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Bagbani gardening hb

Bagbani gardening hb



A gardeners hand book both for the novice and the Green Thumb. Written in simple to understand english with a number of pictures.

A gardeners hand book both for the novice and the Green Thumb. Written in simple to understand english with a number of pictures.



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    Bagbani gardening hb Bagbani gardening hb Document Transcript

    • Capt.Retd.)SKBhandari2010BAGBANIGARDENINGHANDBOOKA Gardening Hand Book for the Novice.A gardeners’ companion. Reading it will make you amaster gardener.Agro Synergy & Floriculture Consortium16, Chakrata Road, Dehra Dun 248001Mobile +91 9358525643Email asfic@rediffmail.com
    • 1 | P a g eDedicatedToMy respected motherShrimati Sushila Bhandari(7.10.1910-8.11.2010)
    • 2 | P a g eBAGBANI GARDENING HAND BOOKINDEXSubject PageIntroduction to gardening 3A Healthy Plant’s Requirements Water Requirement 4How to Judge If A Plant Needs Water 4Humidity 4Food and Air 5Liquid Fertilisers 5,6What to Grow - Herbs 6,7-Palms 8,9-Dracaens ,Cordyline & Yucca 9,10-Ferns 10-Ficus 11-Arums 11-Flowers 12-SEASONAL PLANTS (ANNUALS) WINTER BLOOMS 12,13,14, 15-SEASONAL FLOWERS (ANNUALS) SUMMER BLOOMS 16-FLOWERING CLIMBERS (PERMANENT CREEPERS) 17-FLOWERING BULBS – Summer and Rain season 18,19-Plant Care 19,20-Grooming And Care 20-Cleaning Leaves 20-Looking After Flowers 20-Trimming Steams and Shoots 21-Hoeing 21-Weeding 21-Stopping 21-Dead heading 21-Top dressing 21,22-Nutrient needs of flowers 22-PROPAGATION 22-Sowing seeds 23-Sowing Seeds - Procedure 23-Repotting of Seedlings 24-Dividing Plants 24-Dividing Procedure 24-Layering 25-Tip layering 25-Air layering 25-Runners 25-Stem-Tip Cutting 26-Indoor Hanging Baskets 27-Planting an Indoor Hanging Basket 27-Foliage plants for indoor hanging-baskets 27-Grouping Plants in Hanging-Baskets 28- Indoor Plants 28,29,30,31-Vegetables 33,34-Companion Plants 35,36,37,38-Lawns 39,40,41-Soil pH Ranges 42-Garden Layouts 45 - 55
    • 3 | P a g eBAGBANIHAND BOOK OF GARDENINGCapt. (Retd.) Satish Kumar Bhandari09358525643 mailto:asfic@rediffmail.comIntroductionThe joy of growing something be it a flower plant, a vegetable, a fruit tree, a shrub, or aclimber can be experienced only by a gardener. If we see, around us, there thousands ofpeople growing plants and every day many more join the lucky group of gardeners. Some ofthe advantages of home gardening are, to breath fresh air all day long, refreshing aromafrom the flowers, home grown vegetables etc. Most important is the exercise it provides tothe gardener.In this Gardening hand book, you will learn about Home Gardening’.Plants which are ideal for the home garden. Both outdoors as well as indoors and how totake care for their proper growth.Some of the subjects covered are —· Plants, their watering and feeding needs.· Growing your own plants from seeds.· Growing plants from cuttings, grafting, air layer grafting and leaf rooting methods.· Flowers and their growing season.· Common house flowering plants and their growing season.· Common house vegetable plants and their growing season.· Plant care.· Gardening tips.
    • 4 | P a g e A Healthy Plant’s RequirementsWater RequirementMost plants like to be watered only after their soil dries out. Excess water causesroot rot, which causes the plant to decay, so always be sure to wait until your plantis thirsty before you water it. Plants absorb water from the soil, through their small,hair-like root. The water moves into lager roots and from there to the stems andfinally to the leaves. Too little water is the cause of wilting of leaves & flowers whichfirst droop and later become crisp and brown.Each plant has its own need for water, some requiring more than others. Largeplants need more water than small ones. Also, plants need less water in winter thanin summer, because in winters the soil remains moist for a longer period. As a resultduring winters the plants may need no watering for a number of consecutive days,whereas in summers, the watering may have to be as frequent as twice a day.Whenever watering is undertaken, it must be thorough. Frequent inadequatewatering draws surface roots to the top, causes rapid transpiration and exhausts theplant.Watering must be done in the early morning or in the evening when the soil aroundthe pot is not hot. Should watering become necessary during the bright sunshine,the pot should be removed to shade the soil allowed to cool down, before the plant iswatered. All flowering plant needs generous watering when the buds are forming andit is in full bloom. How to Judge If A Plant Needs WaterThe experienced gardener know that more houseplants die through being excessivelyor insufficiently watered than from any other reason? To judge if a plant in a potneeds water rub a finger or thumb on the potting soil to assess its moisture content.Another simple way of understanding the plants need for water is by observing thecolour of the soil in the pot. When the soil is dry it becomes pale and it crumbles, butif wet, it is dark in colour. Eventually, most houseplant gardeners use this method toassess the need of water. HumidityMost houseplants are tropical plants and come from places where the humidity (theamount of moisture in the air) is as high as 70, 80 or even 90 percent. The amountof moisture in the air influences the health and growth of plants. Deserts cacti in hotregions have thick outer layers that reduce the amount of moisture they give off.Most plants however, need a humid atmosphere to prevent their leaves and stembecoming dry. Spraying them regularly with water from a spray bottle or sprinklingwater on the leaves; or setting them on a tray or a plastic saucer filled with pebblesand water, will increase the humidity around the plants and helps raise the humidity
    • 5 | P a g eDont Spray Water1) When the sun is shining. Water globules act as lenses, intensifying the suns raysand burning leaves.2) During evenings, especially in autumn & winter as wet leaves attract pests anddisease germs.The plants should be given Mist-spray in the morning, so that the moisture has achance to dry before the onset of night.Grouping of Plants create Humid AtmosphereBy placing plants in groups a humid micro-climate (a small area with high humidity)can be created around them. Moisture given off from the surfaces of leaves istrapped. When a plant is displayed on its own, moisture soon evaporate.Keeping the Atmosphere HumidRegularly mist-spray smooth-surfaced leaves in summer. However, take care not tospray water on flowers, as they then soon decay. Place a piece of plastic sheet infront of the flowers while spraying. A few plants such as philodendrons and the SwissCheese Plant must be mist-sprayed in summer to prevent them from becoming dryand hard.Excessive Humidity1) Soft leaves soon decay, especially if hairy. Moisture becomes trapped around thehair on the leaves.2) Leaves that are close to the stems create traps for water.3) Flower petals, especially when tightly packed together, become covered with afurry mould.4) Plants with masses of soft leaves closely packed together become infested withdecay. Food and AirThe soil of plants must be "well enriched‖, which means that the soil should be richenough for the growth of the plant and able to retain the moisture. The soil may beenriched by adding organic and inorganic manures .Organic manure is manure madefrom wastes of plants and animals (decomposed leaves and cow dung). Inorganicmanure is made chemically and is, therefore also known as chemical fertiliser.The manure is added to the soil in the plants, three to four times in a year. Oncebefore winters, then before the onset of summers and again before the rainy season.The soil is loosened a little by digging and the manure is put around the plant on topof the soil. While digging the soil, take care not to damage the roots.The day you loosen the soil, do not water the plant. The interval between looseningand watering of soil helps in the aeration of roots and absorption of water from agreater depth.Fresh air should be able to circulate in the rooms where, indoor plants are placed in,even if its only through the wire mesh of the windows. Liquid FertilisersA Chemical or Organic Concentrated fertilisers when dissolved in water are calledliquid fertilizers. These are applied to the potting compost at ten to fourteen-dayintervals during summer.
    • 6 | P a g eIf the potting compost is dry, first water it. This is because when it is dry there is arisk of the fertilizer damaging the roots. Also, if it is dry the soil-ball contracts andleaves a gap around the inside of the pot, through which water and fertiliser willescape and be wasted.Thoroughly agitate the water, ensuring that the fertilizer is completely mixed. Applythis before it gets settled at the bottom of the container. What To GrowHerbsAn Herb Garden for your kitchen as this will flavor the dishes cooked by you andmake them palatable. Some of the easiest herbs to grow in your garden are:Coriander (Hara Dhaniya):1. Crush 2-3 tsp of coriander seeds (saboot dhaniya) with the foot by placing on apiece of paper, so as to divide each seed into 2 parts.2. Dig the soil in a pot to loosen it.3. Sprinkle seeds. Gently mix them with the fingers with the soil. Some get mixedand some show on top.4. Water generously. Cover with a transparent polythene and place in a warm,lighted place.5. Now water only when the soil turns dry.6. The seedlings take about 15 days to come out.7. Once the seedlings are out, take care to protect them from the birds.Mint (Poodina):1. Choose a bunch with thick stems.2. Loosen the bunch to separate the stems.3. Discard any yellow leaves.4. Select 10-12 good stalks. One or two may have a few hairy roots. These will startgrowing faster.5. Loosen soil in a pot by digging it lightly.6. Dig 2" deep and plant 2 stems together. Similarly plant all of them, planting twostems together in each hole.7. Press on the sides of the stems lightly.8. Water generously. Water every day.
