In the right amounts rain is a blessing to the home gardener, but excessive amounts of rain can cause major damage, including plant diseases, soil erosion and flooding. If you, too, are experiencing an over-abundance of rain, you know it can be a challenge keeping your garden in good condition. After all, it’s not like you can really run outside and put a giant umbrella over your entire garden every time it rains.
There are, however, a few things that you can do that may help.
1. Watch for Flooding
During heavy rains, any areas that are not draining properly should be easy to spot. If plants are allowed to stand in water for any length of time it can lead to root rot. If you do notice areas that are prone to flooding, find ways to drain water away from your garden. This can be done using rock beds or even using plastic water drains.
2. Examine Plants
Heavy rains and thunderstorms can cause plant damage, and extended periods of wet weather can lead to plant diseases such as powdery mildew. After a severe storm, check your plants for damage. If only a few leaves have been damaged, you can remove them, or if a plant has been bent over from the force of the rain, you may be able to stake it back up. Unfortunately, it the main stem has snapped, it is likely that the plant is a loss.
If wet weather has been persisting, it can lead to plant diseases caused by fungi or bacteria. These should be treated as soon as they are discovered.
Also, remember to check the base of the plants to see if soil erosion has exposed any roots. If it has, you should cover them with soil or compost. Left exposed, the roots can dry out, which can seriously harm or even kill the plant.
3. Replenish Nutrients
Rain and flooding can carry much-needed nutrients away from your vegetable plants. After severe storms, it is a good idea to replace those nutrients by adding compost or an organic fertilizer to your soil.
4. Tread Lightly
If soil has become waterlogged, walking on it can make it worse, as the soil becomes compacted. Avoid walking on very wet soil as there is a chance that doing so could damage the roots of your plants.
5. Don’t Forget Weeds, Water & Slugs
Some weeds can become very prolific during rainy weather and can choke out your vegetables
Turn over – or better yet, completely remove – any containers, wheelbarrows, etc., that can collect rain water, as these can quickly become breeding grounds for mosquitoes and other pests.
And remember to be vigilant against slugs who love moist places to hide while they munch away on your lettuce.
6. Make the Most of It
Take advantage of the positives and make the most of it. After all, what other choice do we have?
How do you garden in extremely wet weather? Share your tips in comments below:
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