Home > Great Big Greenhouse Blog > October 2015 > GARDEN TALK with DOUG - A POSITIVE SPIN ON ALL THIS RECENT RAINFALL


Water is a precious natural resource, an essential component to our lives and landscapes.  Without it, nothing on Earth would survive.   Did you know that less than 1% of all the water in the world is available as fresh clean water?  With this recent Nor’easter we may all be thinking that we have this 1% right here in Virginia. 
                One positive spin with all this rainfall is that our rivers, streams, reservoirs, and underground aquifers are all full as we head into the last three months of the year.  Our plants are in the beginning stages of going dormant which means they require less water.  So, all this water should remain with us for quite a few months.
                Another positive thought is that are we can turn off our irrigation system for a few days.  Our grounds are very saturated and there is no need to add to this saturation.  So, save yourself some money on your water bill.
                FALL IS FOR PLANTING  -  a lot of trees and shrubs have been planted in the last 45 days.  All these newly planted shrubs and trees have been watered sufficiently and deeply with all this recent rainfall.  This thorough watering promotes stronger root systems, enabling plants to find below-surface water during drought or hot weather. 
                Now that our ground is saturated, here are some important gardening tips to keep in mind:
  1.  With container gardens, be sure that the saucers beneath the containers are emptied.  Your container gardens need to continue to get rid of any excess water that remains in the soil.
  2. Mosquitoes are still here.  It only takes mosquitoes a couple days to lay eggs and hatch out.  So, inspect your area and eliminate any standing water.
  3. If you are following the S.O.D. lawn care program, then “O” for October is going to be a very important lawn feeding month.  With heavy rainfall most of the lawn fertilizer from “S”, September, has probably been leached out of the soil.
  4. Do you think that your recent seeding of grass seed may have been washed away?  If so, it is not too late to do another application of grass seed.  Our soil temperature is still warm and our leaves are not falling rapidly.
  5. Be careful about walking on soggy ground as your inspect your landscape and gardens looking for any issues from all this rain.  The ground is soft and walking on soggy ground will add to the soil compaction.  Compacted soil is a problem for shrubs and trees as the air pockets in soil is filled with water.  Roots will rot if not allowed to “breath”.  As roots rot then plants will lose their absorbing ability and will decline rather than grow – a sign that you may not see until next year when plants come out of dormancy.
  6. Inspect shrubs, and especially trees, that may be leaning.  Some trees fell during the rain storms because of the soft and saturated soils.  We can’t blame high winds for the fallen trees because we were spared high winds.  The culprit is saturated soil.  You don’t want to be a victim of tree damage in the future.
  7. It is bulb planting season… give this saturated soil a few days to dry a little and planting bulbs should be much easier.
Posted: 10/6/2015 by Doug Hensel | with 0 comment(s)
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