    • 7 | P a g eSweet Basel1. Select good black/brown coloured seeds. Rub it in your palms to remove the outercover.2. Dig the soil in a pot to loosen it.3. Sprinkle seeds. Gently mix them with the fingers with the soil. Some get mixedand some show on top.4. Water generously. Cover with a transparent polythene and place in a warm,lighted place.5. Now water only when the soil turns dry.6. The seedlings take about 15 days to come out.7. Once the seedlings are out, take care to protect them from the birds.Green Chili (Hari Mirch):1. Select 4-5 good, big and thick dry red chilies. Take out seeds.2. Loosen soil by digging.3. Scatter seeds. Lightly mix the seeds with the soil with your fingers.4. Water generously.5. Water only after the soil turns dry.
    • 8 | P a g ePalmsIf you grow some Palms in your garden they will not only beautify the garden butalso add a touch of royalty. The palms are remaining ever green throughout the yearand you need not plant them afresh every season. Palms also make wonderful indoorplants.The palms can also, be grown as an indoor plant as they not like too much light andcannot stand direct sunlight. Find a place which has some light, but not too stronglight. It is always better to keep two palm plants for a single indoor location. Keepone inside your room for a few days and then put it outside, but not in directsunlight. Bring the one outside to replace it, altering the plants.Some of the palm which will charm you and your visitors are given below:Areca Lutescens PalmThis the most common palm grown in the garden. The Areca palm is also called thegolden feather palm. Its botanical name is areca Iutescens.The leaves of the young plants are rather floppy and irregular, but they becomemore sturdy and regular as they grow older. Areca originates from Madagascar,where it is usually warm and so the golden feather palm is therefore not adapted tolow temperature. Put in a warm place where even the night temperature does notdrop below 15°C (59°F).Areca grows best in a lighted spot out of the midday sun.Water the plant regularly, but it does not need too much water.Caryota (FIsh Tail Palm)The leaves of this palm have triangular leaflets which look like fish tails. It needs assunny location within-direct sunlight. It always needs a temperature of 15°C (59°F),preferably a lot higher and regular watering. Never let the potting soil dry out, but donot let the plant stand in water either.Washingtonia Filifera (Desert Fan Palm, Petticoat Plant)The leaves are folded like a fan. Threads are released from the edges along theentire length of the leaf forming curls. In summers, water the plant liberally and in
    • 9 | P a g ewinter do not let the soil dry out completely. Feed occasionally. This palm toleratesthe cold. It should not be kept in direct sunlight, although some light is essential forthe proper growth.Kentia Palm (Howeia Forsteriana)Their long leaves intertwines and from an elegant fan of foliage .It loves a brightspot but the afternoon should be avoided. It needs plenty of water.Dracaens ,Cordyline & YuccaThese plants are closely related and all belong to the agave family. All three plantshave a common shape. The rosettes carry on growing upwards as the old leavesdrop off. In this way a long stem develops with a bunch of leaves at the top. It is thisarchitectural shape, which has made them so popular in modern interiors. Besides,they are very strong and survive even in un-favourable conditions.Dracaena DeremensisThis is one of the easiest to grow houseplant. It can be grown in the sun but will alsotolerate shade. The best place for it is full light without too much direct sun. It growsquickly when it is watered regularly, but it should not be over watered. Older plantsdevelop a tuft of leaves on the top with bare stems, because the lower leaves keepturning yellow and dropping off as time passes. The leaves are green as well as thevariegated varieties with pale yellow bands on the green leaves are commonly found.Cordyline FruticosaThe bright green leaves have a pinkish red margin and often have cream colouredmargins as well. Whether the plant keeps its colour or not, depends on the location.If they are put in strong sun, the plants tend to lose their intense colours. To retaintheir colours, it is better to put them in a light spot out of the sun. Water sparingly atshort intervals so that the soil remains moist. In winters the soil can be kept a littledrier.
    • 10 | P a g eYucca ElephantipesThe pointed, spineless leaves tolerate the full sun and also stay healthy for a longtime with less light. It requires less water, so water moderately during summers andscantily in withers. Outside in the fresh air, it grows quite quickly than when placedinside a room.FernsFerns grow better in a slightly cooler atmosphere because the relative humidity tendsto be higher. The heat damages the ferns. Some of the common ferns, which makegood houseplants, are given below:Adiantum HispidulumThe leaves are made up of leaflets attached in long rows to leaf stalk, which are, inturn carried on black stalks. When put outside, place it in a shady and shelteredspot.Adiantum Raddianum (Maiden Hair Fern)A very delicate fern which responds immediately if not treated correctly. If thehumidity of the air is too low, or if the fern has not been watered, the edges of thefine leaflets dry out. If you let the fern stand permanently in water, the whole plantdies, especially in a cool room. Put this fern in a light spot, but not in direct sunlight.These plants like humid places so the best place in the house for this fern is thebathroom.
    • 11 | P a g eFicusThe unusual combination of withstanding low light and low humidity has made Ficusa most popular indoor houseplant. Some of these plants grow to great heightswhereas some varieties grow to just a few centimeters above the ground.Ficus BenjaminaIt has small glossy leaves. Some have plain dark green leaves but variegatedvarieties have leaves, which are mottled-green and milky-green with a lot of white.It does not need much light and manages to grow well in the shade too, although thevariegated varieties need more light and higher temperatures. The plant does notneed too much water. So do not water until the soil has almost dried out and makesure that no water remains standing in the pot. Sometimes you might see that theleaves are dropping. Leaf drop may be the result of too cold a location, or a draughtor of lack of water.Ficus elastica (Rubber Plant)The rubber plant if kept in the light grows straight towards the light, branching like acrown only at the top. In a fairly dark spot, it will not usually branch, and will growas a straight plant. Occasionally wipe the leaves, dip in buttermilk to give the leavesa beautiful sheen. It does not need too much light and no direct sun light. It cansurvive in the shade also. It does not require too much water, so water only whenthe soil feels dry.ArumsThese have beautifully coloured and shaped foliage. These also have special flowerswhich are arranged on a spadix. The spadix is surrounded by a so-called spathe, aprotective bract. Arums are tolerant of shade and dry air and this makes them idealhouseplants. Some of the popular varieties are given below:Monstera Deliciosa "Swiss Cheese Plant"The leaves of the young plant are heart shaped. When the plant is grown in a lightand not too dry spot, the new leaves will get deeply cleft margins. In idealconditions, the leaves get larger and develop oval holes, making the plant look veryornamental. A light, humid location out of the sun is ideal, although it will grow in
    • 12 | P a g esemi shade and tolerate dry air reasonably well. Water liberally in summers and lessin winters.Aglaonema Commutatum "Silver Queen"The leaves are about 8" long with patches of light colour along the veins. Keepingthem healthy indoors is a great job. They do not like dry air and it is thereforenecessary to spray water frequently or to use the "tray method". (This is done byputting the plant on an upside down saucer in a tray, and filling the tray with waterto just below the bottom of the pot). It can take plenty of water, so what freelyduring summers and keep the soil moist in winters.Philodendron Erubescens "Blushing Philodendron"A strong plant which does not need much looking after. It has thin red flushed stemswhich need support and so the growing plants are often tied around a moss stick. Itdoes not need much light and water.FlowersThe flower plants are the heart of the garden. The add colour and rhythm to thegarden when in full bloom. The flowering plants are covered under the followingheads:SEASONAL PLANTS (ANNUALS) WINTER BLOOMSSEASONAL FLOWERS (ANNUALS) SUMMER BLOOMSFLOWERING CLIMBERS (PERMANENT CREEPERS)FLOWERING BULBSSEASONAL PLANTS (ANNUALS) WINTER BLOOMS(Sowing time-March in the hilly area and October in the plains)Name/Timetaken forbloomingfrom sowingFlowerDescriptionLightRequirementNotesAlyssum2 – 3 monthsWhite, pink, purple andblue.Shad to SunnyPinch the tops for heavybloom. Remove deadflowers for longerblooming period.Aster3 – 3 1/2 monthsMixed coloures in singleand doublesSunnyPinch the tops for heavybloom. Remove deadflowers for longerblooming periodCalendula2 1/2-3 monthsOrange is the mostpopular colour besides,yellow lemon and of-white. Single and double.New types are palecolours with dark centers.Sun or light shadeIf you pinch early, it willencourage bushiness andthusproduce more flowers.Grow in beds and pots.
    • 13 | P a g eName/Timetaken forbloomingfrom sowingFlowerDescriptionLightRequirementNotesCandytuft2 – 3 monthsWhite, pink and purpleclusters.Sunny Grow in beds and pots.Carnation5 monthsSingle and double with orwithout fringged petals,Colours--white, cream,yellow, pink, red, purple,orange, maroon, etc.Full sunIn the hills the planetscan becultivated as perennials.Grow in beds, borders,edgesand even pots.Chrysanthemum3 monthsVivid colours, crimson,yellow, white, bronze orone colour merging intoanother, or with distinctzone of a second color.SunnyPlants are prepared fromtip cutting and plantedas earlyas August to beginblooming byNovember. Grow in potsor bedsCineraria2 1/2 – 3 monthsClusters of white, pinkblue flowers appear at thetop centre of the plant.shade or semi shadeExcellent as pottedplants grows well in areawhere sunlight barelyreachesCosmos2 1/2 monthsPlants branched withfeather-like foliage.Flowers are yellow, pink,crimson and white.Sunny or semi shadeStarts flowering as earlyas September, right upto March.If protected from rains,it can even be sowed inAugust.Dahlia3 monthsBig flowers of 4"-5"diameter, impressive.Wide colour range.SunnyWhen plants reach aheight of 10 inches,pinch off the growing tipto encourage branchingforbetter flowers. Removeall buds,except the terminalones.Grow in beds or in pots.Daisy3 – 3 1/2 monthsVarious mixed colours. Semi sunnyGrow in beds or in pots.Remove dead flowersand branches for higherbloom.Dianthus3 – 4 monthsMixed single and doublecoloured.SunnyHollyhock3 1/2 monthsLarge funnel shapedflowers wide range ofcolours, single or double.A tall plant.SunnyMust be used against awallbecause it is a tall plant.Flowerings continue evenin early summer whenother plantsdry up. Also in pots.Gerbera (RootDivision)3 -4 monthsVarious coloured Semi sunnyGrow in beds or in pots.Remove dead flowersand branches for higherbloom. Excellent cutflowers.Gazania3 – 4 monthsVarious mixed colours Semi sunnyGrow in beds or in pots.Remove dead flowersand branches for higherbloom. Excellent cutflowers.
