A beautiful garden is our way of creating a little bit of nature within the confines of our property. It gives us a space where we can be both creative and productive, cultivating and growing life in a way that reflects our inner selves. It is a wonderful and caring way in which humans have managed to exert a little control over nature.
However, nature can never truly be tamed. Even within our personal spaces, the reality of nature’s chaos will present itself. We’re talking about storms and flooding, which can wreak havoc on your garden. And Davis County is no stranger to storms.
Luckily, a sudden flood or storm does not mean the end of all our hard work. Today we will explore how you can recover your garden after a storm. Read on to learn what it takes to bring your piece of paradise back to its former glory.
How a Storm Can Affect Your Garden
Storms can strike whenever the weather is turbulent. However, you will often see them occur during spring when the air temperature is likely to fluctuate. This means a greater chance of harsh color changing from green to brown or yellow for lawns.
Storms are a physical barrage against the life and structure of your garden. Heavy driving winds will pound and tear at anything within your borders. You can expect flower beds or crop patches to be pounded flat by a hard downpour.
It’s also likely that the earth you have planted will be churned and smashed by the rain. This can destroy shallow root systems or permanently damage stems and stalks, preventing recovery and further growth. If you’re lucky, the damage will apply only to the above-ground portions of your garden, but this isn’t guaranteed.
If a storm brings high winds, you’ll face more problems altogether. High winds can tear plants with shallow roots from the ground, destroying the root system and breaking up the ground. It can also cause other damage to your property, such as knocking down trees or branches, potentially damaging your home, or throwing patio furniture around.
What About a Flood?
Water is vital to cultivating plants in your garden, but too much can be worse than insufficient. Flooding damages your garden’s natural and installed draining systems, causing water logging or completely washing away everything with its flow. An overabundance of water will also drown out any existing plant life and cause sediment buildup as it drains away.
Of course, if your home and garden experience a major natural disaster like a flash flood, mudslide, or tornado, we recommend you speak with your local Utah disaster clean up specialists to get professional assistance on how to rebuild.
How to Prep Your Garden Against Storm and Flood Damage
So, with that in mind, how can you prepare your garden against the potential damage of storms or floods? Unfortunately, there are no ways to prevent or lessen storms, but you can take a few steps to protect your garden and everything in it from the worst of it. Some of these are:
Improve your drainage
Providing carved drains and gentle slopes to your lawns and pathways allows water to flow freely away from your plants and flowerbeds. Install these where possible, and any water buildup will easily drain away without harming your garden.
Lift plants off the ground
Planting flowers and vegetables in raised flower beds prevents them from submerging during heavy rain and floods. It also makes them easier to tend to without all that bending.
Cover plants and other items
Some plants can be covered using nets and sheets. In the event of a storm, these covers can protect your plants from the driving forces of rain and wind, keeping them intact.
Plan your garden around drainage
If your garden already has natural drainage paths, it pays to plan where you will plant around them. Plant flowers and vegetables at higher positions so that water can flow away from them. Placing border plants, bushes, and trees around the edges of pathways will also provide a protective wall or drainage path.
How to Recover Your Garden After a Storm or Flood
You’ll never be able to protect your garden fully, but your preparations will have mitigated some of the worst damage. From here, you will need to:
Decide a plan of action
Please don’t go into your garden all gung-ho; it pays to plan. Assess the situation and see what damage is visible and what might not be. Once you know the extent of the damage, you’ll be able to work out a solid order in which to handle it.
Wait for the soil to drain
Before replanting your flower beds or vegetable patches, you’ll need the soil to be as dry as possible. This may not be immediately possible if there’s a blockage in your drainage, but you can do other things until it’s ready.
Remove storm debris
Clearing out your gutters and drainage ditches is vital for allowing the water buildup to leave. After a flood, you’ll find all sorts of debris has washed over your gardens, such as silt, dirt, leaves, branches, and other detritus. The same is true for a storm, but you may also have to remove whole felled trees.
Deal with any pests, diseases, or leftovers
Certain animals and bugs love damp areas, especially after storms or floods. You’ll find all sorts of life teeming around your garden that could cause harm to both you and your home. Ensure you have removed wildlife and appropriately cleaned outdoor furniture and pathways. You don’t want anyone sick from unsafe mold or water bugs.
Remove contaminated water
Like the above, floodwaters bring all sorts of bugs and contaminants. Not only will this include naturally occurring pests and debris, but also man-made contaminants such as oil and gas from cars, chemicals from households or sheds, or sewage from the drains. These cannot be handled safely without correct PPE, so you will need to seek a Utah water damage restoration specialist to help clean up the area.
Floodwater will wash your garden soil clean of a lot of the chemicals that plants love. Lawns and flowerbeds can ironically become barren thanks to all that water. It pays to buy some nutrient replacements from your local garden center to help revitalize your soil so it’s ready for a new batch of plants.
Storms and floods are a bane for humankind and their gardens alike. Luckily, where we cannot tame nature, we can undo many of its effects. Taking a few careful steps can push back storm damage and return your garden to a healthy state.