If your garden gnome needed a canoe in January, it was probably a result of Salem’s 26 days of rain with an average rainfall of 7.57”. Add a little wind to the mix, and it can move your precious topsoil around, damaging plants.

Even the most thirsty lawn or garden isn’t ready for that kind of rain. Heavy rain can damage plants by literally drowning them and can later encourage leaves to develop mold or mildew.  Here are some tips on how to take care of your green spaces from a wet February.

If you’ve been carefully managing and seeding your lawn, those sudden rains can sweep away developing seeds or make them vulnerable to pesky critters looking for a snack. Help mitigate that by covering seeds with moss or mulch. Cover your garden plant with domes or something that allows for light and put a tarp over low-growing plants. Consider building a barrier around your garden to shield those delicate new growths.

As the ground becomes harder and with some of Salem’s tough clay soil, it is difficult for water to be absorbed in the ground. You can rent a self-propelled lawn aerator (although it might take some practice and strength to operate), find a rolling lawn aerator, or use the standard manual lawn coring aerator. Those tools remove small plugs of soil and should be done every other year. 

When considering drainage, you will need to focus on the areas where water is pooling. This also happens in low-grade areas, like next to your house, so you may want to build those up with additional soil or install a drain. Trenches or barriers might help direct the overflow to a new location.

Surprise, surprise, your gutters also play a role in yard drainage. If you have clogged gutters that runoff into your yard, your carefully managed topsoil can erode. If you’re a homeowner, you will want to pay special attention to gutters as they can add to potential flooding problems in your basement or lower levels of your home.

You put a lot of effort into your yard and garden.  Be prepared for our valley’s unpredictable weather into the winter, so you’ll enjoy beautiful outdoor spaces in the spring.

Check with the professionals at Green Acres Landscape for additional ways to protect your yard and garden from heavy rain and wind.

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