In the right amounts, rain is a blessing to the home gardener. However, 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 wet weather gardening can be a challenge. After all, it’s not like you can run outside and cover your entire garden every time it rains. There are, however, a few things that you can do that may help. Here are some effective landscape maintenance tips for the rainy season.
Landscape maintenance tips for the rainy season
Prepare for erosion
Erosion doesn’t only occur during mudslides and gullies. It often happens over time as rainfall causes runoff, washing away topsoil and organic matter. Fortunately, you can control erosion in many ways, including installing retaining walls, plants, and embedded stones to obstruct this runoff. A landscaping specialist can advise you on the best solution for your property.
Make sure you have proper drainage
Rainwater drains in a variety of ways, including rain gutters and channel drains. Over time, these systems can become clogged with leaves and other natural debris, causing water to puddle in your yard and drown grass, bushes, and trees. Clear your gutters and drains, and consider building a creek or another feature to channel excess runoff.
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.
Mow your lawn more often
Rain makes grass grow faster, so mowing more frequently will become a necessary part of your landscape maintenance. Lawns should be mowed only when they are dry. It’s best to cut the grass either right before it rains or a few days after wet weather has passed.
Heavy rains and thunderstorms can cause plant damage. Moreover, 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, if the main stem has snapped, the plant is likely 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.
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.
If the 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.