    • 14 | P a g eName/Timetaken forbloomingfrom sowingFlowerDescriptionLightRequirementNotesNasturtium2 monthsBright, yellow, orange,flowers with lots ofrounded leaves.Full sunRemove some of theleavesbefore the blooms formtoenhance colour effect.Avoid richsoil as it produces toomany leaves and delaysflowering.Grow in beds, bordersandhanging baskets.Pansy3 monthsSeveral beautiful flowersof 2 1/2 "-3" diameter,marked with linesSun orpartialshadeIdeal for borders andrectangularplanters on garden walls.Grow also in beds and asground cover.Petunia3 monthsComes in small ("2")and large ("4") sizes.Several colours.GoodsunContinues to bloom evenwith theonset of summerPhlox3-3 1/2 monthsTinny flowers in smallclusters.All coloursSunnyGrow in beds, borders,pots androck gardens.Blooms well tillbeginning of summer.Sow as early as August.
    • 15 | P a g eAchimenes Alyssum Aster CalendulaCandy tuff Carnation ChrysanthemumSmallChrysanthemumCineraria Cosmos Dahlia DaisyDianthus Hollyhock Gerbera GazainaNasturtium Pansy Petunia Phlox
    • 16 | P a g eSEASONAL FLOWERS (ANNUALS) SUMMER BLOOMS(Sowing time-Oct in the hilly area and March in the plains)Name/Timetaken forbloomingfrom sowingFlowerDescriptionLightRequirementNotesBalsam4 monthsFlowers single or double inwhite, pink, purple andred.Sunny orsemi shadePlants do better in highhumidity.So if dry conditionsprevail,sprinkle often.Celosia(Cockscomb)2 1/2 -3 monthsPink, orange, red,crimson, gold, velvety,plumes or crests.Full sunCan also be grown aswinterannuals.Gaillardia3 1/2 -4 monthsSingle and double flowersin yellow, red.SunnyThis is a slightly earliersowingseason. December to Aprilsuitable for beds.Plants continue to flowerfor a long time.Love LinesBleeding(BleedingHeart)5 – 6 monthsCrimson white mix heartshaped with red tail likedroppingsSunnyShould be pruned afterblooming season.MarigoldFrench(Targets)3 31/2 monthsMixed Orange, Red andYellowSunnyPlants continue floweringwell after the rainyseason.MarigoldAfrican Large3 31/2 monthsOrange, yellow and white SunnyBest flowering March –May and Oct to Nov.PortulacaSingle andDouble3 – 4 monthsSingle and doublecoloured in various shades– Red, pink, yellow,orange and maroonSunnyCan be grown from seedsas well as cuttings. Retaincutting over winter indoorsor in shade.Sunflower3- 4 monthsFlowers are large andyellow, single or double.SunnyGrow better near southfacingwalls. Flowers always facethe sun.Verbena3-4 monthsBlue, White, Pink andmulti-coloured in singleand double.SunnyFor bushier growth andmore bloom pinch the topafter 2 months.Vince Rosa(Sadarbhar)3 – 4 monthsPink, white, blue andmaroon. Single colouredand with white/yellowcentre.Sunny and Semi sunAvoid rains directly hittingthe plants.Zinnia3 – 3 ½ monthsWhite, rust, dark brown,maroon, copper red,yellow etc. Single & doublesmall (1 1/2") or large(6") flowers.SunnyPinch off early beds toencourage growth.Keep removing deadflower to get better &more blooms.
    • 17 | P a g eBalsam Celosia Gaillardia Bleeding HeartMarigold French Marigold African Portulaca SalviaSunflower Verbena Vince Rosa ZinniaFLOWERING CLIMBERS (PERMANENT CREEPERS)(Sowing time-March in the hilly area and February in the plains)Name/Timetaken forbloomingfrom plantingFlowerDescriptionNotesBougainvillea3 – 5 monthsPopular shrub also grown asclimber. Flowers commonlydeep pink, red, yellow, white; thornsarise from leaf axils.Pruning should be doneto encourage growth of newstems. Prune the plant at theon set of summer.CleroonendronSplendors3 – 4 monthsEvergreen climber, dark,glossy leaves. Tiny scarlet flowers,in clusters.A vigorous climber which givesbetter flowers if pruned every yearduring the monsoon. Clerodendronis useful as a screen or wall climber.Jasmine3 – 4 monthsA bunch of fragment whiteflowers which give out a lovelyfragrance in the evening.Should be pruned afterflowering to check excessive growth.Passion Flower3 -5 monthsBeautiful watch dial form flowers inpurple, pink and blue colourShould be pruned after floweringseasonRailway Creeper3 – 4 monthsFunnel shaped light purpleflowers.Should be growing in spring or inearly summer.Bougainvillea CleroonendronSplendorsJasmine Passion Flower Railway Creeper
    • 18 | P a g eFLOWERING BULBS – summer and Rain season(Sowing time –April - May in the hilly area and Feb - March in the plains)Name/Timetaken forbloomingfrom plantingFlowerDescriptionLightRequirementNotesAmaryllis2 – 4 monthsCone shaped variouscolouredSunnyPlants bulbs 3"-4" deepforearly flowers and 6"-7"fordelayed blooms.Space bulbs 8"-10"apart. To avoid rottingof bulbs.Water very sparingly tillleavesappear.Achimene3 – 4 monthsBeautiful, delicate paperlike flowers in pink,white, purple and bluecolour.Semi sunnyAvoid applying water tothe flowers as they getdamaged. Life of theflowers is from sun riseto dusk.Caladium(Fancy and Lanceleaved)3 – 4 monthsBeautiful multi colouredand variegated inGreen, red, pink, purpleand maroon colour.Indirect sun and shadePlant the bulbs 3‖ – 4‖deep and space bulbs12 -18 inches apart.Gladiolus2-4 monthsFlowers are flared-tuberon tall graceful spikes.Many colours - white,pink onon white, red, violet,etc.SunnyPlants bulbs 3"-4" deepfor early flowers and 6"-7" for delayed blooms.Space bulbs 8"-10"apart. To avoid rottingof bulbs.Water very sparingly tillleavesappear.Haemanthus(Football Lily)2 – 5 monthsBright red colouredflourletts forming into around ball.Semi sunnyPlant bulbs 3‖ – 4 ―deepand 12 – 18 inchesapart in beds or singlebulb in pots.Tuberose3- 3 1/2 monthsTabular, white waxyflowers ona central spikeSurrounded by narrow,longleaves.SunnyBy varying plantingdepth and size of bulbsyou can vary theflowering time in orderget blooms successively.Deeper planting andsmaller bulbs givesdelayed flowers and viceversa. Manure should beadded15 days before plantingbulbs. Plants bulbs to adepth of2"-3", interspace 6"-7" apart.Or plant 2 to 3 bulbsmay be removed or leftin-location waiting forthe next floweringseason.
    • 19 | P a g eAmaryllis Achimene CaladiumGladiolus Football Lily TuberosePlant CareGrooming and CareBy the removal of dead flowers, the flowering period can be extended. Also, the removal ofshoot tips encourages a neat and attractive plant, while supporting and training stems alsocreates a neat appearance. From early autumn to late spring, the Pink Jasmine (Jasminumpolyanthum) creates a wealth of white or pale-pink flowers.When young plants have shoots 10-18 inches long, insert the support into the potting soil.Pliable canes are just pushed into it, while plastic loops are attached to the rim. Carefullycult and train shoots around the support, taking care not to bend or kink them. Repeat thistask several times throughout summer, and regularly feed the plant to encourage growth.Cleaning LeavesProprietary, ozone-friendly sprays are available, and these are ideal for large-leaved plants,while hairy-leaved types and bristly cacti can be cleaned with a small soft brush. Supportlarge leaves with one hand and gently wipe a damp cloth or spray with one hand and gentlywipe with a damp cloth or spray with a leaf-cleaner. Do not do this when the plant is instrong sunlight. Clean plants with many small leaves by gently swirling them in a bowl ofclean water, allowing excess to drain, and dry in gently warmth but away from direct andstrong sunlight.Remove dirt and dust from bristly cacti, as well as hairy-leaved plants, by using a small,soft brush. Blowing strongly on leaves while brushing also helps to remove dirt.Looking After FlowersDecaying flowers left on plants encourage others to rot, and the decay may then spread tosoft leaves. Also, the removal of dead flowers encourages the development of others. Pulloff the stems of cyclamen flowers that have faded and started to wither. Hold the stemfirmly and tug sharply, so that it comes away from the plants base. Do not just remove theflowers.Pinch off dead flowers from azaleas. Do not leave parts of flowers, as this encourages theonset of decay around soft shoots. Hold the shoot firmly while carrying out this task.
