Rain, Rain, Go Away

This post, “Rain, Rain, Go Away” was written for my WordPress blog called Always Growing by Jan in Covington, Louisiana 

It was rainy and cold again today.  The kind of day when all you want to do is stay indoors curled up in a blanket with a bowl of hot soup. The ground is awfully soggy.  I could only take a quick walk around the garden this afternoon.  There is going to be another freeze here tonight.  Even though it is not supposed to be a hard freeze, I did cover up most everything again.

The temperature today was not that low (42), but with the rain and the wind, it felt like it was much colder.  We have had almost 5 inches of rain in the last two weeks.  I know that come July, I will be wondering where all the rain is.  But, right now, we have had enough.

When the weather is as rainy as it has been lately, you really understand about good drainage for plants.  I garden where the soil has a lot of clay.  As I have started garden beds, I have added garden soil to raise the beds and also add compost.  Each year after that, I add compost, and lately I have started adding a thin layer of soil.  Since south Louisiana tends to get a great deal of rain at once instead of a little all year long, I’ve learned drainage is a must.

The drainage also helps with fungal diseases.  When the occasional deluge does come down, I have lost some plants to “the rot” as I call it.  I now plant things that are more adaptable to this climate.  Louisiana irises and calla lilies, for example, are plants that can take the water.  If it is a plant that doesn’t like sitting in water, like dahlias, I make sure to plant them high in a raised bed.  So far I have been lucky, and have not lost any since I have been doing that.

Powdery mildew can also be a problem here.  After a few bouts with this, I realized I needed to make sure there was good air circulation around the plants.  Also, esp. in the summer, overhead watering is to be avoided.  I found that out the year my hydrangeas had a severe powdery mildew problem.  Since I do not like to use any sprays, the plants looked pretty poor for a while.  To help combat this, I use soaker hoses now.

Tomorrow is not looking too good, but Saturday does hold some promise of better weather.  So to try and put a positive note on this cold, rain day – I can look at gardening books and dream, I have a good excuse for not weeding, and at least there are no mosquitoes.

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