Most of us think that rain is a good thing when it comes to maintaining landscaping and enjoying a beautiful lawn. During this time of year, Spring Showers are usually a welcome sight. The rainfall this spring, however, in the Houston area and the Hill Country has been excessive in many locations. Precipitation records have been surpassed, and the end result can be stress on your landscaping.
What’s the problem with too much rain?
Even though you may not notice it by looking, soil contains spaces between its particles. The spaces hold water and air, both of which are vital to healthy plant roots. When the soil is watered, the spaces fill with liquid and the air is displaced. In ideal water levels, gravity pulls the liquid down and air moves back into the spaces. However, too much rain fills up the spaces with water and there is no oxygen available to nourish the plants. If rain continues, eventually the roots can’t function well and can die. This is what happens when you see wilting plants even though the soil is wet. These conditions can also lead to root rot, which allows fungal organisms to thrive in the soil and badly damage plant roots.
How can you prevent problems?
The best way to avoid waterlogged landscaping is to make sure you have good drainage. A great solution for that is planting shrubs, perennials, bedding plants and ground cover in raised beds. Beds that are 6 to 12 inches higher than the soil around them will drain more quickly and dry out faster than beds planted at ground level. To create a raised bed, the soil should be turned and several inches of organic matter should be added. This will elevate the bed roughly 6 inches, and extra soil brought in can raise it even more. There’s not much you can do about Mother Nature bringing an over-abundance of rain, but planting in raised beds gives your landscape plants an advantage.
Does the season of the year make a difference?
Yes, the time of year makes a difference in the ability of your landscaping to withstand extra moisture. Heavy spring and summer rains can have destructive effects on plants that are in active growth during this time of year. Warmer temperatures also promote the growth of fungal organisms that cause root rot.
What can I do about drainage?
The ideal time to think about the health of your landscaping in the event of too much rain is when the beds are designed and built, and the plants are chosen. It’s more difficult to remedy the problems once the planting is complete. If you don’t install a raised bed in a low area without good drainage, make sure you select plants that thrive in very wet soil. Another option is having a landscape architect inspect your lawn and beds to evaluate how the water flows across your property, and then help design and install drainage as needed. Keep in mind that even with good drainage, it’s important to choose plants that are adapted to heavier rainfall amounts.
C4 Landscaping is knowledgeable and experienced in the best ways to promote a healthy landscape in spite of too much water. We are happy to come out and evaluate your landscaping and drainage situation, and then provide better solutions to maintaining a healthy and beautiful yard.
Contact us today for your free estimate.