Here is an idea you can try. Geeta. R, a resident of T. T. K. Road, Alwarpet was surprised to see her small plants withering away in the heat. She says, “I have been growing these small plants for more than 10 years now and they usually manage to get through the summer with the care I give them. From the first week of April however, I have been noticing a few unusual changes in these plants – the leaves dry up very fast and they don’t seem to be growing as well as they usually do. Since I didn’t have too many shady spots in my garden, I moved them under the shade of the big plants and they seem to be growing well again”.
Dr. Babu, from NGO Nizhal, gives a few more tips on how to keep plants and terrace gardens healthy this summer:
1. Watering the plants twice a day is recommended – once in the morning before the heat sets in and once in the evening between 5 – 6 p.m. This ensures that there is always sufficient water for the plants to grow.
2. Shade nets on the terrace (as seen in the picture) will ensure that atleast 50% of the heat is cut off. Those who cannot afford shade nets can put up palm leaves or a simple white cloth will also do. For small plants, residents can get creative and also put their plants under a foldable cot covered with a cloth.
3. Put an extra layer of vermicompost or cocopeat at the roots to ensure that they don’t wither away.
4. Don’t splash water on the leaves in the morning as water is a conductor of heat. Spray water on the roots only.