13 things to do to Prepare your Garden for Heavy Rain

Preparing your garden for heavy rain is essential to prevent waterlogging, erosion, and other potential issues that can arise during intense rainfall. Here are some tips to help you prepare your garden for heavy rain:

  1. Check Drainage: Ensure that your garden has proper drainage systems in place. Clear any clogged drains, gutters, and downspouts to allow rainwater to flow away from your garden and your home's foundation. 
  1. Elevate Potted Plants: If you have potted plants, consider elevating them on pot feet or placing them on a raised surface. This prevents water from pooling around the base of the pots and causing root rot. 
  1. Mulch: Apply a layer of mulch around the base of your plants. Mulch helps retain moisture and prevents soil erosion during heavy rain. Use organic mulch like wood chips or straw.
  1. Improve Soil Structure: Healthy soil with good structure can absorb and drain water effectively. Amend your soil with organic matter like compost to improve its water-holding capacity and drainage.
  1. Create Swales or Channels:  If you're expecting heavy rain, consider creating shallow swales or channels in your garden to direct excess water away from sensitive areas. These can be temporary or permanent solutions.
  1. Build Raised Beds: If your garden is prone to flooding, consider building raised beds. These can help keep your plants above water level during heavy rainfall.
  1. Secure Loose Items: Heavy rain can be accompanied by strong winds. Secure or store any loose items, such as garden tools, decorations, or lightweight furniture, to prevent them from being carried away by the wind or water.
  1. Prune Overhanging Branches: Trim any tree branches that hang over your garden to prevent them from breaking and causing damage during heavy rain and wind.
  1. Inspect Garden Structures: Check the stability of structures like trellises, arbors, and fences. Make sure they are firmly anchored to the ground and can withstand the weight of waterlogged plants and the force of the wind.
  1. Avoid Walking on Wet Soil: Heavy rain can make soil soggy and compact easily. Avoid walking on wet soil to prevent compaction, which can hinder water infiltration and root growth.
  1. Divert Runoff: Consider using barriers like sandbags or temporary berms to divert excess runoff away from sensitive areas. This can help prevent erosion and waterlogging.
  1. Inspect Retaining Walls: If you have retaining walls, inspect them for any signs of weakness or erosion. Reinforce them if necessary to prevent collapse during heavy rain. 
  1. Monitor Plants: After heavy rain, check your plants for signs of damage, disease, or root rot. Trim any damaged or broken branches to promote healthy growth.

Remember that preparation is key to minimising the impact of heavy rain on your garden. By implementing these tips, you can help your garden weather the storm and recover more quickly after the rain has passed.

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