Raindrops keep falling on my head... actually I have an umbrella but the garden has no such protection
8th July 2012
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We have to accept that climate patterns have changed, notably to the extent that there often appears to be no pattern. Brief unseasonal heat waves, prolonged periods of torrential rain and heavy winter snowfalls can spell disaster for the garden. With this in mind, thebestof Croydon has a few hints and tips to protect your plants, lawn and soil.


One of the most beneficial things you can do to lessen the damage is to work towards improving the overall drainage in your garden. Aerating the soil, adding sharp sand and compost can significantly improve drainage. Heavily compacted ground can lead to pooling of rainwater. Often a good dig over can rectify the problem but in more extreme cases it may be worth considering digging a small trench which can be manually emptied when necessary, or drainage channels to divert excess water away from vulnerable areas.


Plants that have been underwater for more than a few days may quite literally drown. Water fills all the air spaces between the soil particles and prevents oxygen reaching the roots. This can cause the soil to stagnate and the roots to rot. Plants may appear to have survived the onslaught only to die the following season due to root damage. Take cuttings where possible and transfer into pots or onto higher, better drained ground.


Shrubs and fruit trees are particularly vulnerable in waterlogged soil. Shrubs aren't able to put on new roots as quickly as perennials and cannot cope for long periods of time underneath water. Again, planting trees and shrubs on raised ground will help to improve drainage. Digging in green manure will help dry out the soil and restore lost nutrients.


You should be able to rescue most plants grown in pots or hanging baskets. Tip any surface water out, and try and raise the pot up on bricks or ceramic legs to leave drainage space underneath. It may be worth adding additional drainage holes in the base of the pot (or hanging basket), and site them in areas of the garden that are most sheltered from the rain. If you have space in a garage or shed you could consider giving them some respite from the rains by bringing them inside occasionally, bearing in mind they will need to see daylight again after a relatively short period of time.


You can minimise any future problems by working with gravity. Most gardens have a slope to them and as mentioned it may be possible to cut drainage channels into them. You might have to reconsider your current garden design and plant higher up slopes, or on earth mounds. A visit to a garden centre will reveal a surprisingly large and varied selection of plants which will actually thrive in wetter conditions.  You could even go the whole hog and dig out a pond in the soggiest part of your garden if the problem persistently occurs in one specific area.


Whenever you are working on a waterlogged garden always try to stand on planking to distribute your weight evenly and avoid compacting the area further. 


You may need some help with your garden's recovery or re-arrangement. If so Pinewood Landscape and Garden Maintenance offers gardening services in Croydon and the surrounding areas. From year round maintenance to installing a water feature (that is actually meant to be there!) the team are always happy to assist.


Or call K&O Services, who offer a total garden maintenance service as well as a comprehensive cleaning service for both domestic and commercial premises (should the floodwaters have managed to penetrate your premises) and can also offer pest control services if you find you have unwanted visitors seeking refuge from the wet weather.

About the Author

Maud T

Member since: 10th July 2012

Hi - me and my gang champion and promote the best businesses in the Croydon and Bromley Boroughs. If you are a local business owner, then we'd love to help you grow your profile, profits and get more business.

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