    • 20 | P a g eTrimming Steams and ShootsSome plants have a sprawling, scrambling and climbing nature and although this is oftenpart of their attraction, occasionally stems need to be trimmed. Always trim them from aleaf-joint, using a sharp knife, scissors or just by holding the stem firmly and snapping itsideways. Never leave a short piece of stem as this encourages the onset of decay.Slightly woody stems, such as those on azaleas, are best trimmed with sharp scissors,cutting back to a leaf-joint. This encourages bushiness and the development of side shoots.Encourage young plants to form a bushy base by nipping back young shoots to leaf-joints. Ifthis job is neglected. Plants become bare at their bases and unappealing.HoeingHoeing or forking is an operation in which the surface soil around the plant, is loosened witha hoe (khurpi) or a fork and is turned inside out. The hoeing may be up to 7-15 cm (3-16in.) depth. The object of hoeing is to keep the soil porous so that light, air and water mayreach the roots better, to improve moisture-retention capacity and to remove weeds.Hoeing has to be done carefully so that the surface or stem roots are not damaged. Hoeingshould be done when soil is moist or dry but not wet and soggy. The best procedure forhoeing is to water the plants in the morning, hoeing them in the evening and then wateringin the morning. An interval between hoeing and watering helps in the aeration of roots andabsorption of water from a greater depth. Sudden exposure to heat during the hot sunshineperiod or to cold at night may cause damage to the roots.WeedingRemoval of weeds is called weeding. Weeds, besides competing with the garden plants fornourishment, are also sometimes hosts to pests and diseases, which are transferred fromthem to the garden plants. They should, therefore, be removed as soon as they appear.Stoppingmeans pinching of a growing shoot of a plant. Stopping also includes removal of side shootsgrowing from the axis of the leaf joint with the main shoot as in balsam, larkspur, ortomato, in order to let the energy of the plant be diverted fully to the flower stem. Stoppingmay be done more than once in a season, depending on the growth of plant and its variety.It is better not to stop more than one or two big shoots and 3-4 small shoots at a time in aplant.Disbudding means removal of all but one or two selected buds on a stem. Plants which havelarge and decorative flowers need more disbudding than those with small and mediumflowers. Chrysanthemum, dahlia and carnation require heavy disbudding, while roses needcomparatively less of it.Dead headingRemoval of withered flowers from the plant is called dead heading. Flower is produced innature for producing seeds and as soon as seeds are produced the natural function of theplant having been over, it dies or rests. Therefore, a garden plant should not be allowed toseed except for purposes of collection of seed. Removal of withered, dried flowers is thus toprevent the plant from seeding.
    • 21 | P a g eTop-Dressing Large HouseplantsWhen plants in pots become too large to be repotted, they are top dressed in spring. Allowthe surface soil to dry slightly, then use small trowel (tool for digging) to scrape away thetop 1-1.5 inches.Replace the surface soil with potting soil. Leave a space between the top of the soil and therim of the pot, so that the plant can be watered without the water over flowing, when thesoil in the pot becomes dry.NUTRIENT NEED OF FLOWERSFlowers need proper nutrients just like you do. One way to help your flower gardens comealive is to give them what they need.Understanding Fertilizers in GeneralFertilizer is plant food (nutrients) for flowers, trees, shrubs, and other flora. Nutrients areavailable in various amounts in nature, and plant life needs these nutrients to survive andgrow. The primary big 3 of the nutrients that plants need large amounts of are:Major Plant Nutrients: Nitrogen Phosphorus PotassiumNitrogen – This is the main nutrient for new green growth. This is especially important forplants that are mostly all leaf such as grasses. As a result the ratio for lawn fertilizers has ahigher 1st ratio number meaning more nitrogen in the mix.Phosphorus – This nutrient promotes good root development and strengthens the floweror plant. It also results in increased blooms on flowers so lots of phosphorus is great forbulbs and perennials. Fertilizers higher in phosphorus have a higher 2nd number in theratio.Potassium – This builds strong and healthy plants & flowers and improves the overallhealth of the flora.These 3 are the ones that fertilizer manufacturers focus most on and they are known as―macronutrients‖. There are also nutrients that plants do need but in much smallerquantities and these are known as ―micronutrients‖. The more important secondarynutrients are:Secondary Plant Nutrients1- Calcium – Improves general plant vigor and promotes growth of young roots andshoots.2- Sulfur – This nutrient helps to maintain a dark green color and encourages morevigorous plant growth.3- Magnesium – This nutrient helps to regulate uptake of plant foods and assist inseed formation. It is also important in the formation of dark green color andencourages vigorous plant growth.After the major and minor nutrients there are sometimes ―trace elements‖ that play a rolein plant nutrition. Trace elements play a role in helping to develop dark green color andhealthy and vigorous plant growth. These ―trace micronutrients‖ are:
    • 22 | P a g eTrace Micronutrients Boron Manganese Iron Zinc Copper MolybdenumManure was once the dominant fertilizer and is still used but less frequently. Fertilizers inmodern times are made either synthetically or organically (manure and or compost). TheMacronutrients are given a ratio on the fertilizer bag to represent the proportions of themain nutrients that are present in a particular fertilizer mix.For example, a 5-10-20 fertilizer would have 5% Nitrate, 10% Phosphate, and 20% Potash.If a particular flower or plant needed higher phosphate levels for healthy growth the middlenumber would go up (for example: 5-15-20).Law of Minimum:This law states that plant growth is controlled not by the total resources available, but bythe scarcest resource needed by the plant or flower. In other words, extra amounts ofplentiful nutrients do not increase a plant’s growth if the scarce nutrients needed were stilllacking. Only by increasing the amount of the limiting nutrient can a particular plant orflower have improved growth.PROPAGATIONPropagation is a scientific name for reproduction in any form of living thing. With plants, itmeans making new plants either from seeds or from parts of existing plants. Its usuallyvery easy to make new plants, and its one of the most rewarding things about gardening.PROPAGATION - SOWING SEEDSMany houseplants can be increased from seeds, whether grown for their flowers, foliage orberries. Others include palms, ferns, insectivorous plants, cacti and other succulents.Whatever the type of plant, the seeds need three basic conditions to encourage germination- moisture, warmth and air. Most seeds germinate in darkness, but a few-such as the WaxFlower (Begonia semperflorens)-need light. These conditions are created by sowing seeds inseed compost that both retains moisture yet allows air penetration, and either placing in agreenhouse or on a warm windowsill indoors.
    • 23 | P a g eSowing Seeds - Procedure1. Fill a clean plastic seed-tray with seed compost. If small numbers of seeds are to besown, use a shallow seed pan. Do not sow different seeds in the same containers.2. Using your fingers, firm the seed compost, especially around the sides and edges as thisis where it will start to become dry if regular watering is neglected.3. Place more seed compost in the seed-tray and strike the surface level with a straight-edged piece of wood. Try to leave the surface of the compost even and flat.4. Using a piece of wood with a small handle attached to it, firm the surface until it is about12mm/1/2 in below the rim. Keep the surface clean to ensure an even surface.5. Tip the seeds into a folded, V-shaped piece of paper and gently tap the end to encouragethem to fall on the compost. Do not sow seeds within 12mm/1/2 inches from the edge.Label the box.6. Some seeds require light to encourage germination, but most need darkness and arecovered to three or four times their thickness. Use a fine-mesh sieve to scatter compost.7. Water the compost by standing the seed tray in a bowl of clean water. When moistureseeps to the surface, remove and allow to drain. Do not water from overhead, as it scattersthe seeds.8. The seed-tray needs to be covered to prevent the surface of the seed compost drying, aswell as maintaining a high temperature. Domed, plastic covers are convenient.9. An alternative to a plastic cover is a sheet of clear glass. However, condensationaccumulates on the underside and this must be wiped off every day, the glass then turnedupside down.10. To create a dark environment for dark-loving seed sown on, or almost on, the seedcomposts surface, cover the glass with a sheet of newspaper. Remove when the seedsgerminate.11. After seeds germinate, remove the covering and allow air to circulate around theseedlings. Continue to water them by standing the seed-tray in a bowl of water. Avoidwetting the leaves.12. When the young plants are sturdy and growing strongly, transfer them into small potsof potting compost. First water, allowing excess to drain, then pot up individually. Avoiddamaging roots.13. When the young plants are sturdy and growing strongly, transfer them into small potsof potting compost. First water, allowing excess to drain, then pot up individually. Avoiddamaging roots.14. Gently hold each plant by its stem and trickle potting compost around the roots. Takecare not to squeeze the stem-young plants are easily damaged and subsequently may notsubsequently may not recover.
