Gardening the Bhutanese Way

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The Phailan Aftermath

The thunderous growl it will have put forth as a warning. The shrill flash that precedes it would remind every ear to be alert of the subsequent beats their drum is to encounter. No sooner, it would land with a tickling knock on the roofs. From there, it would fall inevitably on the earth beneath.

The Incessant Knock on the roofs...
The moment it hits the soil, it would send a faint earthy smell to greet every nostril. This is ascribed to be due to a chemical called Geosmin, released by actinomycetes group of soil microbes on the first receipt of rain. It would then meander a step here and there before finally seeping into the crevices of soil.

But what when the sky above led to the descend of incessant downpour? What when the natural catastrophe exercise its advantage over whom we have no control? Is it a way of nature manifesting its annoyance for the excessive exploitation of its resources by us?

The crops aftermath its descend, would it have them leaning and gliding on one another. Their metabolic activities will be arrested under the inundation. The torrent waves would it have rendered approaching the door steps of some households, ready to make its encroachment if the dwellers didn't resist.
The brooks from different directions would have their union to make a bigger stream of water rushing down. Some simply resorted to stay stagnant in the mud pool.

The trees would be wailing in the mud pool for they were agonized by the physiological drought prevailing around their root zones. They might be cursing for their disability to flee somewhere. The fact that they were fixed and rooted in a particular place for a lifetime might have doomed and crippled them. They might be envying us humans for our ability to run towards our dwellings the moment growling signals were sent from the firmament above.

But for those poor trees that nurtured us, is it not unfair on our part to let them be drenched and soaked to death? For so long a time that they spent in rendering services and food to us, can we simply neglect them? On the contrary, if we fail to exercise some life saving measures, we may land up getting starved. It is so to say that a team of scientists came up with the following remedies to mitigate the malady;

*    To drain out the water immediately to create congenial conditions for the uptake of nutrients and normal metabolism of the plant.
*    If the aforesaid measure is not feasible, it is recommended to go for a foliar application of 1% potassium nitrate (KNO3) which accounts to 10g in 1 liter of water.

But as was a case in myself, some people might question the accuracy and credibility of the second recommended measure. It is quite certain that the

foliar application of the nutrient in no way is going to drain the water out. But, it indeed, is to supplement the nutrient deficiency the plant is underway for it cannot absorb through roots, the usual route as it used to be.

In addition, potassium is a macronutrient which imparts disease resistance. So it is a measure worth practicable when the plant is under stress and is most prone to diseases. Also, it plays a major role in the transport of water and nutrients throughout the plant in xylem.

I am uncertain how far my message will reach those needy farmers. Nevertheless, it is going to make a difference in a small way even if this could reach a single farmer. For if this was found to be effective, the news will certainly travel at its own pace to make a huge difference in the lives of the farmers and the national economy as a whole.

Crops under Inundation.



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