The impact of the wet season on your garden
Dare I say that the wet season is over? It is a relief to know that we can once again walk on our lawns and not feel like we are about to sink into quicksand.
The excessive rain we experienced this year, as with the previous two years, has created some problems and certainly additional work in most gardens.
The constantly waterlogged soil may have resulted in pavers becoming unstable and ‘kicking up’. The most likely cause of this effect is that the pavers were laid on an inadequate foundation or directly onto natural soil. Now that the subsoil is drying out, the pavers can be lifted and reset to make them safe and more stable.
The other effect of constant rain on pavers is the growth of moss and algae causing them to become slippery and unsightly. A good pressure clean will give the pavers a new lease of life. Consider applying a couple of coats of concrete or paver sealer to reduce mould growth in the future.
Plants, of course, are affected by the weather. Constantly cloudy and wet conditions mean less direct sunlight. Many plants will grow faster with more lush, though softer, leaves. When the rain ceased and the sun appeared for full days, you may have noticed many plants with burnt leaves. Prune back the damaged parts of the plants. The new growth after this pruning will be hardier.
Rapid growth also means that many plants have become leggy or straggly. My Grevillea Robyn Gordon’s put on about twice as much growth this summer compared to drier summers. They, like many other plants don’t mind a good cut back to keep them more compact. Do a bit of research before pruning to make sure you don’t interfere with the plant’s flowering by pruning at the wrong time.
Lawns will also have become compacted especially if the were used while wet. Aerate them and apply some lawn fertiliser to bring the back to life.
Weeds have also had a pretty free run for many months. Drier days will send a lot of these weeds to seed. If you are heading out to deal with the weeds, try to collect the flowers and seed heads to dispose of in land fill or a really active, hot compost heap. The less weed seed left in your garden, the fewer weeds you will need to deal with next year.
Finally, nutrients will also have been leeched from the soil by the water. Discoloured leaves such as yellowing can indicate nutrient deficiencies. Do some research to identify what is missing from your soil. The problem may be remedied by simply applying a top dressing of a general purpose fertiliser with trace elements.
The cooler weather makes it more enjoyable to be out in the garden. Nature, with its rain, has given you plenty to do. Time to get out and tackle it!