The months long monsoon and summer in Kerala affects the texture of the soil. The changes in weather is very likely to form clumps in the soil or potting mix in grow bags. This will lead to loss of nutrients in soil resulting in slow growth and low productivity of plants.
Tips to protect grow bag soil
In order to prevent the soil from hardening and becoming compact, add cow dung powder at least five percent of the total volume of the grow bag.
To ensure air and water permeability, add sand, bran, husk, compost or perlite in the potting soil.
When the plants grow a little, mulch them with dry leaves in grow bags.
Give liquid fertilisers like bio slurry, fresh cow dung, Amrita Jalam, Panchagavyam, fish amino acids etc. once in a week.
Rain guard / Sun screen
Cut a card board or plastic sheet in round or rectangle shape in a large size than the grow bag’s opening.
Make a slit from the side to the middle of the board and cut a small round surrounding the plant.
This plastic sheet can be fixed on grow bags as ‘rain guard’ in monsoon and ‘sun screen’ in summer.
Benefits of guard
The sheet will protect the microbes and nutrients in the soil and will prevent the soil from hardening.
It shields the nutrients in the potting mix from penetrating deep into the bag during heavy rain.
In rooftop farming, the board can protect the concrete surface of terrace from damages in monsoon.
Fertigation, in which irrigation and fertilisation are done together, also can be performed easily.