Gardening: What To Do After Heavy Rains

Cary, NC – As you likely noticed, Cary had some very heavy rainfall this week, which can cause problems for your garden. So for this storm and future ones, here are some tips on how to help your garden after it rains.

Check Your Plants

One of the main problems with heavy rainfall and your garden is soil and other protective dirt being washed away by flowing water. So one of your first steps should be to check your garden for any exposed plant roots. Not only can an exposed root then be damaged by outside forces but an exposed root can also dry out and cause serious problems for your plant.

If you do see an exposed room, simply cover it with soil, compost or whatever you are using in your garden to set everything back in order.

If your plants are in pots or planters or some other structure outdoor, make sure they are still draining properly. A container can get flooded and this prevents your plants from getting the oxygen it needs or from absorbing nutrients through the soil. Drain whatever water you find trapped in there and make sure water can drain back out again. Also, for future rain storms, check your drainage ahead of time and consider covering up your plants if you notice that this is a repeating problem.


Keep Out Intruders

Another problem with rain is it brings in organisms that can harm your garden. While rain makes your weeds start growing, paradoxically, it also makes it much easier to spot them and pull them. As the rain softens up the soil, you can now pull your weeds out cleanly without breaking the roots, making it more likely that they are gone for good.

Rain also brings out snails and slugs. We’ve written about these creatures in your garden before but you can create a barrier around your plants with egg shells or Vaseline, or if you want a natural garden with birds and badgers and other such beasts stopping by, you can leave your snails and slugs alone.

And as one last tip, if you are growing lettuce in your garden, the best time to pull them for crisp tasty quality is right after a rainstorm.


Story by staff reports. Photos by Thilo Wischmeyer and Andy Powell.

The Gardening Column is sponsored by Garden Supply Company on Old Apex Road in Cary.Garden Supply Company