Gardening after excessive rain can be a real challenge. We all know that gardens love rain, but throw in an intense weather system (especially one that feels like it’s never ending) and you’re likely to have far too much of a good thing. Most plants will bounce back with little effort, however your garden will likely need some serious TLC after experiencing prolonged periods of rain.
From treating pests, to replenishing your soil, we’ve put together our top 7 quick tips to help with your garden after excessive rain and in the meantime… we’ll keep doing a sun-dance.
Assess the Damage in Your Yard
Photo Credit: My Garden Life
Take stock of the potential damage in your garden by assessing and removing any broken tree limbs, branches or large fronds. Oversized tree roots in extremely soggy soil conditions don’t have anything to bind too and can become hazardous. We recommend contacting an arborist if your trees are showing any signs of collapse from heavy overarching branches or weak trunks.
If You Have Excess Water
Photo Credit: Home One Forum
Patience, sunshine and helping water evaporate or drain away is the best way to tackle excess water. However, you can help to divert ponded water quicker by digging a small channel or makeshift swale in your backyard. If potted plants are struggling to drain, you may need to consider repotting them. Don’t forget, plants need plenty of airflow to survive and if they are waterlogged due to excessive rainfall, then there is a good chance they will drown and eventually die.
Replenish Your Soil
Photo Credit: Grow a Good Life
Rain, rain, go away, come again another day. Significant rain or flash flooding can result in your garden soil losing its nutrients or even getting washed away altogether. Be sure to replenish any lost soil in your garden with a top quality mix from your local nursery.
Staking and Tying
Photo Credit: Bunnings
With heavy rain comes battering winds. Newly installed trees with small root systems, or windblown plants and shrubs may need staking. Check their sturdiness and stake and tie any plants in your garden that require stability or straightening to ensure optimal growth.
Monitor Your Plants for Pest and Disease
Photo Credit: Sustainable Gardening Australia
Prolonged leaf wetness, humid conditions and excess moisture can be a breeding ground for bacteria to flourish. Assess and monitor your plants thoroughly for pests, disease, slugs or snails and treat them accordingly.
Photo Credit: Peppers Home and Garden
Dust off your weeder, because you’re going to need it. Weeds zap much needed moisture and nutrients from your garden, resulting in poor plant and lawn conditions. Dormant weed seeds can germinate and grow strong stalks after excessive rain, so it’s best to attend to your weeds as soon as possible, either by hand or spraying if required.
Note: Spraying weeds immediately after rain is not advised, as the herbicide will just wash away and be ineffective. Most weed kill sprays work best when applied during several days of dry weather. Be sure to follow product instructions as directed.
Check for Turf or Mulch Rot
Photo Credit: Home One Forum
Be mindful of smelly mulch or rotting turf. Bacteria love moist conditions and after a significant rain event, mulch can go from decomposing to a smelly rotten mess. If mulch rot occurs, consider removing your existing mulch and replacing it with a fresh batch. If your turf has turned into a pond and is starting to look brown, give it time to take its course until it dries out, followed by a good dose of cultivation.
A waterlogged or rain drenched garden isn’t very fun for anyone to deal with. If you’re unfortunate enough to experience regular flooding (despite El Niño conditions), you may need to consider remedying a more serious issue with drainage on your property.