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Gardening after a good rain

The spring and fall can be pretty wet at times. Here are some things you might want to do immediately after a heavy rain event in your garden.


Check for excess soil moisture

A good rainfall can expose issues with your soil. In particular, soil that is clumpy and compacted tends to drain poorly, resulting in patches of standing water--which can be problematic for your plants and promote fungal development if they persist for too long after the rain stops. Puddles usually form where the soil structure has too little organic material to absorb moisture and keep the soil "fluffy."

Right after a good rainfall is the perfect time to take a walk through your garden, looking for places with standing water or overly saturated soil. Make note of these areas, and when the water recedes a bit, consider aerating the soil and working in a good compost. This will improve the soil structure and promote better drainage in the future.

Of course, if you notice that the problem does not seem to improve after about a week, or if you find that the problem is worsening with each subsequent rainfall, this could be a sign of a bigger issue that needs better diagnosis. Talk to one of us here at the nursery, and we'll help connect you with someone who can better outline a plan of action for you.

Pull up those weeds

Rain is generally a good thing for plant life. Your garden probably looks more colorful and vibrant right afterward, right? But rain also gives a boost to any weeds you might already have encroaching on your garden beds--especially if the seeds were just beginning to germinate under the soil before the rain began. The first several days after a rain event is a really great time to put on some clogs and tackle any weeds you see coming up. They will come up much easier while the soil is moist, which makes it more likely that you'll get the roots and all--which helps slow their progress.

Put down some mulch

If you haven't already applied mulch to your garden, this is a great time to do so. One of the biggest benefits of mulch is that it helps soil better retain moisture from a good rainfall, which can be especially beneficial for deep-rooted trees and larger shrubs. It will also help smother out any residual weeds you might have missed and block the sunshine that tends to make these pesky plants take off right after a good rain.

Plant something new

As long as you're getting nice and dirty in the garden, why not also go ahead and plant something new that you've had your eye on? The moist soil is ideal for planting larger items like shade trees or ornamental shrubs. The moist ground is much more manageable for digging, and it encourages root systems to take off in the new soil more immediately, helping reduce the "shock" of transfer from containers to in-ground planting. This is also a great time to add new flowering perennials for a touch of color.

As always, our experts are standing by to help you select just the right plants and products to tackle those post-rain chores. Call or stop by anytime and we'll be glad to take care of you!


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