By Charlene Thornhill
We have had thunderstorms with torrential downpours, and high winds and now hot temperatures.
It seems we either get drought with hot and humid temperatures or we get rain, rain, and more rain!
All of this rain can cause problems in your flower and vegetable gardens. Garden hygiene is very important in keeping disease from starting in the garden. We need to remove all dead leaves and branches to keep the molds and fungus from infecting our gardens. If you have such diseases in your garden, do not put them in a compost pile but throw them out with the trash.
Check for any exposed roots due to soil erosion. If you find exposed roots, cover them with soil or compost as soon as possible. Do not let the roots dry out as this could be catastrophic to the plant.
Try to avoid walking right next to the plants while the soil is saturated. During this time plants and root systems, are very vulnerable to damage from stepping on them. Walking near plants can also cause soil impaction, which can limit root growth. This is where a raised garden would have been ideal!
Some of our perennials have really taking a beating with the strong winds. Stake or support your plants as long wet periods usually increase the growth of the plants and they can get weakened by too much water. The lack of sun makes a lot of new growth even turgid so check to see if any of your garden plants need a bit of support.
Having heavy water runoff can carry nutrients from the soil. Make sure to replenish nutrient with fertilizer. We use a liquid fertilizer, bone meal, and fish emulsion.
Slugs and snails love damp places that have hiding areas. Remove any boards, stones, or other items that are lying around in or around the garden. Overturn any buckets, wheelbarrows or pot saucers that contain rainwater. These are breeding grounds for mosquitoes. If you have a rain barrel, dump the rainwater in there.
With all of this rain, hope we have good weather this weekend for the Downtown Greenville Sidewalk Sales, Annie Oakley Festivities, and The Gathering at the Garst.
Hopefully you can make it to one, if not all, of these events. See you there!
Charlene Thornhill is a volunteer citizen columnist, who serves The Daily Advocate readers weekly with her community column Along the Garden Path. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.