If you’re a seasoned gardener, you’ll probably be heard telling people rain is good for the garden when they complain about it. But in recent weeks, we’ve had a lot more rainfall than average, and this can do a lot of damage to gardens.
Here are some tips on how to protect your garden from the rain, and what to do after a deluge.
If heavy rain is forecast:
- Remove any dead shoots and limbs from your plants to stop them snapping or tangling under the force of heavy rain.
- Wet and windy conditions can damage taller plants, so tie taller plants to a wooden or metal support you’ve secured in the ground and this should prevent them from snapping.
- Make sure that there’s a runoff so that water can drain away from the garden. This prevents water from pooling and saturating your plants.
If the heavens have opened on your garden right now:
- Cover fragile plants, herbs, and vegetables with a waterproof cover, and make sure it’s positioned so that the water will drain away from your plants.
- Give your compost a turn and mix the damp upper layers of compost with the drier layers underneath to keep it moist.
After a downpour:
- Check your vegetable roots to make sure none of them are exposed after soil erosion. If they are, add soil or compost to stop them from drying out.
- Check your pots and planters aren’t flooded. Cover them if need be, especially if more rain is forecast.
- Deal with slugs and snails. They love moist conditions, as you’ll notice when they come out in droves following a bout of rain. You can buy chemical baits, repellents, and sprays, but if you want to go the natural route, there are a number of things that gardeners swear do the job, including putting them in salty water, spraying them with a mixture of vinegar and water, and positioning anything made from copper near the area you want to repel them from. Copper apparently gives them slight electric shocks and they don’t like it!
The rain is not all doom and gloom
A moderate amount of rain is great for your garden, and it makes some jobs that much easier including:
Pulling up weeds
When soil is moist it’s easier to get weeds by the root and pull them out without them breaking.
Lettuce will be perfectly tender and taste sweeter if you pick it after there’s been some rainfall.
Mint thrives in moisture, so it will be particularly fragrant after a bit of rain.