Rain is fun for kids and can be fun and exciting for you, too, if you have some garden ideas. Whether before or after the rain, there are plenty of things you can do in your garden. But, who would want to garden when it’s raining? This question is perfectly reasonable, although surprisingly, gardening in the rain brings many benefits.
You can do a lot of things while it’s raining, such as planting, feeding your potted plant with fresh rainwater, collecting rainwater, and tidying up your garage, garden, and greenhouse. You can also clean your gardening tools and empty pots.
When the rain is over, you can weed, install stakes, and edge. Always wear a raincoat, waterproof hat, boots, and waterproof sleeves when you are gardening, whether it’s raining or the rain has stopped.
In this article, we will discuss what you can do while it’s raining and after the rain. We’ll also talk about what you can make while coping up with the rain, and the right clothing to wear when doing the work. Finally, we will be giving some lawn care tips for a rain-soaked yard.
Lawn Care Tips for a Rain-Soaked Yard
While rain is typically a good thing for your yard, too much rain can be a problem. Here are the things that you should and should not do to take care of your yard after a heavy rain.
1. Avoid Mowing Wet Grass
Heavy rain isn’t always a friend, especially if you are to mow your lawn after it. Mowing wet grass can harm your lawn. So, let your grass grow a little higher before cutting it. When your lawn is soaked, mowing it can cause compaction, ruts, and stress on the grass.
2. Keep Off of Your Rain-soaked Yard
We recommend waiting two days before using your yard for a usual activity after a hard rain as an increase in foot traffic can cause compaction. Walking and using a soggy lawn can kill the grass by pulling out unstable roots.
3. Clean Up After a Heavy Rain Shower
After a hard rain, always clean up any debris that has been washed out. This is one of the essential lawn care tips that a lot of homeowners fail to apply. Check the low spots in the yard for materials such as old grass clippings and leaves. Remove them immediately to avoid causing dead spots in your lawn. Dead spots require additional lawn care steps to correct.
The aforementioned tips are intended for a weekly lawn care routine under rainy and wet conditions throughout the season. The next tips are for the longer term.
4. Improve Drainage
If there are any areas in your garden or yard from which water doesn’t drift away and pools, consider improving the drainage. Below are ways to do so.
Positive Surface Drainage
Have maintained positive surface drainage in your yard. Make sure it is away from your home’s foundation. Gravel, soil, mulch, and plantings should be sloped away from the foundation. Make sure that it doesn’t cover the siding or brick of your home.
Also known as weeping tile, a French drain is a trench filled with perforated pipe and gravel or rock. It allows the lawn to drain naturally as it collects surface water and channels it away from depressions in the yard or from the home’s foundation through an underground drain. This drain is an excellent way to scatter water in a large area.
Extend Gutter Downspouts
A gutter is an outdoor device that helps move water away from the house. However, it can contribute to massive water collection in your yard. If the downspouts are empty in areas that run uphill or tend to collect water, it might be a perfect time to redirect your gutters. Keep those free from any debris and extend the downspouts.
A dry well gives runoff water a place to collect until it gradually evaporates into the soil instead of letting it flow across the lawn surface and pooling low areas. This type of drainage is useful in some lawns since it can collect a large amount of water and contain it so that the soil doesn’t become highly saturated.
Correct ‘Back-Pitching’ Surfaces
Inspect and correct all ‘back-pitching’ hard surfaces, such as stoops, patios, walks, and driveways. Hard surfaces can raise the surface with mud-jack or concrete raising company. Remove and reinstall them to achieve a positive slope away from the house with a brick or stone surface.
Before beginning any drainage yard project, make sure to check the building code requirements. Some municipalities have building codes that restrict how and where you can discharge storm runoff.
5. Aerate Your Lawn Regularly
To keep your lawn healthy before and after damp conditions, aerate it regularly. It will also help improve drainage and allow the grass to breathe effectively during wet weather.
6. Hire a Professional
If it is too much for you to manage and handle, a lawn service professional can help you maintain your lawn season after season. They will also help make your lawn beautiful and healthy all year long.
Having a good drainage for your yard prevents your lawn from being a soggy and muddy mess. If you live somewhere with a dry climate and frequent water shortages, a good drainage in your yard will allow you to use your water smartly and more efficiently. If you want to learn more about this topic, read our complete yard drainage guide.
Gardening Ideas You Can Do During the Rain
Your garden lawn isn’t always appreciative of heavy rain. If you just have planted a seed, it may be vulnerable. But, you can cover it with plastic cloche or sheeting as the bad weather comes. If you have delicate plants in pots, you can take them indoors while it is raining cats and dogs.
Many people find gardening enjoyable and therapeutic. Thankfully, there are ways to scratch that itch when it is raining hard outside and you still want to take care of your beloved garden. Here are seven gardening ideas you can do while it’s raining.
1. Turn off the irrigation
Remember to turn off the irrigation system when it rains. This will help conserve water and stock for the drought season. Of course, it depends on the amount of rain that your plants have received. However, a good rule of thumb is to wait until the first inch of the soil is dry to turn on the irrigation.
Many homeowners have concerns about whether they can plant in the rain, and it’s totally fine as long as there’s no standing water. To do so, use a pot when planting new seedlings and place it in a garden that has good drainage.
For new seedlings, rain is a great benefit for you don’t have to worry about watering them.
A rain shower is also a great opportunity to feed your plants with fertilizers. Just sprinkle some at the base of each plant. The rain will help the fertilizer run straight into the roots for maximum uptake. Take your indoor plants out and allow them to enjoy the fresh rainwater.
The rainy season is the perfect time for picking salad plants, like watercress, lettuce, and herbs like mint. Some fruits plants and vegetables enjoy wet weather, making more crops to produce and harvest.
