To get the most out of this weekend’s soaking rain, we have come up with a few tips to help ensure that your garden benefits from the rain instead of becoming damaged by it.
1) Don’t let pooling water remain any longer than necessary. Pooling water on top of your plants, shrubbery, or even grass can indicate that the soil is completely saturated which can lead be dangerous for your plants, shrubs, and grass. Waterlogged plants can essentially drown in their soil as water is only one of the many elements needed for a living plant to survive. For a healthy plant to thrive it needs access to water, nutrient rich soil, oxygen, and sunlight. When a plant’s soil becomes fully saturated much-needed oxygen in the soil is forced out, and the plant cannot absorb nutrients or oxygen which can be fatal if not corrected.
Any pooling water should be drained as quickly as possible to avoid the potential for plants becoming waterlogged.
2) After a soaking rain, it is a good idea to get your weeding gloves on and get to work. After a strong watering by mother nature weeds often start growing at a rapid pace, especially after drought conditions may have kept them in check previously. The good news is after a soaking rain the soil will be soft making it easy to pull weeds that can otherwise be stubborn and quite difficult. If weeds are allowed to grow in your garden, they can choke out the other plant life and suck up precious nutrients that are intended to go to your planted varietals. Weeding your garden after a soaking rain can help to prevent issues down the line, just make sure not to compact the saturated soil as this can damage the roots of your plants and can also increase the risk of your plants becoming waterlogged.
3) After significant rainfall mulch can be a gardener’s best friend. By adding a 2-3” layer of mulch, you will help smother out any weeds that are trying to poke their way up through the soil which will reduce the amount of time you have to spend in your garden pulling the little buggers later on. Applying mulch after rain will also help to retain moisture in the soil to safeguard against immediate loss of moisture when the weather changes, and in Southern California, the weather most definitely will.
As always if you have any questions about gardening after a soaking rain, please feel free to contact our caring and knowledgeable staff at Johnny’s Nursery in Redlands. Maintaining a vegetable garden can be tricky, and each micro-climate has different needs. Our staff has created specific recommendations for gardening not just for the Inland Empire but Redlands, Loma Linda, Highland, San Bernardino, Yucaipa, Calimesa, Beaumont, Banning, Cherry Valley, and other tricky areas throughout Southern California. For our specific gardening recommendations come in for a visit or call us today.