Rain rain go away…Upstate New York has been experiencing some extremely heavy rain. At first it was wonderful that we didn’t have to water our plants for a few days. But now it is turning into a bit of a panic as plants and gardens are drowning with each additional rain fall we get. The weather forecast calls for a few more showers in our near future so in the mean time here are a few things to do in order to save your vegetable garden from the rain.
Survey plant damage– Take a look at the leaves on your plants, any that have significant damage or appear to be very dead remove. Don’t remove the plant all at once, give it a few days after removing the dead leaves the plant may be able to come back to life.
Avoid walking right next to the plants when the soil is saturated- Plants and roots are very sensitive to damage, stepping on them or in the area can cause soil impaction which can limit root growth. This is why many people work with raised bed gardens where you can reach the plant without stepping on them.
Look for exposed roots-If you find exposed roots, cover them with soil as soon as possible to raise the chance of saving the plant. The rain and winds can cause the soil to move around and expose roots, so after each rain fall take a peek at your garden to make sure roots are still covered.
Be generous with the nutrients- After a heavy rain you may need to replenish your plants with a fertilizer or plant nutrients. The runoff from the rain can take a lot of nutrients from your plants so use your best judgment if you think you should break out the fertilizer and give them a good replenish.
Monitor areas of poor drainage- The biggest problem with the heavy rain is everything is drowning! Your plants have gone from dry as a bone to soaking wet. Hopefully the sun shining in between rain storms will dry up your plants as much as needed to keep them alive. If the sun does not do a good enough job resorting to a siphon may be what you need to do in order to save your garden. Creating a siphon with a garden hose and wet/ dry vacuum can suck the pools of water out within minutes. A small amount of time spent on hooking up a siphon will make sure the effort you put into making your beautiful garden doesn’t go to waste.
Fungus on plants is real! The last and most important tip that many people do not think about it avoiding fungal or bacterial disease. The idea of a vegetable garden sounds very organic and healthy, but what many people don’t realize is without the proper caution fungal diseases can easily be spread, especially with the humid conditions and heavy rain. Treating mildew, root rot, virus and wilting right at the first site of it is crucial if you hope to keep a healthy, growing garden. The Veggie Gardener shared a very helpful article with pictures and descriptions in order to make it as easy as possible to identify any suspicious activity in your garden.
Planting and creating a vegetable is garden is something that takes hours of hard work and dedication. The last thing you want to see is your hard work go to waste. Until mother nature decides to be kind, keep a close eye on your garden after each rain fall. Hopefully this abundance of rain is soon to stop. But in upstate New York you can never be too prepared for the crazy unpredictable weather. Happy gardening, and stay dry!