Many gardeners sigh at the sight of another rainy day.
Postponing garden activities because of rain is not necessary. Many garden chores are actually easier on you and your plants when conducted on cloudy or rainy days.
- Weeding your garden when the ground is saturated is much easier and more productive than weeding on dry days. Weeds pull loose more readily and you tend to get more of the root system. This can help keep weeds from reappearing later in the season.
- Plant stress is a big issue in the garden. Planting on cloudy days is better for plants. Dividing perennials like iris, hostas or daylilies on wet days makes the clumps easier to separate and replant. This means less time for the roots to be out of the ground and most likely, the roots will stay moist.
- Herbs are best harvested in the cool of morning or on a cloudy day. Most herbs lose flavor oils as the heat and sun progresses throughout the day.
- This rule also applies to many flowers. For the most fragrant bouquets, pick early in the day or on a cloudy day.
- Don’t forget the dangers of gardening in the summer sun. Although you should still wear sunscreen on cloudy days, you are much less likely to develop sunburn or suffer from dehydration or heat stroke.
- Rainy days are a good time to monitor slugs and other pests that avoid sunny days and summer heat. By doing a quick plant inspection, you may find exactly what insects are eating your plants and then can take appropriate action.
It is true that too much rain can ruin a garden due to erosion and root rot. That is why proper drainage is so important. Adding organic
material such as compost helps with drainage and mulching can help keep erosion down.
So before you say “Rain, rain go away,” remember, moderate rainfall serving up a gentle soaking is the best way to water healthy plants. It
also doesn’t hurt to get some help from Mother Nature to make our garden chores easier!