Friday, June 8, 2012

Garden Cleanup after a Heavy Rain

“Rain, rain go away, come back another day.” Wow did we get some heavy rain here in Maine over the weekend. In fact, as I write this, it’s still raining outside. So, what can you do besides wait out the storm and hope your garden hasn’t been ruined?

Well, before getting discouraged, put on your big girl galoshes and head outside to check things out. Your transplants and seedlings are tougher than you think and forgoing a torrent of water streaming through your garden, I bet it held up better than you think. Take the following steps to cleanup your garden after a heavy rain.

Steps for Cleaning Up the Garden after a Heavy Rain

Access the Situation

Now that the rain has stopped, it’s time to access the situation and see exactly what you are dealing with. Look for toppled plants and fallen garden structures as well as any areas of the garden that have been flooded. Has the water drained? Are there washouts?

Fix Drainage Issues

If part of your garden is under water, you have a drainage issue and you need to get rid of the water as fast as you can to prevent further damage. Seeds and plants that are drowning in water are susceptible to rot.

First, decide on the best place for the water to drain. Next, use a garden hoe or shovel to create a small trench allowing the water to flow out of the garden. Be weary of draining the water near your foundation or into your neighbor’s yard.

Fix Washouts

Washouts happen when loose soil is swept away after a heavy rain. These are less likely to happen once your plants have become established and even less likely to happen if you’ve applied mulch in the garden. Though mulch helps prevent washouts, a harsh rainstorm can wash away some of your mulch, so that may need fixing.

Rebuild any mounds that have been damaged. Keeping your mounds built up helps to protect the roots of your plants which is important, especially while they are still developing. Add more soil or mulch in areas that need it and take preventative measures to protect your garden in the future by mulching around mounds and rows that were washed out.

Check for Damaged Plants

Check your plants, especially young seedlings. Look for leaning or bent stalks and push the soil up around any that need a little extra support. Tape any cracks or splits and pull the plants that have been damage beyond repair. As I write this in early June, it’s still early enough to replace plants with seedlings as well as some seeds.


What needs to be cleaned up around the garden? Rake away any mulch or soil that washed away and pick up other debris leftover from the heavy rain. Make sure the areas where you planted seeds that haven’t germinated yet aren’t buried beneath a layer of light and rain blocking debris.

Cleaning up and making repairs around the garden after a heavy rainstorm is sometimes needed. If your garden was hit hard and the cleanup is getting overwhelming, break it into steps. Always access the situation and start by making the most needed repairs first.

Was your garden affected by this weekend’s heavy rain?

1 comment:

  1. Nothing quite like seeing a rainbow after a long, hard construction site cleanup project! :]