5. Collect Rainwater
Collecting rainwater helps conserve tap water. Use large containers, bottles, or pots to save it for drought days. Make sure the containers have a cover to avoid insects, such as mosquitoes, from laying their eggs in the water. Also, rainwater contains more nitrogen than tap water, which is essential for plants.
6. Tidy Up and Cleaning Garden Tools
A rainy day is the best time to clean your installations, whether it’s your garage, garden shade, or greenhouse. You can also clean your gardening tools, such as garden shovels, hoes, and rakes.
Cleaning empty pots and containers on a rainy day is smart as well. Also, check the expiration dates of your soil and fertilizers, especially those that contain mycorrhizae.
7. Inspect your Garden
Inspect your garden when it rains so you’ll know what’s going on there. Are there puddles of water forming in unwanted places? Is the heavy downpour causing erosion? Are there plants in the area that don’t receive rainwater? These simple inspections will be a big help as you plan your garden in the future years.
Gardening Ideas You Can Do After the Rain
After heavy rain, you shouldn’t forget about working in your garden or yard. There are many things you can do after heavy rain. Here are a few ideas and recommendations for you.
The perfect time to get your weeding done is after a good downpour. This means that after heavy rainfall, the soil is damp and loosens up the roots of the weeds, making the weeds easier to pull out, especially if you are dealing with weeds that are difficult to remove, like taproots and dandelions.
Taproots are thick, so it is better to pull them out when the soil is wet. Once you’ve pulled them out, the offshoot roots will also slide from the earth. However, if they break off, they will regrow into new weeds. This could be done to the original root stems of weeds like buttercup and wood sorrel.
Garden edging can be a hard task to do, especially if the edges of your lawn are crisp and hard. After a rainy day is the best time to install the garden edging. Usually, it can be made from metal and plastic strips.
The soft and damp soil is your friend, and it is much easier to shape your turf with spade and trowel. Then, the edging pins will sink easily and freely into the ground. Installing stakes for tomatoes and beans is also much easier to do after the rain since the soil is wet.
Water is essential to maintain a healthy garden. But, it can also create problems in its wake. After a heavy downpour, look around your yard for anything that has been washed out of places, like fertilizer or soil. Make sure you turn the compost pile too to prevent it from being waterlogged and to help with the air circulation.
Inspect the plants by checking for signs of slugs and snails as these little slimy creatures hide in places that are humid after the rain. Slugs and snails love to munch lettuce, so keep an eye if you have lettuce in your garden.
Also, take a look at your potted plants after the rain to check if there is standing water in them as waterlogged soil can damage the roots of your plants.
What to Wear for Gardening When It Rains
Gardening can be dirty, especially when it is pouring outside. But don’t let the rain stop you from planting or gardening. Instead, put on the right clothing. The right clothes make it easy for you to clean up after the murky activity and will keep you warm and dry.
Here are three things you should wear for gardening when it is raining:
A raincoat is a must when you plan on gardening while it’s pouring rain. It is best to pair your raincoat with waterproof trousers as normal clothing is quickly soaked up and can weigh you down.
You’ll want something to cover your head when going outside. A waterproof hat is better than a hood for gardening. For one, it allows more neck movement and protects you better from the rain.
The soil after the rain can be sticky and dirty. Walking boots are the best option for your feet when gardening on a rainy day as they are more practical than wellies. They’re also lighter and don’t restrict your ankles, making it easy to trample undergrowth and flowerbeds. Always check whether your boots need spraying with a waterproof agent first.
If you want your lawn to be green and beautiful, you need to maintain it properly. Aside from regular watering and mowing, there are other steps that you can do to keep your lawn healthy, such as overseeding. If this is your first time hearing about this process, read our article to know what overseeding is and why you should do it.
Useful Kit to Cope with the Rain
Rain is a garden essential that offers your plants many benefits. If you’re a pluviophile, the one that enjoys the rain and finds calmness in it, we have ideas to inspire you on the next rainy season.
Although a greenhouse is an expensive investment, it can provide permanent shelter to your precious plants during a heavy downpour. With such, you’ll be able to get on with repotting and re-planting every time the weather is mad. Greenhouses can be a convenient area to have for unexpected rainfall. They can shield delicate plants instantly without worrying about the mess indoors.
A Garden track is one of the best ways to deal with muddy ground. It is roll-out plastic that provides a solid surface to ensure you don’t slip on the wet and murky lawn. A garden track is also useful in stopping wheelbarrows from sinking into the wet earth.
Install an awning or shade sail to cover the gardening materials and furniture or when you have visitors to entertain outside. A garden shade is perfect if you have a celebration outdoors and if the rain comes uninvited. With this equipment, no more events ruined by the rain! You can now relax in your garden without the rain threatening to spoil your day.
As a homeowner who loves gardening, it is challenging to take care of your rain-soaked yard. While rain is great for your lawn and grass during the spring, it also prevents you from keeping a regular lawn care routine. Since you can’t work on your lawn while it is soaked in rain water, you should focus your attention on your garden. As we have discussed in this article, there are plenty of things for you to do in your garden even when the rain is pouring.
Once the rain has let up, it’s time to get to work on your yard and garden. Aside from tidying up and addressing problems caused by the heavy rains, there are certain activities that are much easier to do when the ground is wet, such as weeding and edging. This is also the perfect time to observe your garden and yard for areas that might need some improvements.
Aside from your lawn and garden, you also need to look out for yourself when it is raining, especially if you decide to work outside in these conditions. Make sure you are wearing proper clothing when gardening after the rain or while it’s raining to prevent yourself from getting sick.