    • 24 | P a g eRepotting of SeedlingsAs soon as the seedlings are large enough to handle they must be moved into individualpots, where they have more space and an increased amount of air and light. If nottransferred (picked off), they become drawn up, thin and lanky, and eventually unable tosupport themselves unless assisted by neighbouring seedlings. Additionally, seedlings tightlyclustered together are more susceptible to diseases than those with a good circulation of airaround them.When Transferring SeedlingsDont use potting compost form unsterilized garden soil, as it may contain pests anddiseases.Ensure the roots of seedlings are moist before being picked off.Hold young seedlings by a leaf-if held by the stems they soon become damaged ifsqueezed.Dividing PlantsHouseplants mainly grown for their attractive foliage are best divided in spring. Someflowering types with a perennial nature are also increased in this way, as soon as theirflowers fade but preferably in spring. Flowering plants that finish flowering in autumn arebest divided in spring. Division in spring enables young plants to become established duringsummer, while growing strongly.Plants suitable for division include ...Sansevieria trifaciataa (Mother-in-Law Plant)Spathiphyllum wallisii (Peace Lily)Hedera helix (common Ivy)Ferns (Many can be divided)Palms (Many can be divided)Saintpaulia ionantha (African violet)Dividing –Procedure1. Remove the soil ball from the pot by inverting the plant and tapping the rim on theedge of firm surface.2. Evidence that division in needed is indicated by a mat of roots around the root-ball. A mass of white roots indicates that the plant is healthy and growing strongly.3. Using fingers tease and pull apart the root-ball into several substantially sizedpieces. It may be necessary to cut some roots, but never use a knife to slice througha plant.4. Hold a young plant in the centre of a clean pot and trickle fresh potting compostaround the roots. Firm the potting compost and ensure the plant is at the samedepth as before.5. Water the plants from above and place in gentle warmth. It may be necessary toshade plants from strong sunlight until roots are established and absorbing water. Donot water the plant until the compost has started to dry.
    • 25 | P a g eLayeringTip layering1. If the plant is growing as a climber, release and lower a shoot. Ensure the pottingcompost in the mother plants pot is moist, and fill a small pot with equal parts moist peatand sharp sand.2. Lower a stem to the potting compost, press in about 2.5cm/ l in deep and use a bentpiece of wire to secure it into the potting compost as shown in the picture above. Water theplant to settle the compost around the stem.3. When young shoots develop from the tip of the stem, use a sharp knife, scissors orsecateurs to sever it from the parent. To tidy up the plant, cut the shoot back to its source.Air layeringIn case of some plants like shrubs air layering is used as a mode of propagation.1. Select a soft side branch which has two three nodes, from where the new leaves orbranches would appear.2. Scrap about 1 inch length of the bark.3. Cover it all around completely with moist moss.4. Cover it with a transparent plastic sheet and tie both the ends.5. After 15-20 days root would emerge.6. Cut it from the main plant side and transplant it in a pot filled with equal parts moist peatand sand and potting soil.RunnersIncreasing a spider plant:1. Chlorophytum comosum (Spider plant) develops long, trailing and arching stems withsmall plantlets at their ends. When pegged into pots of potting compost placed around themother plant they develop roots.2. To propagate the plant, use small pieces of bent wire or hairpin to secure the plantletsinto the potting compost. Water, place in gentle warmth.3. When young shoots start to develop from the plantlets, cut the shoots from the parentplant and move them into a lightly shaded position until growing strongly. Keep the pottingcompost moist.
    • 26 | P a g eStem-Tip CuttingMany houseplants can be increased from stem-tip cuttings, each formed from a piece ofstem, several leaves and a terminal shoot. They are usually 7.5-13 cm/3-5in long and, ifpossible, taken from the outer area of the parent plant, where they would have been ingood light and growing healthily and strongly. Spindly and weak shoots are not suitable ascuttings. Additionally, ensure that the mother plant is healthy & strong-wilting plants neverproduce good cuttings. Cuttings need a moisture-retentive yet well-aerated potting compostto encourage rapid rooting, such as equal parts moist peat and sharp sand.Sometimes it is impossible to take cuttings from a plant without spoiling its appearance.Also, some plants grown indoors do not produce young shoots that can be used as cuttings.In greenhouses and conservatories it is often possible to grow plants in out-of-the waypositions, specifically to create young shoots that can be used as cuttings. The Zebra Plant(Aphelandra squarrosa), Rose of China (Hibiscus rose-sinensis) and the Lollipop Plant(Pachystachys lutea) are frequently cut back in spring or after flowers fade, young shootsthen growing from leaf-joints. These are subsequently used as cuttings.Taking Stem-Tip Cuttings1. Use a sharp knife to cut a strong and healthy shoot from a mother plant, severing it justabove a leaf-joint. Do not leave short spurs, as they are unsightly and encourage the onsetof diseases and decay.2. Trim the cuttings base to just below a leaf-joint, at the same time cutting off lowerleaves close to the stem. Some cuttings have two leaves at each leaf-joint, others just one.3. Dip the cuttings base in hormone rooting-powder. Use a small dibber to form a hole intowhich the stem in inserted 18-25mm/3/4-l in. Do not bury the lower leaves, as thisencourages rotting.4. Firm compost around the cuttings base, water from above, insert short split-canes in thepotting compost and cover with a plastic bag. Secure its base around the pot with an elasticband.Indoor Hanging BasketsDisplaying houseplants in indoor hanging-baskets needs care and planning. Theyattractively fill vertical space but can be difficult to water and look after. Also, they needfirm securing points. Although similar to outdoor hanging-baskets, indoor types must befitted with drip trays to ensure excess water does not fall on the floor. Alternatively, plantscan be left in their own pots and all of them placed in a single, wide, large pot that does nothave a hole in its base. This is then suspended in an attractive harness. Both flowering andfoliage trailing plants can be used; if the position is shaded, use only shade-surviving foliageplants, whereas bright and sunny places can be filled with flowering types.
    • 27 | P a g ePlanting an Indoor Hanging Basket1. Plan the positioning of individual plants before setting them in the basket. Draw a circlethe size of the container on a piece of paper and arrange the plants.2. Form a thin layer of gravel in the containers base to ensure water can run freely into thedrip tray. If there are just a few large holes, place broken pieces of clay pots over them.3. Cover the base with peat-based potting compost, to which has been added a handful ofcharcoal. Also, clay particles help in moisture retention.Flowering houseplants for indoor hanging-basketsAseschynathus radicans (Lipstick vine)Aporocactus flagelliformis (Rats-tail Cactus)Begonia tuberhybrida pendula (Basket Begonia)Campanula isophylla (Italian Bellflower)Columnea microphylla (Goldfish Plant)Rhipsalidopsis gaertneri (Easter cactus)Schlumbergera truncata (Christmas cactus)Aseschynathus Aporocactus Begonia CampanulaColumnea Rhipsalidopsis SchlumbergeraGrouping Plants in Hanging-BasketsInstead of removing plants from their pots and planting them in potting compost, plants canbe stood in an ornamental pot (without a hole in its base) and suspended in an ornamentalharness. The advantage of this method is that the display can be changed as soon as one ofthe plants stops flowering or becomes unsightly. Flowering houseplants with short seasonsof flower can be displayed in this way, but also use a few foliage types to give the displaypermanency.Example of how to make an indoor hanging basket is given on the following pages.1. Draw a circle the same size as the bowl on a sheet of paper and place the plants on it. Itis not necessary to create a congested group-a few distinctive plants can be equallyattractive.2. Select a flat-based bowl 25-30 cm/ 10-12 in wide and 13-15 cm/5-7 in deep. Form a 2.5cm/ l in deep layer of pea-shingle in the base. Water the plants and allow draining beforeputting them in the container.3. Fill the container with plants from the centre to the outside. Pack moist peat between thepots-it helps to keep the compost cool and to reduce the amount of water they need.
    • 28 | P a g e4. Sphagnum moss placed around the edges makes the display more attractive. However, itis essential that the compost can be seen as the plants must be watered individually. Someplants will need more water than others.Foliage plants for indoor hanging-basketsAsparagus densiflorus Sprengeri (Emerald Fern)Ceropegia woodii (Rosary vine)Chlorophytum comosum (Spider Plant)Epipremnum pinnatum (Devils Ivy)Plectranthus oertendahlii (Swedish Ivy)Olectranthus coleoides Marginatus (Variegated Swedish Ivy)Asparagus Ceropegia ChlorophytumEpipremnum Plectranthus OlectranthusINDOOR PLANTSIndoor house plants make a beautiful addition to any indoor space, add color and textureand create an impact and give life to any room. Interior decorators often utilize houseplants to help create the mood in the finished space.When selecting your indoor house plants you must be aware of the conditions in which theywill be growing. Suitable lighting, temperature, and humidity must be present for your plantto thrive. Choose a plant that will be comfortable in the location it is placed. A healthy,growing indoor house plant will provide you with much enjoyment.Some of the important points regarding indoor house plants which should be kept in mindare as under:- light levels required- acceptable temperature ranges- humidity requirements- watering requirements and methods- fertilizer needs- soil mixtures- propagation methodsIndoor house plants will require regular maintenance in order to keep them healthy. Someplants are easier to care for than others, as such you should, before selecting or buying
    • 29 | P a g eplants of your choice, also determine the amount of care required by the plant and time youhave at your disposal.If you are new to growing indoor houseplants, you should choose an easy care houseplantthat is hardy and requiring less care time. With time and experience you will enjoy caringfor your indoor houseplants. Now you can try some of the houseplants that require moreexacting care.Although most indoor house plants are grown for their foliage, some will bear flowers andprovide a wider range of color in your living space. Flowering house plants tend to needmore light than those grown for foliage. If your indoor spaces provide sufficient light,flowering houseplants definitely deserve consideration. One exception is the Peace Lilywhich produces beautiful calla like white spaths in medium levels of light.In addition to the decorative qualities provided by house plants, research has shown thathouse plants provide physical and psychological benefits. Indoor houseplants help create ahealthy relaxing environment. Studies have demonstrated that people in indoorenvironments containing healthy house plants exhibit less stress and had lower bloodpressure.In the olden days, drafts and open windows were often the way fresh air was introducedinto our homes and offices. This continual exchange of air with the outdoors acted toremove the toxins given off by the materials used to build and furnish our homes andoffices. As we improve the energy efficiency of our buildings, this natural exchange of air isbeing reduced and the toxins are being trapped inside the rooms. We need to find anotherway to clean the air in our houses and offices. Studies have shown that many houseplantsimprove indoor air quality.Some of the most common toxins in our homes are formaldehyde, benzene,trichloroethylene and carbon monoxide. Formaldehyde is used in carpets, water repellants,and the pressed wood products used to make furniture. Benzene is found in paints,detergents and plastics. Trichloroethylene is found in paints and adhesives and is usedextensively in the dry cleaning industry. Carbon monoxide is produced by the incompletecombustion of fuel and by smoking. It has been shown that these toxins cause respiratoryproblems, irritability, headaches and nausea. By cleaning these pollutants from the air,houseplants improve indoor air quality. They also raise the humidity of the air around them.Houseplants improve indoor air quality by absorbing the toxins from the air. By the processof photosynthesis, they give off oxygen thus improving the quality of the air we breathe.Houseplants improve indoor air quality by removing the byproducts of our daily living andworking. Our cooking of meals and heating of the building release pollutants into the air.Smoking releases carbon monoxide and formaldehyde.Studies have shown that under average conditions, one large or two smaller houseplantsper 100 square feet will be sufficient. In badly polluted environments, for example wherethere is much new carpeting, more may be needed to provide the same level of air quality.
