Radio Tips
April 11, 2022

Too Much Rain!!

If you’re like me I’m sure you are ready for some well needed sunshine! I’m pretty sure our gardens are too. In Fact, some of our gardens may have been bombarded with more rain than they want or even can handle. If you fall into this category, the I have a few tips for you.

Some things to know:

  • If your soil is “Too Wet” because of a lack of draining capabilities it can harm your seeds and plants. If your seeds have not germinated yet and are exposed to too much water for extended periods of time, they can rot. When this happens, they will not germinate. This is frustrating because you may not realize it, you keep waiting for then to sprout and they never do.  In most cases, germination takes 7 days, and you may see some signs of life not long after that. If you feel like your garden got too much rain, and you were not able to drain it in time, and you do not see any signs of life springing up after 14 days, it’s very likely that your seeds are no longer viable, and you’ll need to start again.
  • A good Sandy Loam soil will dry down in about 3 days if no other moisture has been added.  
  • A soil with more organic matter (10% or higher) will take even more time to dry down as the organic matter holds on to that moisture longer.  

What should I do if my garden has seen “too much rain?”

  • There are multiple avenues to help this. First identify of your garden is flat or on a slope. We are going to want to re direct any standing water and create a path for any future moisture to follow instead of accumulating.  
  • One option is to create a furrow (a long narrow trench) that drains water away. (or multiple furrows) Make sure to identify the natural slope of the land and direct your furrows accordingly.
  • Mound your rows up taller than usual (prior to planting) so that the runoff is able to drain away from the seeds (or new growth) naturally.
  • When you take this approach, it is important to check your growth after the rains stop. Excess rain can cause extra run off and expose some of the root systems. If this occurs, you’ll want to add more soil to cover those roots back up, (Or bury them back in again if there has not been too much erosion.)
  • If heavy rains are in the forecast, you can also cover the garden with clear plastic before the rains arrive. This is going to cost you a little more is materials, time and preplanning, but it can be a viable option.  

What are some consequences of too much rain, with not enough drainage?

  • Seeds that have not germinated yet can “rot” and not produce.
  • Seeds that do germinate and survive, will stop growing for a period of time and can be infected with fungal organisms and blight.
  • Rain can cause heavy leaves (like on zucchini) to fall and break from the stem. Should this occur, you’ll want to prune those broken leaves off.
  • When heavy rains cause plants to droop or wilt, any leaves touching the soil become easy targets for slugs and snails.
  • Slugs and snails come out looking for easy meals after the rain, so make sure to stake up, prune and tie up those drooping limbs, leaves and stocks.
  • Right after a heavy rain, everything is a bit looser, so weeding is much easier. If you can get out right after the rains, you’ll spend less time and energy getting rid of those pesky weeks.
  • Rain brings nitrogen, and this accelerates growth. Heavy rains can cause a “growth spurt”. You may need tie up or even do some pruning shortly after a heavy rain, so a thorough walk through is a good idea. Check for:
  • Puddles (this will tell you where you are not draining well)
  • Wilting or drown plants. (You may be able to revive them)
  • Broken leaves & stems (You’ll need to prune the broken bits off & compost them)
  • Leaves touching the ground (Slugs and snails will be looking for those easy meals)
  • Mold on your leaves. Some of those leaves may need to be pruned depending on the severity of the mold.
  • Erosion of the rows. Look for exposed root systems and washed out rows.

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