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Gardening in rainy or cold weather

Rain rain go away, come again another day! Although this might be a wishful thought in the UK, there are ways to make the most of your garden despite the frequent wet weather.

Rainy days don’t have to be miserable! The British weather has us all used to rain, and rather than huddling indoors and waiting it out, we can make the most of this time. With a few tips and tricks, you can keep your garden healthy and vibrant even through periods of heavy rainfall. This blog will provide you with tips on how to prepare your garden for periods of rain, what you can do while the rain is falling and how to help your garden recover after heavy rainfall.

How to prepare for the rain

Remove damaged shoots & limbs

Remove any dead shoots and limbs from your plants before a rainstorm to keep them as straight as possible and reduce the likelihood of snapping and tangling.

Support tall plants

Heavy rain can put taller, less secure plants through their paces when combined with strong winds. Attach the plant to a support made of wood or metal by gently putting it in the ground. It will be shielded from physical harm by this, preventing it from snapping.

Drainage

Make sure your garden has adequate drainage to prevent water from pooling anywhere in it and drowning nearby plants. Make certain that there is adequate runoff that slopes away from that garden and, most importantly, that it is unobstructed.

What to do during the rain

Covering plants from heavy rainfall

Planting

When it rains, one common concern that keeps people from gardening is whether they can actually plant. In fact, as long as there is no standing water, it is acceptable. Simply plant in a well-drained pot or garden location. Planting new seedlings in the rain, without having to worry about watering them, can be very beneficial.

Feeding

You can feed your plants as well as water them by sitting back and letting the rain do the work for you. Take your fertiliser with you and sprinkle it all over the base of each plant. After that, the rain will assist it in running directly into the roots for maximum absorption.

Harvesting

Some vegetables and fruiting plants thrive in wet conditions and will yield numerous excellent crops for you to harvest. Therefore, the rainy season is the ideal time to harvest salad plants like lettuce and watercress as well as herbs like mint.

Cover delicate plants

If the rain is heavy and persistent, cover young, fragile plants, such as vegetables and herbs, with a waterproof covering like tarpaulin. To ensure adequate drainage away from the surrounding foliage, make sure the covering is slanted in the right direction.

Turn compost

Mix the damp and dry under layers to ensure that all of your nutritious, rich compost is watered. 

What to wear

Gardening can be messy, and there’s no time like the present to do so. In any case, don’t let that put you off – with the right attire you can undoubtedly remain warm and dry.

Obviously, you must have a raincoat. However, if you plan to spend a significant amount of time outside, you should also invest in a pair of waterproof trousers because ordinary materials will quickly absorb water and make you feel heavy.

You’ll need something to cover your head, but a waterproof hat is actually better for gardening than a hood because it lets you move your neck more easily while you work outside.

For your feet, don’t wear wellies. Walking boots are way more practical. Because they are lighter and do not encroach on your ankles, trampling through flowerbeds and undergrowth is made much simpler. Simply check to see if your boots require a waterproofing spray first. 

What to do after rain stops

Edging flowerbed after heavy rainfall

Weeding

The best time to do your weeding is right after a heavy downpour. When there is a lot of rain, the soil gets wet, making it easier to get rid of the weeds because the roots become more pliable. This is especially helpful for weeds with taproots and dandelions, which are notoriously difficult to eradicate. Weeds like wood sorrel and creeping buttercup have thick, original taproots. Since offshoot roots can re-grow into new plants if they break off, it’s better to remove taproots while the soil is still wet so that all of them can slide out as well.

Edging

In the event that you’ve at any point attempted to neaten up the lines of your yard, you’ll realise it tends to be a test to dig a fresh edge in the turf. The best way to keep a neat border is to install garden edging, which can be strips of plastic or metal, right after a rainy day. Here, the damp soil is your friend, just like when you were weeding. The edging pins will sink into the ground much more freely, and shaping it with a spade or trowel is much simpler.

Tidying

Although rain is absolutely necessary for a healthy garden, it can also bring about a few issues. When you go outside after a rainstorm, look for anything that has been washed away, especially fertiliser or soil. If the compost heap is open, turn it as well to help it circulate air and keep it from getting waterlogged.

Check veg roots

After the rain has stopped, check to see that there are no exposed roots. Recuperate them with soil or manure before they dry out and risk hurting the plant.

Check pots and planters

These can undoubtedly become overwhelming assuming that the drainage is compromised. Cover pots and planters if necessary, and check them before, during, and after rain.

Updated on April 19, 2024

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