    • 30 | P a g eBy proper selection, placement and care, you can keep your houseplants in optimumhealth. When indoor houseplants are healthy, they are at their most efficient in removingpollutants and adding oxygen and humidity to the air. Healthy houseplants improve indoorair quality.Although some houseplants have been found to clean the air better than others it is fair toassume that most houseplants will improve indoor air quality. Some houseplants improveindoor air quality better than others.Large Dominant Indoor PlantsLarge and dominant foliage plants can become permanent features indoors, often creatingeye-catching focal points. Some, such as large palms, are superb when seen against a whilebackground. Some of the easy to grow locally available are given below:Areca palm Butterfly Palm Chamendora palm Footstool PalmCyprus alternifoliusThese are a type of palms. Some of common varieties are; Umbrella Grass, Umbrella Palm,Umbrella Plant and Umbrella Sedge Narrow (grass like bracts in umbrella like heads).Umbrella grass Umbrella Palm Umbrella Plant Umbrella Sedge
    • 31 | P a g eINDOOR PLANTSSome of the easier to grow available indoor plants are given below:Common Name Botanical NameAloe VeraAloe Barbadensis MillerAreca PalmChrysalidocarpus lutescensPothosPhilodendronEnglish IvyHedera helixBoston FernEpholepsis exaltaMother In Laws TongueSansevieria laurentilRubber PlantFicus ElasticaPeace LilySpathiphyllum
    • 32 | P a g ePlants For Bright PlacesSouth-facing windowsills are the brightest positions in a home, but can be too bright forsome plants. Houseplants suggested here happily live within 60 cm/2 ft of windows facingsouth. However, plants such as desert cacti (types that grow in semi-desert regions and atground-level); succulent plants and pelargoniums thrive on windowsills.Succulents Succulents Succulents PelargoniumsIf it’s too brightNet curtains help to make south-facing windows suitable for a wider range of plants insummer. If there is a direct sun then the leaves become pale, thin leaves, shriveled anddry, and eventually falling off. Leaves also wilt, especially at midday and in afternoons.Easy To Grow Desert plantsCacti (Desert Types)There are many interesting-shaped cacti to choose from within this group, including those infamilies of Ccopiapoa, Chamaecereus, Echinopsis, Lobivia, Mammillaria, Notocactus, Parodiaand Rebuntia.Ccopiapoa ChamaecereusEchinopsisLobiviaMammillaria Notocactus ParodiaRebuntiaPlants For Shaded AreasNo plant will indefinitely survive in total shade, although some grow in shade near a sunlesswindow or where the light is just sufficient to enable a newspaper to be read. If a plantappears sickly, move it to better light to encourage recovery. Because of the inherentdifficulties in growing houseplants in little light, those that are difficult to grow cease to bepossible options and therefore most are either easy to grow, or present only a slight degreeof difficulty. Also, some plants that are moderately easy to grow in moderate light become achallenge when the intensity of light falls. Remember that the intensity of light 2.4m/8ftfrom a window is only 5-10% of that on a windowsill.
    • 33 | P a g eIf its too darkStems and leaves turn towards the light, although plants can be given a quarter uprightgrowths. Variegated plants lose their rich colouring and become green. New leaves becomesmaller, and paler. Lower leaves become yellow, eventually fall off. Shoots become spindly,with long spaces between leaf-joints. Flowers cease to develop.Plants Needing CareCissus discolor also called climbing begonia has spear shaped to slightly triangular vividgreen leaves, marbled purple and white. Syngonium podophyllum, also called Africanevergreen, has spear like shiny green leaves, which later develop ear like lobes at the stalkend.Syngonium podophyllum Arrohead VineThis is a climbing foliage plant. It has spear shaped shiny green leaves, later developing earlike lobes at the stalk end. There are several variegated varieties. It grows well in soft lightand can also be grown in slight shade for a limited period of time.Vegetable GardeningVegetable gardening is easy. By involving the whole family in growing your own vegetableseveryone learns the skills of cultivating fresh nutritious vegetables. It is a way ofproducing your own food in your backyard that is free of pesticides, herbicides and syntheticchemicals therefore ultimately healthier for you.You will find information and products on the following: various types of vegetablegardens, the necessary tools to make your gardening experience easier and successful andwhat vegetables to plant.Benefits of fresh home grown vegetables Vegetable gardening is a way of making use of your own backyard garden toproduce fresh food No harmful chemicals have been used in the cultivation of the vegetables Know that the food that you produce is safe to eat You will spend less at the supermarket by not buying vegetables Fresh home grown vegetables are healthier for you You will be able to make money by selling any surplus vegetables Vegetable gardening is also a good form of exercise for everyone By planting the multi coloured varieties of vegetables your garden can become aplace of beauty Vegetable gardening is also very therapeutic as it is one way of relieving stress Storing vegetables for days in the refrigerator is a thing of the past You are saving energy as there is no transportation needed A fresh just picked vegetable is nutritious and full of flavour
    • 34 | P a g eWhat Vegetables To Grow and WhenEasy to grow vegetables and their seasons are give below:VEGETABLE GROWING TABLEVegetable Cold regions(5-10degree C)Cool region(10 – 20degree CWarmregion s (20– 30 degreeC)Warmregion ( 30– 40 degreeC)Hot region(40 – 50degree C)Cool Season Vegetables Sowing PeriodBeets Late May -JuneApril - June Feb - March /Aug - SeptFeb - Apr /July - AugFeb - Mar /SeptBroccoli Late May -JuneApril - June Feb - March /Aug - SeptFeb - Mar /June - JulyFeb / SeptBrussels Sprouts Late May -JuneApril - June Feb / August Late May -Early JuneFeb / SeptCabbage Late May -JuneApril - June Feb - March /Aug - SeptFeb - Mar /June - JulyFeb / SeptCarrots Late May -JuneApril - June Feb - April /Aug - SeptJan - Mar /June - AugFeb - Mar /SeptCauliflower Late May -JuneApril - May Feb - March /Aug - SeptFeb - Mar /June - JulyFeb / SeptLettuce Late May -JuneApril - August Feb - March /Aug - SeptDec - Mar /July - AugFeb / SeptOnions Late May -JuneMay - June Dec - Feb /Sept - OctJan - Mar /OctoberSept - OctPeas Late May -JuneApril - June Feb - March /Aug - NovJan - April Sept - Oct /Feb - MarRadishes Late May -JuneApril - July Feb - April /Aug - OctFeb - April Feb - Apr /Sept - OctSpinach Late May -JuneApril - July Sept - April Jan - Mar /Aug - SeptFeb - Mar /Sept - OctVegetables Coldregions (5-10 degreeC)Cool region(10 – 20degree CWarmregion s (20– 30 degreeC)Warmregion ( 30– 40 degreeC)Hot region(40 – 50degree C)Warm Season Vegetables Sowing PeriodBeans June May - June March - Aug April - May /July - AugMarch - AprilCorn June May March - July April - July March - April/ July - AugCucumbers June May - June March - June April - June March -AugustEggplant June May April - June April - May March - MayMelons June May March - June April - June March - JunePeppers June May April - June April - May March - AprilSummer Squash June May - June March - July April - July March - JuneWinter Squash June May April - June April - May May - JuneTomatoes June May March - July April - May March - April
    • 35 | P a g eCompanion gardeningIt has been there since the Birth of Planet Earth. In the jungles and the rainforests of SouthAmerica, Arunachal, Mizoram and Uttarakhand it grows naturedly.We gardeners may be doing it but without calling it COMPANION GARDENING. What is it?It is all that simple --- you could never have guessed it.- Attracting good bugs and keeping away the bad ones- Adding nutrients into the soil- Sometimes, even as simple as providing a bit of shade for sun sensitive plantsThere are two ways you can do this.- By planting certain plants together (e.g.: onions and carrots like each other, whereasbeans and onions don’t)- By planting additional plants into the vegetable patch (e.g.: marigolds which normally onedoes not plant along with the vegetable plants, but they are a great companion plant.)- Similarly one does not plant flowers along with the vegetable plants, but some vegetablesplanted along with the flowers do wonders. If you plant garlic between your rose bushesthese will grow better and pest free.Planting roses between each grapevine helps the grapes grow better and also adds a rosyflavour to the grapes.This procedure is new to the grower though in nature it has been there since timeimmemorial. Lot of experiment has to be done --- like which plant goes with which one andhow many of these should be planted to overcome the problemThis is good for the vegetables but what about those flowers?There are a number of flowers which you can add to the garden to get astonishing results.Geraniums: Attract pests away from roses and grape vines, distracts beet leafhoppers awayfrom plants like tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, and tobacco.Marigolds: French marigolds produce a pesticide chemical from their roots, which is sostrong that it lasts years a number of years even if no new ones are planted. These willrepel whitefly. Mexican marigolds will do the same, but their bushiness and height mayaffect the growth of some of the tender herbs.Nasturtiums: Works as a trap crop for aphids, and studies say is among the best atattracting predatory insects. They will attract Black Fly.The trees also play their vital role in the Companionship growing.Planting trees and shrubs is help to beautify any garden provided there is enough space.Remember some trees are also companion plants. Local, native trees and shrubs will attractthe good pollinating insects (like butterflies, bees, and native wasps), reptiles, beetles andmany other garden helpers.
