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The branch of a tree during a rainstorm
Gardens love rain. Plants flourish under this natural and uniform watering system and wither in its absence. However, there can be too much of a good thing. Higher than average rainfall can cause all kinds of problems in gardens. We’re sharing tips on how to care for your garden in wet weather.

Safety tip: Always wear the appropriate safety equipment (safety glasses and a mask, for example) and always follow the instructions for the product or equipment.

Keep a weather eye out for diseases

Excessive rain and humidity can cause common plant diseases. Here's what to look out for:

  • Black spot: large, irregular black spots in leaves that eventually cause leaves to turn yellow and drop.
  • Rust: brown pustules on the underside of leaves that, if left untreated, cause the leaves to drop off.
  • Powdery mildew: a white or light grey coating on foliage and stems which distorts young growth and causes older plants to turn pale or yellow.

A large leaf with a white or light grey coating on foliage

Trimming broken stems before disease has a chance to set in is one preventative step you can take. Another is to clear up any debris (leaf litter and broken branches), which can become a breeding ground for disease.

If you do spot any of these diseases, an eco-fungicide spray will attack fungal growth on contact. The spray will also leave a protective coating on foliage to stop disease from spreading. 

Fix waterlogged garden beds and pot plants

All plants need adequate drainage, otherwise they’ll drown. 

If your garden beds become soggy, the first thing to do is remove any excess water. To future-proof against heavy rainfall, you can improve soil drainage by adding sand to the soil. If your garden is planted in clay-based soil (which holds nutrients and water well, but can lead to drainage issues), adding gypsum, organic matter and coarse sand will help the soil drain more easily. 

If your garden beds are in low-lying areas and/or regularly become flooded, another option is to raise them, which will help prevent waterlogging. If you need some help, check out our raised garden bed assembly service.

Pot plants will also need attention in heavy rainfall. Ideally, outdoor pots should have at least one drainage hole to ensure water can run freely through the soil and out the base of the pot. However, a single drainage hole might not be able to cope with excessive water. 

If it’s raining heavily, get pot plants inside if possible so that they can drain and dry out a bit. Check the drainage holes regularly, especially in well-established plants, as they can be blocked by roots and debris. It’s a good idea to re-pot plants regularly into new pots with better drainage

How to aerate your lawn

Aerating your lawn will help water to be absorbed more easily. However, if your lawn remains waterlogged for more than a week, it might need to be replaced or re-seeded once the weather dries up.

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Repair the damage

Heavy rain can wash away nutrients from soil. You can replace them by fertilising. Using a slow-release fertiliser is best, as a liquid fertiliser will run through the soil too quickly. 

Also, stay on top of weed growth. Some weeds thrive in wet weather, so inspect your lawn and garden regularly, and remove weeds as quickly as possible.

Now that you've taken care of that...

Check out our tips for tackling problem areas in your garden.

 

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Health & Safety

Please make sure you use all equipment appropriately and safely when following the advice in these D.I.Y. videos. You need to be familiar with how to use equipment safely and follow the instructions that came with the equipment. If you are unsure, you may feel it is safest to consult an expert, such as the manufacturer or an expert Bunnings Team Member.

Grave health hazards are linked to asbestos, which may be in homes built up to 1990. Health hazards may result from exposure to lead-based paints in older materials and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer. You can also use a simple test kit from Bunnings to indicate the presence of lead-based paint.