Dealing with rainy season

Kuri and Kona
Kuri and Kona Posts: 177 ✭✭✭

I live in zone 9b, and every year somewhere between May and June, we get a month of pelting rain, nearly every day. My garden typically has good drainage, but during rainy season, there are times where there is standing water. The local garden center advised me to have many of my plants live in pots, and move them to the ground after rainy season is over. After rainy season, we have a long and hot summer with little rain. Frequent watering is necessary.

Last year, I moved some of the plants that hate `wet feet,` onto the walkway. I put a bucket over the rosemary.

Do you have any advice for dealing with this? Even if you don`t have a rainy season in your climate, maybe you could image how you would deal with excessive rain over many days.

I purposely have most of my plants in pots for this reason, but would like to move more into the ground...it`s just that I am afraid that rainy season would kill/ damage many of them.

Comments

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,640 admin

    When they are in pots, raise the pots up a bit by putting rocks, bricks or wood underneath the pots. That will ensure the pots have drainage out of their bottom holes.

    Once you put them in the ground, can you put row covers over top (tunnel type greenhouses) to keep the rain out of the beds? Then remove the plastic once rainy season is over. When you are preparing the beds, make sure that you have good drainage under your soil. I have a good 18" of soil before you get to the gravel and rock that was in the area before improvements (raised beds and many truck loads of well rotted manure and bought top soil).

  • jowitt.europe
    jowitt.europe Posts: 1,454 admin

    @Kuri and Kona we do not have a long rain period, but sometimes it may rain for a week, or it is cold, or too hot. I have my vegetable garden in high beds and I have matching plastic covers. In spring, when plants are tiny and vulnerable I cover them pretty often. This week I cover them every night and next week we are going to have some snow again, so the plants will be kept covered. Of course, installing high or raised beds is a long term project, but then you have a solution. I have been gardening so for about 15 years.


  • Kuri and Kona
    Kuri and Kona Posts: 177 ✭✭✭

    @torey That is a good idea about putting the plants on a raised service. I, too, am fighting the layer of gravel that was orignally in my garden (and still is in some places). I guess I need to dig it all out and through it away, and then I will more space to plant in the ground.

    @jowitt.europe This is a neat idea! Like you said, it is a bit of an undertaking to get it started, but then you have good protection for your plants in bad weather.

  • VermontCathy
    VermontCathy Posts: 1,980 ✭✭✭✭✭

    That's good advice.

    In wet climates or wet periods, use raised beds or pots that drain easily. Terra cotta or clay is better than plastic.

    In dry climates or seasons, go the other way, and dig sunken beds where the soil level is actually a few inches below the normal ground level. Any rain you get will drain into the sunken bed rather than out, and there will be less evaporation and more concentration of what moisture you do have in the submerged bed.

    Dealing with both wet and dry seasons, start the plants in raised clay pots in wet season, then transplant them into sunken beds to grow through the dry season.

  • judsoncarroll4
    judsoncarroll4 Posts: 5,461 admin

    Swales and berms work for either wet or dry conditions. The water drains off of the berms and sinks into the swales. It totally depends on your property though. I grew up in the coastal swamps of the Carolinas, and we had to have deeper ditches to drain land. That could be an asset if properly managed... like raising bullfrogs in the ditches to harvest for frog legs... but we just had tons of mosquitoes!

  • Kuri and Kona
    Kuri and Kona Posts: 177 ✭✭✭

    @judsoncarroll4 Wow, so many things to think about! I feel like this is beyond me right now, but it is good information for future reference. Come next growing season, I really need to think about how I want to plan my garden. I can be growing something here year round, though, so maybe there is not really 'a new growing season.` I feel like swales and berms are definitley something that I want to check into more for the future.

    @VermontCathy Hi, I am in zone 9b, and am trying to grow as many perenniels as possible. I liked your idea of growing things in terra cotta pots. I could start them in pots, and put them into the ground after rainy season is over. But I am just wondering what I would do the next year, when rainy season came again? Any ideas?