As autumn comes to a close and we start heading into winter, we are seemingly greeted with endless rainy days. While it’s a refreshing break for the plants in our garden, strong winds and heavy rains can also see us with some problems. Take amazing care of your garden during wet weather by following our gardening in the rain guide.
Follow our tips to keep your garden protected at all stages of a heavy downpour.
Gardening in the Rain
1. Check your drainage
As long as the drainage in your garden is good, you shouldn’t have an issue with waterlogged soil. If you are seeing issues with soil becoming waterlogged, follow some of these steps.
- Plant in raised beds to allow water to drain away
- Grow in containers or wall/window mounted pots so water an free drain
- Plant into hanging baskets which have fantastic drainage
2. Add organic matter and mulch to your soil
Mixing organic matter with the soil will help to improve your soils structure, this allows for it to be free draining whilst also holding moisture and nutrients where your plants need it the most. Organic matter can be anything from leaf mould and grass clippings to compost or well rotted manure.
A layer of mulch on the surface of the soil acts as a buffer to heavy rain. This helps to retain vital moisture in the soil while preventing soil erosion. A layer of mulch will slow the flow of water to allow it to drain through more gently.
Another benefit is that it reduces the amount of rain splashing which can be known to spread disease and infection to plants.
3. Support your plants
Reduce the risk of common disease and infection during a heavy downpour by supporting your plants with stakes and ties.
Vertical climbing supports are a great way to avoid your plants lying on the wet soil in heavy rain. It also helps to avoid overcrowding and increases airflow around foliage.
4. Replenish soils with slow release fertiliser
Liquid fertiliser will leach and drain away with water run off. Adding slow release granules will allow for your soil to retain as many nutrients as possible.
Potted Plants in the Rain
Pot growing trees and plants is incredibly useful as it allows you to create a miniature environment that can be tailored to the needs of the plant. But on the flip side, that miniature environment can be more susceptible to extreme weather conditions; pots dry out quicker in hot weather, can need protection from frost in winter and of course can become waterlogged in wet weather.
But with a little forethought, you can give your potted plants a much better chance of riding out downpours. Here are our top tips for wet weather plant care:
- Always choose pots and planters with drainage holes. This is essential! Without drainage holes, you can almost guarantee that plants will become waterlogged and roots will rot.
- Choose a high quality potting soil to fill containers . Quality potting soils usually have organic matter mixed through them specifically to improve the drainage.
- Mixing some perlite through your potting soil before you plant will also help to improve drainage throughout the pot, making water-logging less likely.
- If the pots are small enough to be moved, rearrange them to suit the weather conditions. In very wet weather, move plants under cover until the rain has past and the compost has had a chance to dry out a bit. Even the shadow of a wall will help.
- If pots are sitting on a patio that does not drain well, don't leave them in a puddle! Move onto a higher surface to allow water to trickle away or even stand the pots up on bricks.
We hoped our guide helped you out during this rainy period. If there's anything you think we missed out let us know via email or contact us on social media. If you like some advice on gardening during snow and frost check out our winter gardening tips.