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Here Comes the Rain Again (and Again, and Again)
This summer has been extremely rainy, and while a little rain is always welcome, too much can cause problems of its own for your landscaping. We have compiled some helpful tips to help you keep your yard in shape.
Lawns are usually pretty resistant to flooding once the roots have taken hold, but they can suffer from fungal diseases like any plant. Treatment is not usually needed unless the problem is severe, but you want to keep an eye out for dead or yellowing lawn which can indicate root, insect, or fungal problems.
Flower and food gardens can be a little more susceptible to too much water. Before planting a garden there are many things you can do to prepare for a rainy season including placing wet tolerant plants in known wet areas, improving drainage by adding compost to the soil or creating raised beds.
Helping a garden after too much water is a little trickier but there are still some things you can do help your plants thrive. Most importantly do not walk on soggy soil to avoid compacting it. Remove any excess mulch from around stems of tree bases after the soil has dried to promote drainage. Drainage can also be encouraged by adding gypsum or leaf mold* around the base. (*Leaf mold is a product of decomposed leaves and grass clippings and can be made or bought)
For container plants, remove any excess water from the pots and ensure there is proper drainage. Place something under the pots to raise them and allow the water to drain more efficiently. You can also use your finger or a small stick to poke holes into the soil itself to promote drainage. Small plants may need a little extra care. If their leaves have become covered in mud, gently rinse them off to promote photosynthesis and discourage mold. Consider repotting the plants using a soil mix that helps retain moisture or add a little perlite to your soil mix. If you do not want to re-pot you can fresh up your soil by adding a layer of compost to the top, being careful not to disturb the plant itself.
The most concerning issue in any yard after heavy rain and/or flooding is leaning trees. A leaning tree means that it is losing its root support. For large leaning trees, call a professional as soon as possible and avoid the area until it is assessed. For small trees that do not pose a personal or property hazard, you can try and salvage them by pushing them back upright and using stakes to keep them steady until their root system has recovered, which may take up to a year.