders.
2. Winter Vegetable Seed Starting:
Indian winter or Rabi season is comparatively short-lived. That’s why one should select the seeds of winter vegetable varieties (cultivars) which are known to give more harvest in less time. Apart from regular fruiting vegetables like tomato, chilli, okra, etc. winter is the time where you can grow wide varieties of other veggies.
In fact, certain vegetables in your home garden can be grown in this season only.
3. Garden Vegetable Seeds for Winter:
- Cruciferous vegetables: Cabbage, Chinese Cabbage, Cauliflower, Broccoli.
- Leafy vegetables: Spinach, Red Amaranth, Ambadi, Lettuce, Coriander.
- Underground Vegetables: Carrot, Radish, Beetroot, Turnip, Onion, Leek, Garlic.
- Legumes: Green peas, Lablab Beans, French Beans, Cow-pea, Chickpea.
- Kitchen Herbs: Basil, Chives, Fennel, Rosemary, Thyme, Parsley, Sage.
Apart from vegetables, seeds of many beautiful winter flowers in India can be sown in this season.
4. Winter flowering annuals:
5. Winter Garden Land preparation:
Prepare the seedbeds in semi shade for seed sowing with fine soil & sand. Make the raised beds under full sunlight with garden soil & plenty of compost for plantation of vegetable seedlings. Also, mix fresh green manure into the raised beds.
6. Winter Garden Watering and Irrigation System:
From October onwards up to the month of May, it is important to make provision for watering your garden. First, identify the source of irrigation (tap water/bore-well water). The scarcity of water will directly and adversely affect the quality of your garden.
Also, choose the mode of watering; it could be done manually by using pipes, watering cans or you could set up sprinkler/drip irrigation systems in your garden depending on the size of your garden, budget & availability of resources.
This is how you can prepare for upcoming winter season. Remember that ‘to plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow.’