With an unexpectedly wet summer this year, we must be very aware that the plants in our yard aren’t getting TOO MUCH water! Here are a few tips to protect your trees and shrubs from excess rain.
1. Improve soil drainage
In times of heavy rain the upper soil in garden beds gets soaked and drainage becomes virtually non-existent. When water hits high clay content soils, nutrients are washed away, making it difficult for any root system to flourish. Try these tips for improving soil drainage, Soggy, saturated soils will kill plants over time, so you need to recognize excess water as a serious problem.
2. Manipulating mulch
Mulch is a wonderful garden aid as it helps reduce the amount of water evaporated from the soil, but once the soil is saturated the mulch needs to be manipulated. Try these mulch manipulating tips:
- Remove mulch – Removing mulched areas temporarily will help the sun and wind dry out the garden, but don’t forget to recover once the soil is back to normal moisture levels.
- Cover gardens – Reduce the addition of more water. Try covering gardens with tarp during heavy rain falls and removing once the down pour is over.
3. Turn off irrigation
Don’t forget to turn off any automatic irrigation systems and do not turn back on till the garden has dried out.
4. Protect your plants
During times of heavy rain you need to physically protect your plants.
- Stake plants – Staking up plants that are either week, newly plant or that are leaning over will take stress off your plants.
- Harvest fruit – Before a downpour you should always harvest any heavily laden fruit trees to prevent rain damage. It’s often best to harvest even the green fruits and try to ripen on a window sill.
5. Avoid walking
Walking near plants in saturated conditions can also cause soil impaction, which can limit root growth. This is generally not a concern if you have well designed garden beds or raised beds where you can reach each plant without stepping near them.
6. Eliminate pests
When there is loads of rain there will be load of pests and weeds to follow.
- Eliminating slugs – Where possible eliminate slug and snail hiding places. These include; any damp places, under pieces of timber or stones, or under other items that are laying around the garden.