It’s been a wet year on the homestead. Between seemingly endless rain, and humidity that often sees 90-percent, I can’t remember the last time I actually had to go out and water the garden. While it’s hard to complain about rain when we often see so little of it, there can always be too much of a good thing. So what can too much rain and moisture do to a garden? Read on to find out.
The most visible issue caused by excess water is disease. Streaking, spotting and other discolorations are the first signs, generally showing up as brown patches on the leaves caused by moisture-loving fungus. The good news is, trees, shrubs and other annuals often grown through leaf diseases, so even if all the leaves on a tree drop early, don’t start worrying yet. It may come back next year.
If your leaves are yellowing instead of browning, that could be a sign of a nutritional deficiency, instead of a disease. In layman’s terms, this happens because the water suffocates the microorganisms in the soil that allow the plant to thrive. Adding nitrogen-rich fertilizer to the soil can help with this immensely.
This is by far the most serious of the issues caused by an excess of water. When soil becomes over-saturated with water, roots can begin to disintegrate, causing the plant to die in a mere matter of days. Lavender and carnations are two common plants that are particularly susceptible to this. While the plant dies almost immediately, it can sometimes take weeks or months for the plant to actually appear dead above the surface. Unfortunately, there is little that can be done once the plant is in the ground. For plants that don’t like wet conditions, therefore, its best to plant them in places with good drainage. If you have nowhere that fits that description, either work some compost into the soil when planting to improve drainage, or create some raised beds, as these will naturally drain far better.
A humble homesteader based in an undisclosed location, Lars Drecker splits his time between tending his little slice of self-sustaining heaven, and bothering his neighbors to do his work for him. This is mainly the fault of a debilitating predilection for fishing, hunting, camping and all other things outdoors. When not engaged in any of the above activities, you can normally find him broken down on the side of the road, in some piece of junk he just “fixed-up.”