What to do between rain storms

What to do between rain storms

Final week, throughout a respite from the downpour, I made a decision to plant a potted shrub that wanted to enter the bottom. I had delay that activity as a result of who likes to dig in rock-hard soil? I made a decision now was my probability. I picked out a spot that had sufficient solar and the place I had executed a mediocre job of sheet composting a 12 months in the past.

I say “mediocre” as a result of I had ignored the layer of compost, having run out of this important materials. I simply put down some cardboard after which put mulch on prime of it.

Once I sank my spade into the earth, one 12 months later, it was nearly like sliding a sizzling knife into butter. The cardboard was a lacework of perforations as a result of the worms had eaten most of it after which obligingly deposited their castings and aerated the bottom.

I had let the spot alone for a 12 months, and nature had executed the remainder. Lastly, a optimistic end result based mostly on indolence! A previously daunting activity solely took 5 minutes.

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When the arduous rains finish — and I had given up on ever writing these phrases — have a look round your yard and take inventory. Are there broken limbs in your timber that want to come back down? It’s best to maintain these. Has topsoil been washed away, exposing tree roots? It’s best to cowl them with extra grime and put mulch over that.

If water is pooling round shrubs or timber, you may dig little ditches to empty it away. You don’t need standing water to trigger root rot and, presumably, a downed tree. Drought has burdened your shrubs and timber, and also you need to preserve them alive. They’re costly to interchange.

Don’t overlook to show off your irrigation system. You gained’t be needing it for some time.

Now is an effective time to repot vegetation. After a 12 months or so, the grime in your flowerpots will get packed. Take away the vegetation from their containers. Perhaps you need to plant them in your yard, possibly not. If not, take into account a bigger pot. If repotting, trim the roots with scissors if they’re tangled. Loosen the soil across the roots to allow them to unfold. Use loads of compost and put mulch on prime of the soil so that you don’t should water as typically.

Do you could have tall perennials? The rains could cause them to droop and even collapse. Now is an effective time to trim them. You can even use plant helps.

I used to be admiring my lilac tree just a few years in the past. It regarded so lovely within the rain, after which, plop. It fell over. The blooms had been stuffed with water, making the tree prime heavy. I grabbed an previous nylon stocking (I preserve a pile to make use of for backyard ties), fixed the lilac to the deck railing and it recovered.

Naked-root timber are dormant now, so now could be the right time to plant them. If you have already got fruit timber, prune them in January. It’s best to prune your roses now, too.

Wet climate is useful if you wish to plant a winter backyard of lettuce, kale and fava beans.

Which jogs my memory: look out for slugs. I put a copper strip round my brugmansia, their favourite plant in my yard. I ought to simply calm down and let that be the snail recreation space, as they don’t seem to be interested in the rest in my panorama.

Damp climate is ideal for weeding. Weeds will come up simply, roots and all. Immediately, a tedious chore is gratifying.

Now can be a great time for sheet composting. Put down a layer of corrugated cardboard, edges overlapping, then six inches of compost, then a thick layer of mulch. The layers will decompose, enhancing your soil and smothering weeds.

Examine the place water swimming pools in your yard and plan a rain backyard. A rain backyard is a spot to channel water so it could seep into the panorama as an alternative of flooding your basement, weakening the muse of your home or damaging timber. You may construct one your self or name within the professionals, however first it is best to observe the place the water stands in your yard simply after a storm, and see how lengthy it takes for the soil to soak up it.

A rain backyard shouldn’t be a water-storage system, however a water-management system. It has three parts: a pool to gather water, a ditch/swale system to guide the water to the pool, and a berm, or raised edge. The concept is to direct the water that’s pouring off your roof or pooling inconveniently in your yard to a shallow melancholy the place it can sink into the bottom.

Whereas not a weekend challenge, a small water backyard could possibly be constructed in just a few weekends. When it’s completed, it can appear like a gentle melancholy within the floor that’s stuffed with vegetation — very engaging, particularly in a naturalistic backyard. In truth, rain gardens will be so fairly it’s arduous to consider they’re practical. You could find a variety of data on-line about developing water/rain gardens.

From the mundane to the bold, gardening duties abound after wet climate. Simply bundle up and get began. Your backyard will thanks.

Workshop: Be part of UC Grasp Gardeners of Napa County for a workshop on “Winter Rose Care & Pruning” on Saturday, Jan. 14, from 10 a.m. to midday by way of Zoom. Discover ways to put together your roses for the upcoming rising season and the way to decide on the suitable rose for the suitable place in your backyard. Attendees will probably be invited to hitch a hands-on pruning workshop at Napa’s Fuller Park rose backyard on Thursday, Jan. 19, from 10 a.m. to midday to observe pruning one-on-one with a Grasp Gardener. Register at https://ucanr.edu/2023WinterRoseCare

Workshop: Be part of UC Grasp Gardeners of Napa County for a workshop on “Backyard—Backyard Ergonomics: Utilizing the Proper Device the Proper Approach,” on Saturday, Jan. 28, from 10 am to midday, at Las Flores Neighborhood Heart, 4300 Linda Vista Avenue, Napa. Study correct physique mechanics and the best way to keep away from widespread gardening habits or actions which might be danger factories for damage.

Assist Desk: The Grasp Gardener Assist Desk is offered to reply your backyard questions on Mondays and Fridays from 10 a.m. till 1 p.m. Ship your inquiries to mastergardeners@countyofnapa.org. Embrace your identify, tackle, cellphone quantity and a quick description of the issue. For finest outcomes, connect a photograph of the plant. You might also go away a voicemail message with the identical data at 707-253-4143.

The venerable oak on the St. Helena vineyard toppled round 4 a.m. Monday as a storm introduced excessive winds and heavy rain by means of the Napa Valley.

Cindy Watter is a UC Grasp Gardener of Napa County.

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