After nearly three weeks of Davey Jones’ Locker level rains, I plan to not water a single thing until the soil starts drying up.
There are mushrooms growing all over the place! On the soil of my raised beds, on the burlap on the sides of my beds, and the soil in the spearmint! The mushrooms themselves, I learned, aren’t bad, but I did learn that this is an indication that the soil is too moist. I worry about waterlogging all the time with all of this rain.
So, I decided to try to find out what I could do to protect my plants from future downpours:
- Use Wood Chips.
I was afraid of this initially because wood chips lock in moisture and welcome slug and snail zombie apocalypses. BUT, they greatly reduce the chances of fungal infections that arise from contaminated mud splashing on top of the leaves during a downpour. Then, once the rain clears, the chips will maintain soil moisture. Fungal infections can wipe out an entire crop, so I plan to make a trip to the garden center next time for bulk wood chips.
2. Check the Weather Forecast Often
This seems self-explanatory, but just when I thought the rain wouldn’t be so bad, I had well-watered most of my plants before the deluge of water rushed my beds. As much as I wanted to give some of my plants food and a treatment of water mixed with neem oil, the better choice was to leave the plants alone until the sun came out.
3. Check the Plants Often
As a new gardener, it might seem easy to just let the plants do their own thing while it rains for a fortnight. However, I’ve found that obsessively checking my plants for damage is the reason why I was able to save most if not all of them. If I had not checked on my new garden bed and found that the stones surrounding it were drowning out my plants, I might have found my brand new bed completely washed away and full of mud! I was also able to keep track of whether or not the plants were developing diseases due to mud splatter and insects. I could make decisions such as pruning yellow and spotty foliage, treating the plants for disease and pests, and moving plants around for better drainage and sunlight.
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