    • 36 | P a g eCompanion Planting GuidePlant Companions Function FoesApple Nasturtium Climbs tree and repels codlingmoth.Asparagus Tomatoes, Parsley, BasilBalm Tomatoes Improves growth and flavour -attracts beesBasil Tomatoes helps repel flies and mosquitoes RueBeans Potatoes Carrots, Cucumber,cauliflower, summer savory,most other vegetables andherbs.Onions GarlicGladiolusBeetroot Onions, Lettuce, Cabbage,Silver beet, KohlrabiBorage Tomatoes, squash andstrawberriesDeters tomato worm, improvesgrowth and flavour and in thestrawberry patch will increase theyield.Brassica’s(Cabbage,Cauliflower, BroccoliAromatic plants, sage, dill,camomile, beets, peppermint,rosemary, Beans, Celery,Onions, Potatoes, dwarfzinnias.Dill attracts a wasp to controlcabbage moth. Zinnias attractlady bugs to protect plants.strawberries,TomatoesBroad beans Potatoes, Peas, BeansCarrots Lettuce, Peas, Leeks, Chives,Onions, Cucumbers, Beans,tomatoes, wormwood, sage,rosemaryDill in flowerand beingstored withapplesCauliflower CeleryCelery & Celeriac Chives, Leeks, Tomatoes,Dwarf BeansChamomile Cabbages and onions Deters flies and mosquitoes andgives strength to any plantgrowing nearby.Citrus Bracken Fern grape vines Repels stink beetlesComfrey Avocados and most fruit trees Garden edging, compost activator,medicinal, foliage spray, nutrientminer, essential to all gardens.Cucumbers Beans, corn, peas, radish,sunflowersPotatoes,aromaticherbs
    • 37 | P a g ePlant Companions Function FoesDill Brassica’s Dill attracts predatorwasp for cabbage moth.Fennel (not F. vulgare orF.officionale) repels flies,fleas and antsMost plants dislike itFrench Marigold Tomatoes mostvegetables.Root secretions killnematodes in the soil.Will repel white flyamongst tomatoes.Fruit trees nettles, garlic, chives,tansy, southernwood andhorseradishGarlic Roses, raspberry helps keep aphids awayfrom roses andraspberries, repelscabbage butterflyPeas and beansGeranium Strong aroma - detersinsects and encouragesbeesGrapes Hyssop, tansy and sageHyssop Cabbage, grapes Attracts cabbage whitemoth keeping Brassica’sfree from infestation.RadishesLeek Onion, celery, carrotLettuce tall flowers, carrots,radish, onion familyFlowers offer light shadefor lettuceMarigolds Tomatoes, mostvegetablesKills couch, nematodesand eel wormMelon RadishMint Cabbage, tomatoes Deters white cabbagemoth, deters ants andfleas (especiallyspearmint), will deterclothes moths.Nasturtium Radishes, cabbages,zucchini cucurbits, fruittreesSecrete a mustard oil,which many insects findattractive and will seekout, particularly thecabbage white moth. Theflowers repel aphids andthe cucumber beetle. Theclimbing variety grown upapple trees will repelcodling moth.Onion and garlic Beets, summer savory,tomatoes, lettuce,strawberries, camomileParsley Tomato, asparagus, roses Deters rose beetle,improves tomato andasparagus.Peas Carrots, turnips, corn,beans, radishes,cucumbers, mostvegetables and herbsOnions, garlicgladiolas, potatoes
    • 38 | P a g ePlant Companions Function FoesPumpkin Corn PotatoPyrethrum Will repel bugs if grownaround the vegetablegarden.Radish Peas, nasturtium, lettuce,cucumbers, spinachRadish attracts leaf minoraway from spinachRaspberry Most vegetables Blackberries, tomatoes,potatoRosemary Cabbage, beans, carrots,sageDeters cabbage moth,bean beetles and carrotflyRoses Garlic, chives, parsley,mignonette lettuce.Sage Rosemary, cabbage andcarrotsDeters cabbage moth andcarrot flyCucumbersSpinach StrawberriesSquash Nasturtium CornStrawberries Bush bean, spinach,borage, lettuceCabbageSunflower Cucumbers PotatoSweet Corn Potatoes, Peas, Beans,cucumbers, pumpkin,squashCorn acts as a trellis forbeans and beans attractpredators of corn pests.Here and there in thegardenProtects cabbages,improves growth andflavour of vegetables,general insect repellent.Tomatoes Asparagus, Parsley,Chives, onion, Broccoli,Sweet Basil, marigold,carrots, parsley.Turnip Peas, nasturtium, lettuce,cucumbersWormwood(Artemesia, notAmbrosia)Although it can inhibit thegrowth of plants near it,wormwood does repelmoths, flies and fleas andkeeps animals off thegarden.Yarrow Near aromatic herbs andvegetablesPlant along borders andpaths. Enhancesessential oil productionand flavour
    • 39 | P a g eLAWNSLush green and a well-maintained lawn is most soothing site in a garden. For healthy anddense growth, a lawn should get good amount of direct sunlight. Shadow cast by trees withits large, dense canopy or a tall building near the lawn could harm the lawn. The roots ofthe large trees also can compete with lawn; thus near the roots of the tree, the lawn willgrow patchy and sparse.Preparing the Site: To prepare the bed for the lawn, the ground should be dug out at leastup to 15 cm depth. If the existing soil is of not of good quality, then it is better to replace itwith good fertile soil. For good drainage it is better to put about 3 cm thick layer ofbrickbats or coarse gravely soil at the bottom. Over this give a layer of soil and farmyardmanure, thoroughly mixed, in proportion of 3 parts soil and 2 parts farmyard manure. Allstones larger than 2 cm should be removed from this mixture. This layer should be about 6cm thick. The uppermost layer for lawn surface should be made up by mixing thoroughly,equals parts of soil and farmyard manure. Stones larger than ½ cm from the soil should beremoved before mixing.Using a rake levels the soil surface. By raking not only leveling is done, but, large stones, ifleft in the soil, can be removed. Large stones left near the soil surface are capable ofdamaging the lawn mower blades. After this, drench the site thoroughly with water. This willhelp the soil-manure settle well, without leaving large air pockets. When the soil surfaceturns drier the site is compressed by using a light lawn roller. If the soil is very wet, then itwill stick to the roller. Unless rolling is done, the soil starts settling down unevenly, thusspoiling the lawn level.Lawn Grass Planting: It is advisable to water the bed regularly for a few days before thelawn is actually planted. In this period the weeds start sprouting. The weeds should beremoved regularly. After the site is comparatively weed-free, tufts of lawn grass can beplanted. At the time of planting, the soil should be moist. Clumps of lawn grass should beplanted at about 5 cm distance. If this is done, a perfect lawn can be prepared in 30 to 40days. Planting with tufts of grasses is always preferable and cheaper than to sowing lawngrass seeds. In India most lawns are made by planting tufts only.Types of Lawn Grasses: Cynodon grass commonly called as Doob grass or Durva is verysturdy. This grass prefers a very sunny location. It is quite drought resistant. Bermudagrass, a fine-leaf variety of Cynodon has shorter inter-nodes. Shorter inter-nodes make itlook more dense and carpet-like. Paspalum grass has wide leaf blades. For semi-shadylocations Paspalum will be a better choice. This grass also needs less maintenance, butlooks little coarse compared to Cynodon varieties. Zoysia, commonly called as carpet grassor jumping grass has a tendency of forming lumpy growth. This makes it unsuitable for thelawns which are often used as sit outs. Though, due to the lumpy growth, the lawn has itsown beauty, it is one of the difficult ones to maintain. If mowed regularly the lumps are notformed and in that case its asset of the lumpy growth is lost. Mowing after the lumps areformed is almost impossible. At this time only lawn shears can be used. Though this carpetgrass feels soft to a bare foot, a freshly mowed Zoysia is capable of poking. Compared toother grasses, Zoysia spreads slower. In certain cases this is an advantage. Unlike Cynodon
    • 40 | P a g eand Paspalum, this grass wont easily creep in to flowerbeds surrounding the lawn. If thelocation of the lawn is shady or under a tree the best grass to plant is Neelgeri grass. It isvery hardy and grows even in locating with poor sun light.Bermuda grass Cynodon grass Doob grass Paspalum grassZoysia grass Lawn Lawn sprinkler LawnsWatering: Roots of lawn grasses do not grow very deep; most of the roots are within 10 to15 cm depth of the soil cover only. That is why thorough drenching of the lawn in notneeded. In fact light sprinkling of water more often is a better method of watering thelawns. Watering of the lawn should be done only after the top surface of the lawn seems tobe turning dry. In a sandy and well-drained soil and also in raised lawns watering should bedone more frequently. If watering is done in such a manner that the soil surface remainsexcessively moist, then green, slippery moss starts growing on the soil surface. Thiscondition will certainly make the lawn grow sparse. For watering of lawns lawn sprinklersare available. Alternately, a hose fitted with a rose also may be used. Lawns can be wateredany time of the day. However, it is better to water them in the morning, as in the eveningsnormally one likes to relax on the lawn.Mowing: Mowing of the lawn should be done very regularly; preferably, ones a week.Allowing the lawn to grow tall and then cutting it very low may save the labour. If cut low,the brownish-yellow patches of lower leaf blades come in to view. This makes the lawn lookunattractive. So never cut the lawns low. Mow them so that the carpet-like look is imparted.Small patches of lawns can be cut by lawn shears. For uniform look bigger lawns must bemowed with lawn mowers.Lawn mowers are of two types. Wheel type and roller type. Wheel lawn mowers are cheaperand lighter compared to a roller type of the same size. However, wheel type mowers tend toget stuck in wet soil. This causes problems in monsoon. Advantage of using a roller typemower is that, it does not get stuck in wet soil and gives more uniform cuts. As the lawn isbeing mowed, a roller mower also levels some minor unevenness of the soil surface. Alllawn mowers have a grass box attached. This box collects grass clippings. Now a day’sengine driven and electric mowers too are available. In north India, in certain places, a typeof sword is used to cut lawns. The long sword is swung, striking the grass. Sharp edges ofthe sword shears the grass. With this method uniform cutting is not possible. This way theclippings are scattered over a wide area. So cleaning the lawn with a broom becomesnecessary. In remote places, where repairs and maintenance of the mowers becomesdifficult and expensive; and where the labour is cheap, this method of sword slashing oflarge lawns is much faster than using a lawn shears.
