Gardening: Preparing Your Garden for Rain and Wind

Cary, NC – With strong wind and rain coming to Cary, here are some tips to protect your garden against weather damage. It’s easier than you would expect.

Preparing for Heavy Rain

First things first, pay attention to what happens to your garden when rain comes in. Are there spots in your garden that flood or does water flow toward certain parts? Knowing this will help you plan and prepare to do the best garden care for your specific garden. If you have made a note of these habits, take efforts to put in ditches or dams to divert the water from its path.

When lots of water washes over your garden, replenish the washed-away nutrients with compost. You can use fertilizer but it is risky because it could get washed away and lead to problems further down in the ecosystem. There are some organic fertilizers that reduce these problems and you should research ahead of time, but compost is the safest bet. Similarly, look for any diseased or damaged plants after a heavy rain storm. Get rid of them to prevent disease spreading throughout the garden.

After rainfall, soil also gets much softer so avoid stepping on it and compacting it as much as you can. Wet weather also brings out weeds, slugs and snails so look out for weeds and read our article on preventing the spread of slugs and snails.

Also, try and plant vegetables that do well with lots of water and our Summer heat: hibiscuses, cacti, agaves, aloes and more.


Strong Winds

Often strong winds accompany our rainy season here in the Triangle and they can damage your plants just as easily as strong rain.

The first tip is to prune your garden plants. Any stems, stalks and branches that stick out far can risk being blown off and around, damaging not only the host plant but other plants in the garden. Also, smaller plants let the wind pass through them instead of being uprooted by the gusts.

You can also put up barriers when you know powerful winds are coming. Something as simple as stacks of hay and straw can shield your plants from wind. If you really want to go all out, you can put a bin or trash can over the plant and weigh it down with bricks or some other heavy item. Just remember to take it off afterwards!


Story by staff reports. Photos by Steve P. and Hal Goodtree. The Gardening column is sponsored by Garden Supply Company on Old Apex Road in Cary.