Garden Activities In The Rain

greyfurball Posts: 591 ✭✭✭✭

Normally, in my climate zone I don't have to worry about this but earlier this past Spring and now in the last two weeks all it has done is rain...rain and then more RAIN.

It just can't seem to stop!

So when it finally stopped in the Spring, myself along with other members in a garden group I belong to, we tried to put together a list of gardening chores we could do when we do get hit with unfortunate climatic conditions.

Many gardeners we found out don't realize there is some things that absolutely should never be done in your garden during wet soggy weather.

Here's what we came up with...

NEVER Chores:

  1. Digging
  2. Tilling
  3. Scuffling (top of soil for pest resistance/prevention)
  4. Pruning any plant
  5. Trellising any plant
  6. Spraying anything on a plant

Use CAUTION with these Chores:

  1. Transplanting
  2. Pulling Weeds
  3. Turning compost pile
  4. Harvesting

Jobs OK to do During Inclement Weather:

  1. Direct seeding as long as you do not move the soil
  2. Organize or clean garden tools and supplies
  3. Sort your seeds - familiarize yourself with what you have left
  4. Crop planning on paper/internet planner program
  5. Build a wished-for garden project (as long as you do not come into contact with any plant's leaves or stems)

Now considering how many jobs there is to do in any garden does anybody else have any suggestions what are good ideas to do during these three types of weather conditions?


  • shllnzl
    shllnzl Posts: 1,820 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Snails are a new gardening experience for me. I need to remind myself to go outside after/during the next rain to find and hand pick them.

  • greyfurball
    greyfurball Posts: 591 ✭✭✭✭

    @shllnzl yes I could see where that's a problem for you because I assume because of your location you are probably close to a four season gardener, right?

    Just consider them new pets...means more mouths to feed in the family!!!

  • shllnzl
    shllnzl Posts: 1,820 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Very funny!

  • SuperC
    SuperC Posts: 951 ✭✭✭✭

    Create a system to catch the water to redirect it when it’s not raining. Either an automatic timer system, or an on/off manual switch. Put up an ez-up so certain plants do not get overwatered, in case of slow drainage areas. Put a layer of straw onto the ground so after the rain, the ground stays moist, plus providing moisture to many tiny insects, small animals, and arachnids. Sit outside in rain gear and enjoy your garden, plants, and being outdoors. Some ideas...@greyfurball

  • greyfurball
    greyfurball Posts: 591 ✭✭✭✭

    @superc you and I obviously think much alike.

    I already have14 rainbarrels on my property, every one somewhere underneath a downspout so the barrels collect all the rainwater we get.

    Generally I don't have an over-water problem where I live which is why I have all the rainbarrels. We generally get too little rain, not extra. But for anyone who does live in a wet climate your suggestions are very good.

    As for the straw... make sure it is organic. Last thing you want is your crops dying off because of what the farmer put on it. Second hand herbicides and pesticides can be the downfall of an organic garden.

    And who needs the rain gear to enjoy a garden. It's one of the reasons I originally thought of this list because rain or shine, I'm working on the garden anyway!

  • herbantherapy
    herbantherapy Posts: 453 ✭✭✭✭

    @greyfurball this is a fun thread!

    i live in the Pacific Northwest and know ALL about gardening in the rain!

    I don’t mind digging in the rain. It softens up the clay soils and leaves the more enjoyable tasks for more enjoyable days. I plant most of my trees and shrubs in the rain (fall/spring) and do a lot of irrigation repair in the rain. We build fences and set posts in the rain. Actually overcast misty weather is preferred to the hot dry summer weather for these activities.

    I also do not mind pruning in the rain. When I’m hedging there is less dust/pollen when it’s wet. I’m more likely to be fully covered avoiding all the scratches I tend to obtain in a tank top in hot weather too.

    As for preferred rainy day activities planting trees is on the top of my list. Mulching is also a good activity (less dust, but heavier to move). But like the rest of you, I plot out new garden spaces on paper and inventory the seeds and clean the shed and all the tools. Also inventory all the soil amendments and fertilizer and then make more as needed is another great under cover activity.

    But there is something I else I tend to do more of in the rain....go shopping! I wander all the local nurseries like a lost soul and buy even more plants for a sunny day! I also LOVE to attend Home and Garden shows. I get hyper inspired so sometimes it’s not all good if I can’t just go home and start doing something! Lol

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,513 admin

    Put down boards onto the ground by snail favorites & turn them over after a rain. My understanding is that snails will cling to the bottom of the board. Maybe someone has other experience with this & I have something wrong...but under boards & snails...I remember that much is correct. 🤪

  • Melinda
    Melinda Posts: 123 ✭✭✭

    It has been a very rainy last four or five weeks here in GA. Finally was able to till a bit today (dry since Friday), but the clay clogged the tiller. Then it started raining again lol

  • Hassena
    Hassena Posts: 345 ✭✭✭

    So much rain ya'll. I moved the the Southern Appalacian Mountains from Phoenix. Ohhh thoese endless sunny days...

    I love to mulch or pull weeds in the rain. The bigger and more deep rooted the weeds the better. Wet grounds make them easier to pull.

    Mulching is my favorite rainy day tasks. We get free mulch from the state. We have to pick it up, but it's close.

    great thoughts @greyfurball

  • Obiora E
    Obiora E Posts: 517 ✭✭✭✭

    @greyfurball When I am at the farm and get caught in a rain shower, I may do some of the following:

    1. Catch up on my reading (health and wellness, poetry, medicinal plants, herbalism, etc.).
    2. Take time to watch how and where the rain is flowing (look at the contours of your place). I think that too many people spend too much time watering plants when they can let Nature water their gardens for them, if done properly.
    3. Go for a walk (if there is no lightning and thundering) and enjoy the cleansing of the Earth.
    4. Take a nap (to refresh).
  • dianne.misspooz
    dianne.misspooz Posts: 105 ✭✭✭

    Thank you for this valuable information. We don't get a lot of rain here in SoCal but we do have a rainy season in our winter months. I generally don't do a thing in the garden until about April when most of the rains have stopped. I learn so much here!

  • Merin Porter
    Merin Porter Posts: 1,026 admin

    Great list, @greyfurball! We get 300+ sunny days per year here in SW CO, so when it's actually rainy, I tend to just spend the time indoors, enjoying the sound of the rain. :)

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