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Tips for Maintaining Your Garden During the Rainy Season

Successful gardening requires a combination of sufficient sunlight, moisture and healthy soil. This may seem easy enough to achieve but during the rainy season all these factors are challenged. Heavy rainfall and storm conditions tend to bring about issues of physical damage, pests and diseases, waterlogging of soil and leaching of top-soil nutrients. These are a few tips to consider if you would like to maintain a thriving garden during the rainy season:

  • Offer support for plants with taller and thinner stalks. Heavy rains accompanied by strong winds can pose the threat of snapping these kinds of plants. By pushing a metal or wooden stick into the ground and loosely tying the plant to it, the plant is supported well enough and is prevented from breaking.
  • Practise conscious water management. During the rainy season, it is recommended to avoid watering plant leaves often.  Moist leaves can become a breeding ground for fungal spores. If actively watering, water as close to the roots as possible or try layering the soil with mulch to reduce splashing from the rain, which promotes the spread of plant diseases like Septoria leaf spots.
  • Establish good drainage. To avoid water saturation in your garden, you should consider elevating your garden by planting in raised beds or using vertical systems like wall mounts, so that the soil is able to drain easier.
  • Elevating your garden also gives climbing pests like snails, slugs and pill bugs a more difficult time reaching your garden crops. By trying to access vertical garden systems, they are more exposed to predators like birds who will rid them from your garden for you.
  • Another way to prevent waterlogging and physical damage is to cover younger and more delicate plants. By using a waterproof shade like tarpaulin or plastic sheets, your plants are shielded from the heavy and persistent onset of rain. Ensure the covering is slanted to direct drainage away from your other garden plants. A netted covering can also be used to simply slow the force of the rain and this also protects your plants from some flying pests.
  • Add organic matter and mulch to your soil. By adding organic matter like manures to heavy, clayey soils, that tend to retain lots of water, the drainage process is made easier. Doing this and using slow release or organic fertilisers also replaces essential nutrients like nitrogen, lost by leaching.
  • Harvest food crops as soon as they are ready. Gather edible plants or leaves quickly as the longer they are exposed to the harsh elements of the rainy season, the higher the chances of rotting and susceptibility to pests and diseases.



 



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