How to garden during wet spells?

Since heavy showers and prolonged wet spells are something to contend with nowadays, it's sensible to let your garden absorb and contain as much rainwater as possible. Read on for our tips plus advice on how to protect plants from rotting.

 

Preventing flash floods in your garden

Rain can be tremendously troublesome, especially when it doesn't rain but pours... Although very hard to prevent in itself, you can take steps to deal with it, e.g. by disconnecting your rain pipe so that water doesn't flow into the sewers but into your water-butts.

The more paving and other hard surfaces your garden contains, the more likely you are prone to water problems. Try to reduce hard surfacing and choose bricks instead of large tiles, or use any free-draining material you may find, e.g. gravel, shingle, pebbles or shells and, of course, even more greenery.

Does your garden contain much hard sufacing which you cannot remove in the foreseeable future? In that case do install good drainage systems, e.g. waste pipes or gutters fitted out with a grid.

 

Collecting water

By far the best way to deal with superfluous rainwater is to collect and re-use it to water your plants. Especially in an eco-garden collecting water in butts is the thing to do. Or consider installing a green roof (planted with succulent perennials) on your annexe, shed or extension. These plants don't mind drought at all and can absorb rainwater quite easily. Moreover, they look simply wonderful and provide helpful insulation.

Plants particularly love rainwater from a butt since it is so much softer than tap or mains water; the temperature is just right and it's free, of course. Treat your plants every now and then to some extra feed, by dissolving it into their pouring water.

Our suggestions re. plant feed:

  • Root-C - stimulates growth of large and healthy root systems.
  • Bloom-C - given during the entire flowering period it helps plants to form flowers, fruit and/or seeds.
  • Growth-C - given during the entire growth period these nutrients help plants gain strength and develop sturdy sideshoots.

Caring for your lawn during warm spells

Puddles and all other residual surface water on lawns tend to cause rot, mold and bare spots. So do take care, especially on warm days! Water (as in puddles) highly intensifies sunlight and may cause your lawn to turn yellow or even burn. During hot, dry weather it is vital to take extra good care of your lawn. Read on for our solutions on what to do in case of drought. Incidentally, border plants and vegetables simply hate having wet feet for a prolonged period. Do puddles form easily in your borders and kitchen garden? Soil improvement may be the answer!

 

Fertilization

If you wish to fertilize your plants (or when their summer feed-up is due), do so on rainy days when garden soil will absorb all fertilizers or other plant feeds quite quickly. During dry spells fertilizers do not dissolve at all, so take very good care when using artificial lawn fertilizer then. To prevent artificial fertilizers or manure to burn your lawn apply them on overcast days only, preferably just before a shower or rainy spell.

Plant protection

Protect all vulnerable and/or just planted-out plants from rain or hail showers by covering them with cloches. A cloche is a bell-shaped hood made of glass or plastic.

Drainage for potted plants

It is important to prevent root rot in potted plants, so give them good drainage: choose pots with drainage-holes at all times. Prevent congestion by first filling pots with a layer of hydro-granules (kiln-fired clay pebbles) or terracotta shards. During heavy rainfall remove any dishes underneath pots and containers and put them on terracotta ''legs'': supports that allow water to drain freely.