Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Rain, Rain, Go Away; Come Again Another Day!

It has rained and rained and rained these past few days.  Basements are wet, backyards are swamped and streets are flooded.  We haven't ventured to the garden plot to see what it looks like yet.  

Environment Canada says we've received 10.2 cm of rain in the last 4 days (May 28-31).  That's a lot!

Our clay soil will hold that moisture for a long time and when it dries it will clump up and become rock hard.  Those poor little seedlings and seeds will have to work extra hard to push through.

What can we do?
There's not much we can do right now, other than drain off any standing water if possible and/or necessary.  However, there are some things we can think about for the future:
  • Consider planting in mounds, raised rows or raised beds to elevate plants to drain and dry quicker.
  • Add sufficient compost to heavy, clay soil to allow for better drainage.
  • Put mulch around plants to protect them from splashing rain and soil being washed away from the roots.  It will also provide protection from the sun (which will eventually return) beating down and forming hard clumps.   Mulch will also keep the moisture in the soil for future use by the roots.  
  • Check plants regularly for signs of molds, fungus, mildew or blights.  Remove any diseased leaves or even entire plants to stop the spread to other plants.
  • Keep plants off the ground to allow them to dry quicker and avoid disease.  Stake those plants that need it right away (beans, tomatoes, and even some cucumbers).  
  • Dig drainage paths. Plan a path for excess water to follow.  
Today, the forecast is for a sunny 18 degrees with light winds.  Looks like we're in the clear for at least a couple of days.

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