Everyone wants their backyard to feel like an oasis, and there’s no better way to do so than by filling it with tropical plants and flowers.
Because of the island’s rich soil and mild climate, flowers, plants and fruit trees tend to grow like weeds, even if you don’t have a green thumb. But there are a few simple tips and tricks you can pick up that will boost your soil’s health and help your plants grow to heights. And many of them don’t involve pricey materials found at gardening stores. Here are seven tips to help you grow your best tropical garden:
- There’s no need for chemical pesticides. Instead, try a microbial solution of microorganisms, which can take care of the pests without harmful toxins. One of the most popular products is EM1.
- Are your potted plants losing water too fast? Look no further than the sponge that you already have in your kitchen! Re-use your old sponges by cutting them to fit into the bottom of planting pots. They’ll help absorb water and prevent it from seeping out.
- Some of the best fertilizer may already be in your kitchen, too. Put coffee grounds and old tea leaves around the base of your flowers and plants or mix them into the soil for added nutrients. Another option is to crush up old egg shells and scatter them into dirt for a healthy dose of calcium. The soil — and your plants — will thank you.
- Skip planting on slopes during the rainy season. It’s not worth all that effort if there’s a chance your time and energy could get washed away. But if there’s no way around it, use biodegradable netting to anchor your plants into the dirt.
- Remember that overwatering can put your plants in more danger than under watering. You can bring a plant back from a drought, but drowning your plant can be deadly. If you’re having trouble growing orchids, overwatering is a common culprit.
- Get the right soil to start with. Does your plant need peat, cinders or sandy soil to thrive? Depending on what you’re trying to grow and where you live on island, you may need to add something extra to make your plant feel more at home.
- Worried your plant might be dealing with a disease? Try spraying milk on its leaves. Milk is believed to combat mildew and other issues that can plague plants.