We’re building an ark as I write this.
The. Rain. Doesn’t. Stop. And we are as frustrated as you are, ready to get outside and enjoy our yards.
In the meantime, we’ve got a few pointers to help tide you over to drier days and keep your plants and landscape from getting too bogged down in all this moisture:
1) Move or cover young, fragile plants.
If you’re lucky enough to have your newly planted, more tender plants in containers, simply move them under cover during the downpours. They’ll still love to be out when the sun manages to break through, but will be spared the relentless raindrops.
If your fragile plants are in the ground, cover them gently with a tarp or plastic that’s tented slightly to give your plants room to breathe. Make sure to remove when the hardest rain quits, and especially when the sun comes back out.
2) Support tall plants.
We love the drooping habit of some plants, it’s sort of their signature shape. But too much bending can put a strain on taller, top-heavy plants and cause them to break. Support yours with wooden stakes or gently tie them back as a bundle anchored to a tree or other support.
3) Check the roots around your trees and protect them.
All of this water can wash away protective layers of mulch that keep root systems cool, nutrients in and pests out. Check your trees after a hard rain and scoop up misplaced mulch or add a new layer.
4) Protect against puddles.
Our clay soil is not known for good drainage. So when we have heavy, prolonged rains, dig small drainage tunnels or ditches to guide your water away from plants. This will help guard against root and stem rot.
5) Make a rain garden.
Think of a rain garden as a kind of plant pond—a place where water is welcome and plants will thrive. Choose plants that have naturally deep root systems and plant them at least 10 feet from your home to give them a buffer to saturate surrounding soil without running back up to the house. You will also want to create an overflow zone to one side with stones that will channel water away from your house. This is a true win/win, because there are so many beautiful plants that will help with the job like asters, iris, foxglove, astilbe, liatris, sedum, daylilies, sage, artemisia and lavender.
Check out our workshops to see if we have one running on the DIY Rain Garden and we’ll walk you through the basics.
Hang in there and don’t let the rain stop you from enjoying your yard and plants.