If your garden is flooded, what can you do to minimize the damage?
The nation’s gardening habits must adapt to tackle the changing weather conditions brought on by climate change, according to a national horticulture charity.
It’s a timely reminder of Garden Organic (gardenorganic.org.uk), the charity that helps gardeners grow in a more sustainable way, given the Cop26 summit in Glasgow.
Six of the 10 wettest years in the UK since the record started have occurred since 1998, according to the Met Office, causing drains to overflow and rivers to overflow, while flooding has become an annual event, according to the ‘Charity association.
Extreme downpours of rain can remove nutrients from the soil, while water saturation expels vital oxygen that soil life and plants need to survive. This can lead to drowning of rotten plant roots and bulbs, causing lasting damage.
Experts at Garden Organic are now advising on how we can all make our gardens more resilient in the face of flooding and increasing heavy rains happening across the country.
Through the motto of ‘slow down, spread and sink’, Kim Stoddart, editor of Garden Organic magazine The Organic Way and co-author of The Climate Change Garden (climatechangegarden.uk) hopes to help people prepare for the moment. where the rain comes.
She advises: “Slowing down the flow of water, spreading it out in the garden and making sure that there are ways for the water to flow into the soil, so that it can be absorbed, is vital to protect our gardens in the event of heavy rains and flooding. “
Here are Stoddart’s top tips for preparing your garden for heavy rains:
1. Avoid large areas of bare soil at all times of the year. In winter, cover with a nutrient-poor organic waste such as a mixture of fall leaves and cut grass to protect the soil. In spring and summer, use homemade compost to add nutrients and give the soil a good permeable structure.
2. Make sure all paths are made of a permeable material like stone, gravel or brick: This will allow water to be absorbed rather than resting on impermeable materials like concrete.
3. If you have space, plant hedges or trees as they will absorb the excess water.
4. Fork the soil around existing shrubs and trees as this will help stimulate drainage, allowing water to penetrate deeper into the soil.
5. To avoid extreme flooding, use sandbags or dig sumps filled with bricks and stones to help keep water away from vulnerable areas, such as a greenhouse or polytunnel.
How to deal with engorgement
Garden Organic Chief Gardener Emma O’Neill said: “Once the floods or torrential rains have subsided and the water has drained, the soil and lawn will still be waterlogged. for a long time, which means that they are easily damaged and can become compact, trapping vital air.
“That means you don’t have to walk on ground or grass, but use planks or planks to distribute your weight if you need access.
“Cutting off dead branches and pruning damaged plants back into shape will help stimulate growth, and once there are new shoots, feeding the plants organic food will help to heal them.
“Take cuttings from all perennials, as they may have succumbed to root damage while they were waterlogged. This will preserve the variety that you can replant in your garden.
“After a few weeks, you should also cover your soil with new compost or leaf mold to begin the task of replenishing the nutrients in your soil.”
What about soggy housing estates?
“Unfortunately, no locally grown vegetables can be eaten after a flood due to the risk of contamination from garbage, manure and sewage, so if you know flooding is on the horizon, consider harvesting all of it. as you can, ”advises O’Neill.
Gardening enthusiasts who wish to receive regular updates on how to avoid damage in extreme conditions can become a member of Garden Organic to receive a regular magazine with tips and advice. For more details, visit gardenorganic.org.uk.
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