    • 41 | P a g eAftercare: Do not trample lawns. Pathways in lawns can be made with stepping-stones,alternatively with bricks or tiles. As the grass grows, it tends to form very thick mats ofroots just below the soil surface. This prevents aeration of roots and water from percolatingdeep enough. As the surface soil dries quickly, the grasses get starved of water. If the rootmats are carefully examined, one will notice that they are devoid of any soil or manure. Insuch a case the lawn grasses tend to compete with each other and start losing the vigourand gradually turn brownish. To rectify this condition "spiking" of the lawn becomesnecessary. Spiking is a process in which the lawn surface is poked with a pointed instrumentto at least 5 cm depth. For this a garden fork, a crow bar or a pickaxe also can be used.These implements must be poked in the ground and also pulled out straight (90 degrees tothe soil surface). In foreign countries spiked rollers are available. These rollers simplify thejob of spiking. Before spiking, the lawn should be mowed as low as possible. Closer thepoked holes better will be the results. After spiking is done, the lawn grass should becovered with finely sieved (3 mm mesh sieve) mixture of 3 parts of farmyard manure and 2parts of good garden soil. Spiking and top-dressing of a lawn should be done once in 6months to prevent severe root matting. One may use chemical fertilizers, such as urea, forlush green look of the lawn. However, the organic manures are must for the lawns. Amongstthe weeds which could cause serious damage to the lawn is Cyprus rotundas. These grass-like weeds have a widespread, underground root system. They also have undergroundrunners which produce numerous tubers. When the weed is pulled out, most of the runnersalong with tubers remain in the ground only; which continue to grow again and again. So assoon as this weed is seen sprouting in the lawns, they must be dug out of the groundwithout any delay. This will prevent them from forming the underground runners andtubers.Ground Covers: Great effort is needed to maintain a perfect lawn. The sprawling openspaces, which are hardly used as sitting places, can be planted with ground covers. Thoughgrasses too are ground covers, certain creeping herbs used for covering the grounds arecalled as ground covers. Wedelia, Pilea, Pellionia, Plectranthus, Hemigraphis,Alternanthera, Syngonium, money plant, Tradescantia, Callisia, selaginella, Episcia,Portulaca, Bramhi, Helxine etc. are very good as ground covers
    • 42 | P a g eSOIL pH RANGES5 5.5 5.5-5.96.0–6.46.5-6.97 7.1-7.57.6-8.09SLIGHTLY ALKALINEVERY SLIGHTLY ALKLINESTRONGLY ACIDNEUTRALVERY SLIGHTLY ACIDMEDIUM ACIDSLIGHTLY ACIDSoil pH Scale Description:Note: The pH scale is based on the powers of 10.For example: a pH level of 5 is 100 times more acidic than a pH of 7. pH of: 5.5 and less = Strongly Acid pH of 5.5 - 5.9 = Medium Acid pH of 6.0 – 6.4 = Slightly Acid pH of 6.5 – 6.9 = Very Slightly Acid pH of 7.0 = Neutral pH of 7.1 – 7.5 = Very Slightly Alkaline pH of 7.6 – 8.0 = Slightly AlkalineSoil pH is simply a measurement of the acidity or alkalinity of a soil. Soil pH is criticalbecause it affects the health of plants. Before a nutrient can be used by plants it must bedissolved in soil water (most nutrients dissolve best when the soil is slightly acidic toneutral). The good news is… Soil pH is easy to check and can be altered / corrected.The scale range of Soil pH goes from 0 to 14 with the lower end of the scale being AcidicpH (0 to 6) and the higher end of the scale being Basic pH (8 to14). Most garden andlandscape plants prefer a ph in the range of 6 to 7.2 which is considered closer to NeutralpHsIf you have a plant that prefers a Soil pH in the range of 6 to 7.2, and your Soil pH is 5(strongly acidic), your plant is going to have major challenges. On the other hand, someplants prefer acidic soils to do well. An example is Azaleas which prefer acidic soils to dobest.Steps to the Correct Soil pH Levels:1- Determine the best Soil pH for the particular plant or plants you are growing. This can befound on the package or by asking the lawn and garden professional where the purchase ismade.2- Determine the Soil pH in your garden area. Do this by taking samples from a fewdifferent areas and testing the mixture. One method to test is using a Soil pH dye kit whereyou saturate the soil sample with a dye and the resulting color change tells you the pHrange. Another way is to send your soil sample to a local county extension agent or workthrough a local master gardener to get the test results. A third way to measure is with a pHmeter.
    • 43 | P a g e3- Match up what you will be planting to what your actual Soil pH is. If you are plantingsomething that needs neutral soil and your ph level is acidic then you need to addsomething to the soil to raise the pH level to neutral for example.Changing the Soils pH Levels:Lime is usually added to acid soils to increase soil pHs. The addition of lime not onlyreplaces hydrogen ions and raises soil pH, thereby eliminating most major problemsassociated with acid soils but it also provides two nutrients, calcium and magnesium to thesoil. Lime also makes phosphorus that is added to the soil more available for plant growthand increases the availability of nitrogen by hastening the decomposition of organic matter.Liming materials are relatively inexpensive, comparatively mild to handle and leave noobjectionable residues in the soil.The application of anhydrous ammonia as a nitrogen fertilizer contributes to lowering theSoil pHs. Other elements to add to your soils to lower the pH levels are: Acid Sphagnum Peat Iron Sulfate Aluminum Sulfate Elemental SulfurNote: Consult a local Agricultural extension Officer if possible before changing your pHlevels because each region has unique sets of environmental circumstances. They will beable to tell you specifically what to add to your Soil for best results.Examples of Soil pH Preferences for PlantsFlowers & Soil pH preferences:Acid Soil: Azaleas, Hydrangea, Protes, etc.Slightly Acid to Neutral Soil: Roses, Tulips, Waratah, etc.Neutral to Alkaline Soil: Carnations, Daffodils, etc.Fruit Crop Soil pH preferences:Acid Soil: Apples, Macadamia, NectarineSlightly Acid to Neutral Soil: Grapes, Peach, Pears, Apricot, etc.Neutral to Alkaline Soil: Cherry, Plum, Almond, etc.Vegetable Crop Soil pH preferences:Acid Soil: Blackberry, Blueberry, Potato, Pumpkin, Strawberry, Watermelon, Rhubarb,Sweet Corn, Sweet Potato, Raspberry, Squash, Tomato, Turnips, etc.Slightly Acid to Neutral Soil: Beans, Brussels Sprout, Carrots, Colards, Cucumber, Eggplant,Garlic, Mustard, Parsley, Peas, Peppers, Radish, Spinach, Watercress, etc.Neutral to Alkaline Soil: Cabbage, Asparagus, Beetroot, Broccoli, Cabbage, Cauliflower,Celery, Cress, Leek, Lettuce, Muskmelon, Okra, Onion, etc.Field Crop Soil pH preferences:Acid Soil: Cotton, Oats, Peanuts, Linseed, Lupines, etc.
    • 44 | P a g eSlightly Acid to Neutral Soil: Barely, Corn, Kale, Canola, etc.Neutral to Alkaline Soil: Chickpeas, Field Peas, Lentils, Safflower, etc.
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