Gardening in the Rain – The Soggy Aftermath

8 January 2020

With all this rain we’ve been having, it’s important to assess the damage and decide what the next step is for ensuring our plants are as healthy as possible!

Heavy rainfall can be deadly to plants. As the soil becomes waterlogged, plants start to drown! This happens because water fills up the spaces in between the soil particles which prevents oxygen from reaching the roots. This causes the soil to stagnate which in turn, stops the roots from growing.

How to beat the rain

1. Tell-tale signs of waterlogged soils

  • Leaves will start to turn yellow and wilt
  • The soil on the surface is soaked through with visible puddles
  • When plants are lifted, the roots are soggy and black in colour
  • Plant roots smell like rotten eggs
  • Plants fail to sprout or new shoots die down

During periods of heavy rainfall it is important to know how to tackle the soggy aftermath in order to get your plants back to tip top health in time for spring.

2. Tackling waterlogged soils

  • Do not walk over wet soils; this will cause the soil to become compacted which worsens the drainage even further
  • Check for any dead or dying shoots and remove them
  • Dig up the most sickly looking plants and remove any parts of the roots that are damaged then re-plant into fresh, free-draining compost

3. Prevention is better than cure

Here are a few tips to remember to stop these problems from occurring in the future:

  • Mulch around the root area
  • Use a good, organic matter when planting – we recommend planting with Rootgrow which is endorsed by The RHS
  • Don’t be afraid to water generously in dry spells – After water-logging, plants actually become more susceptible to drought stress
  • Consider building raised beds using a free-draining top soil
  • Place a layer of rocks or pebbles in the bottom of pots to help with drainage

When one thinks of Britain we automatically think of rainy days it is a good idea to bear this in mind when planning any garden. There are plenty of wonderful shrubs and trees which actually like wet soils! So, if you know your garden is prone to water-logging why not choose some of these plants instead.

Water loving shrubs

A great way to utilise wet soil is by planting a Bog Garden. There are many plants especially suited to wet environments.

We hope this information is useful for your current and future gardening endeavours – Happy Planting!

If you would like any further information about gardening in the rain, give us a call on 01257 788 259.