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Dealing With Too Much Rain

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Dealing With Too Much Rain

With all the rain that we had in the last part of April, a lot of the questions that we’ve had at the Plant Doctor Desk lately have been related to plant problems caused by extended wet weather.

In addition to the some of the problems in the linked FAQ message, plants in soggy wet soils often exhibit some of the same symptoms as those in drought conditions. Such was the case with a number of vegetable plants in my garden that were “wilting” on the first sunny day after all the rain and cloudy weather.

Other questions were related to selecting plants that will do well in wet locations. You can use the searchable database in our Plant Finder to find options for plants in wet and sunny areas, wet and shady areas and even a list of plants that are tolerant of short flooding. Select the sun requirement you want, for example "Full sun to part shade", check "Wet soil" in the "Plant that tolerate" column and then click on "Search". You can also add other criteria if you wish. Today the search found 241 plants that meet these requirements.

Additionally, all of this rain and water has many people thinking about a rain garden like the one pictured here on the north side of the Kemper Center for Home Gardening building here at the Missouri Botanical Garden.  It was constructed several years ago and is a thing of beauty in addition to its functionality.

What is a rain garden and what can it do? Rain gardens remind me of terraces in a farm field. Their purpose and function are similar. A rain garden will slow water runoff, help prevent erosion, allow a good percentage of the water to infiltrate into the soil and help replenish the ground water supply. In the process, it can help reduce flooding and the amount of water entering our storm water systems. In addition, a rain garden has the ability to ‘filter’ the water as it travels thru the soil.

You can find out more information about Rain Gardens in this Kemper Center Factsheet.  Here you can follow the construction process for the rain garden here at Kemper, find a list of plants in the garden and some other suggested plants for a rain garden.

When it comes to gardening, getting just the right amount of water is always a challenge.
Posted in: Spring | Tags: rain , rain garden , wet soil , plant selection | Comments (0) | View Count: (3392)
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