Photo credit: Chicago Tribune/Bill Hogan
My colleague Frank Roylance, the blogger over at Maryland Weather, says this incessant rain should end with Saturday's afternoon thunderstorms. Sunday - and going forward should be sunny and clear.
If you are like me, you are dreading what you will find in the garden after all this wet weather: mildews, blights, slugs, bugs, weeds and wind damage.
Kathy Huber of the Houston Chronicle offers this list of important chores to do in the garden after a heavy rain.
1. Cover exposed roots
If water has washed soil and mulch from garden beds, cover exposed roots with compost-enriched soil and mulch.
2. Replenish nutrients
Water leaches nutrients from the soil. To replenish, treat garden soil with fish emulsion or seaweed extract. Replenish container nutrients with a slow-release fertilizer.
3. Empty containers of water
Overturn wheelbarrows, buckets, pot saucers or any container holding rainwater. These are mosquito breeding grounds.
4. Eliminate snail and slug hiding places
These plant-damaging creatures like cool, moist, dark places such as overturned pots, under bricks or boards.
Roots come up more easily in moist soil. Mulch to discourage others from sprouting.
6. Aerate lawns
Do this when the soil is no longer soggy. Apply an organic-based fertilizer. Apply liquid iron to pale or yellowish areas that have developed due to prolonged wet conditions that decrease oxygen supply in the soil and slow nutrient and mineral uptake.
7. Watch for fungal and bacterial diseases
Some are encouraged by wet conditions. For example, wilted tomatoes that do not revive may be infected and need to be removed.
8. Water garden cleanup
Water gardens contaminated by floodwaters should be drained and cleaned. After cleaning, replace water and plants.
9. Note areas in your garden that were slow to drain.
Consider a swale (rocky creek) that will channel and carry water away, or a system that will carry heavy rain toward the nearest city drain. Beds raised 6 or more inches help prevent prolonged wet conditions that suffocate plant roots.