As spring approaches, gardeners become more active, and yards and landscaping begin to thrive again. However, that change in the weather can also bring very heavy rain in many parts of the country. If you've been frustrated time and again by sudden storms drowning your plants, here are some steps to take when you see a storm coming, when the storm is over, and when you want to do a little preventative work.
For areas of your yard that are lower than the rest, you have to deal with runoff and flooding. If you have uneven heights in the yard, the rain from the higher parts will flow to the lower parts. A fast way to protect everything is to set up barriers that divert water away from the lower parts of the garden. These can be makeshift rock walls, for example (keep unsecured barriers like these on the low side, so they don't fall on you).
If you have more time and want to put some permanent diversion features into place, add drainage trenches that direct the runoff to the street gutter or to an area of your yard that doesn't have landscaping that you're concerned about. You can also start planning to relandscape with short retaining walls once the rain is over. That way, you can design a landscape that allows you to have the plants you want while keeping the lowest parts of the yard free for drainage.
Covering and Shielding
If the storm is on its way right now, or if the rain has just started, you can cover the more fragile plants with plastic bags. Try to keep a supply of plant cloches -- these are reusable covers that you can place over the plants, and they are reminiscent of cloche-style hats -- at the ready so that you can just flip those over the plants quickly.
Walking Very Carefully
When the rain is over or has let up to the point that you can go outside, be careful where you step. Not only will everything be muddy, but the muddy soil will compact easily, potentially damaging plant roots. You also run the risk of sliding a bit and destroying smaller plants with your feet. Try to let the soil dry out a bit before venturing into thick plantings so that you don't inadvertently destroy things yourself.
You can also contact landscaping companies like Green ServPro, LLC. who can identify the best routes for drainage ditches; the companies can also inspect plants to look for additional storm damage. If you want retaining walls, leave that to the landscapers as well.
I have always been someone who absolutely adores being outside, which is probably one of the reasons I decided to buy a home with a large lot. However, as soon as I moved in, I realized that yard work was a lot more challenging than I had anticipated, which is why I called in a team of professional landscapers. They were amazing to work with and got right to it, and within a few days, the yard was looking amazing. I wanted to create a blog all about creating beautiful outdoors spaces so that other people can help to beautify the world.