Garden Flooding, What To Do?
Here in the UK, we often find ourselves subject to heavy downpours and unpredictable weather. This means that our gardens need to be prepared for whatever it is that mother nature throws its way! So what can we do to prepare our gardens for that downpour and how can we save our garden post-flood? Here we have some great suggestions you might want to consider applying to your garden this spring.
How can I save my garden pre-flood?
Preparing your garden in advance of flooding can help you to save more of your garden, than having a reactive approach post-flood. So what can you do to prepare?
Aeration has a number of benefits in your garden, from allowing the soil to breathe in your borders, to make your lawn open to feeding. But a great benefit during the rainy season is that it allows your garden to drain. You can even use a standard garden fork to puncture holes in your lawn and soil.
Avoid solid blocks
If your garden is prone to flooding, we recommend that you avoid large areas of paving (unless you are including significant drainage) as this will mean that your garden has less area to drain the excess water. Any water that falls onto your patio will drain into your sofer areas and can add to the problem.
Introducing raised flower beds to your garden can make a difference when it comes to flooding. Firstly, filling a substantial amount of the raised bed with gravels allows for fantastic drainage for the rain that falls directly into the bed (remember you may require extra water in summer due to this). You will also find that the general surface water that usually drains into your borders will have to find elsewhere to go, saving your flowers.
While a number of us opt to remove the trees from our garden, they can also be great for some gardens. In the rainy season, tree roots will soak up significant amounts of water from the ground, helping your garden to drain quicker. The leaves can also work as a canopy to protect the ground underneath. However, other times of year this might mean that plants in the shade of the tree will require more water. Trees are also great in the summer if you want a shaded spot in your garden to get out of the beating sun.
How can I save my garden after a flood?
After your garden has been the victim of a flood, it can sometimes take a long time to return to its former glory. If you find that your lawn is underwater, it may already be too late to make enough aeration to allow it to drain effectively, the standard advice is to remain off the lawn until it drains substantially so as not to damage the grass underneath. Similarly, we advise you against working wet soil as it will compact together further under the pressure of the moisture, which can cause more drainage issues later.
We recommend that you avoid pruning over-saturated plants until they have significantly dried out. This will allow the plant to reform new buds before the trauma of pruning. However, we do suggest that you remove anything that drops off before it rots around the base of your plant.
Don’t replant straight away, flooded soil will have an imbalance of microbes, meaning that plants may not be receiving sufficient nutrients. Many seeds will also rot in boggy soils. Give the soil the chance to rebuild those nutrients, and even feed your garden to help encourage the nutrients.
Collect your water
During the summer, our gardens can go for long periods of time where they do not receive any rain. This rain helps to carry vital nutrients that help our plants need to stay healthy. So during the rainy season, why not collect some of your rainwater in a water butt through the wet periods to use throughout the drier months.
If you require any assistance with your garden, please get in touch with a member of the Abingdon’s team today who will be happy to help you. Check out our collection of blogs for other useful information for your garden.