Rain is wonderful for our gardens but when it is heavy and includes strong winds than it can be quite harmful. Having too much rain can actually be detrimental to our gardens. If you live in an area that typically gets a lot of rain (Pacific Northwest or Southern Florida) you undoubtedly know how to handle these conditions in your garden.
If you live in an area that sometimes is affected by the rainy season, here are some tips to help you prepare and care for your garden:
Be Prepared – If you know a storm is coming go around your garden and see if there are any potential problems that might occur. Prune any shrubs or trees that have dead branches. These might break if there are strong winds. Make sure there are no signs of disease in the plant. Wet, damp conditions could increase the growth of mold and fungus. If you find this do not put these branches in your compost pile.
Stake any plants that you think might topple over under storm conditions. Rainwater and wind can seriously damage tall plants. Cover any plants you consider tender so they will not be damaged. If your plants are young they might need some extra attention. Take special precautions for your herbs and vegetables, so you don’t lose any of your edibles.
Make sure any drains you have are cleared of debris so the water can drain easily. You don’t want water pooling on the ground in your garden. It is important for there to be runoff slopes around your plants.
If you have adequate time before the storm hits, turn your compost. This lets the rainwater penetrate deeper into your compost pile.
After The Storm – Get out in the garden quickly to survey any damage. Remove any down branches or tree limbs and get rid of them as soon as possible. See if there is any other damage to plants and rectify issues with them. If leaves or blooms have fallen on the ground, pick them up as soon as you can. Depending on where you live, these conditions can bring out slugs and snails, so be on the lookout for them.
If you are a container gardener, check the pots after the rain to make sure they are not flooded and there is not a pool of water in the saucer of the container. You need to make sure the containers are draining properly.
Don’t Walk On The Soil – When the soil in your garden gets very wet and you walk on it or try to dig a hole, you actually compact the soil and make it less likely to drain. If you add compost to your soil, this will be less of a problem. If you have heavy clay soil, you will have this issue.
Check For Erosion - After the rainfall survey your garden for areas where the soil might have washed away. If you find this make sure the roots of plants are not exposed. If they are exposed, add soil to keep the roots covered.
If you have any helpful hints or ideas to add, please let us know.