Winter rains may cause unexpected garden problems

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Winter rains may cause unexpected garden problems

Winter rains may cause unexpected garden problems

It’s winter and it’s raining. We all know what that means. It’s time to think about too much water where we don’t want it.

  • With all of the rain, be sure to check that container plants aren’t drowning in their pots. If you can, move then to a protected area, and during times of heavy, prolonged downpours, cover them with plastic.
  • Raising potted plants off the ground will help with drainage. Companies sell risers that lift pots and containers about an inch or so off surfaces, but you can make your own with small pieces of wood or flat rocks. You just need to clear a space beneath the pot so the water can drain quickly through and away.
  • Your in-ground plants might be suffering from too much water, too. If you created wells around your plants, shrubs or trees during the drought to capture water and let it slowly soak in, you should breach the walls and let the standing water flow away.
  • It’s best to avoid walking on planted areas and garden beds during or after heavy rains. The soil — now mud — compacts more easily when it is saturated, and when the ground dries out, you end up with very hard soil.
  • In areas that aren’t draining well, consider digging shallow canals that will help direct the water away. You also can try using a garden fork to poke hole in hard soil to encourage the water to go down.
  • Although the ground may be saturated and your containers well-watered by the storms, don’t forget to check on your plants that are under protected areas, especially those in pots. In the midst of the deluge, they could be dying of thirst.

— Joan Morris, Staff

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Published at Wed, 11 Jan 2017 18:00:22 +0000