Wet summers in Ireland are a regular enough occurrence, but don’t let it stop you from ensuring your garden still gets the timely care and attention it deserves! Pay attention to these gardening tasks in late summer (in August), ESPECIALLY during or after prolonged rainy weather.
We’ve compiled a quick checklist for your Irish garden this time of year to help you give it the best chance of surviving too much rain should the season turn that way.
Benefits Of Rainy Summers For Plants And Soil
But first, let’s not forget - wet summer can feel like a curse! Yet, it is the main reason we can have such lush green and bountiful gardens this time of year. Let’s count our blessings at a time when most of Southern Europe is parched and patchy.
Here are all the reasons to welcome the rain in an Irish Summer
- Rain provides a natural and consistent water supply for plants and promotes growth
- It aids in seed germination and supports the development of robust root systems and, therefore, healthier and more resilient plants
- Rainwater supports optimal soil nutrition by helping distribute essential atmospheric nutrients and minerals
- Rain helps us to protect plants from heat stress and drought stress
- The moist conditions from regular rain prevent soil compaction and improve the aeration of our soil
- Rainfall will help increase much-desired microbial activity that activates the soil
- It will reduce salinity in the soil
- Rainfall can also encourage natural pest control by dislodging them from plants
- A well-hydrated habitat supports wider biodiversity and more species of plant growth
- Flowering and fruiting will also be triggered in many plant species
- You won’t have to rely on artificial irrigation systems and conserve piped water
Protecting Your Garden From Wet Summer Weather
Well, we’ve built the case for rain, but despite the massive benefits of rain, we should be protecting our plants against water logging too. Why? We need to prevent root rot and fungal diseases with proper garden management.
Here are some proactive gardening tasks you should check off this season.
Prepare Your Garden For A Rain-Soaked Irish Summer Or Autumn
- Check the propensity for drainage in your garden. Are there areas prone to flooding that can be adapted? When planning your lawn - ensure proper lawn drainage is in place
- Long term, you should select plants that will thrive better in a rainy environment, especially if the microclimate in your part of Ireland demands it
Watch Out For Rain-Induced Pests
Some common pests that emerge during the rainy season include Snails and Slugs. Make sure you have activated some pest control remedies; aim for the more eco-friendly, organic pest control solutions on the market, such as:
- The Hygeia All Natural Slug Stop remedy is a natural, non-toxic slug & snail barrier suitable for organic gardening and is both Child & Pet Safe. it is also Rain resistant & long-lasting
Prevent Fungal Diseases
You will also need to be on guard for dampness, mildew and rot
- Use fungicidal treatments in your garden to remedy or ward off the development and spread of fungal disease amongst your plants
- If you regularly groom your verdant late summer garden, you will also improve air circulation. This is another measure you can use to reduce dampness and Mould emerging
- Water-logged plants will require trimming too
- When planting or planning your garden, strategically place sturdier plants to protect more vulnerable varieties or space them out to enhance natural breezes for better airflow between your plants
- Avoid crowding plants when planting - this will allow for better air circulation
Avoid Overwatering And Water Wisely
- Avoid supplemental watering when there is constant rainfall, so check the weather report before you start watering again
- Engage in sustainable rainwater harvesting on your property to capture and recycle water during the drier spell
- If you have potted plants outdoors, ensure they have drainage holes at the bottom to allow excess water to drain away and protect them from leaving by embedding slow-release fertiliser
Encourage A Resilient Soil Foundation
You can boost soil health and structure while enhancing water retention.
- Take steps to prevent soil erosion. The Miracle-Gro All Purpose Compost is a good start. This low-peat premium potting compost is ideal for beds, borders, hanging baskets and more
- Too much rain can leech away nutrients in a weaker soil structure. You can apply slow-release fertilisers to protect against soil degradation
- If the soil is exposed to too much rain - you should test soil pH and nutrient levels and supplement with the proper additives and soil nutrients so your plants do not lose out.
- Apply mulch to protect your soil. Some off-the-shelf ready-made options include:
- Westland Bed & Border Chipped Bark has 20-30mm mid-size chips. It is perfect for use in finishing beds & border areas. Application on the soil surface will protect plant roots and has the added benefit of superior weed control
- Growise Woodland Bark, a Bord Na Móna perfect for helping prevent weed growth. It will soften hard surfaces in your garden and add a beautiful rich colour. The natural mulch and rich colours complement growth. It is ideal for flower beds and weed suppression
Protect Your Garden Plants From Stormy Weather
When the rainy weather in late summer transitions to more intense storms
- Set up a wind barrier or sturdy overhead protection from overly heavy and gusty rainfall on standby
- You can cover or move potted plants to more sheltered areas
Diagnose And Handle Waterlogged Plants
Despite all these preventative measures you may be working hard to implement, plant victims of this type of warm wet weather may be unavoidable.
A vigilant garden avoids more significant disasters if you spot the early signs of overwatering or disease.
Once identified, diseased and damaged plants must be appropriately disposed of away from your healthy garden areas to prevent the spread of the diseases. You must not mulch the diseased plant material back into the healthy soil in your garden.
Protect Your Built Garden Surfaces
Don’t forget the built environment in your garden. Many treatments will also prevent accidental slipping and erosive degradation in your garden structures due to rainy wet weather.
Use those dry, sunny days to apply these solutions as suitable preventative measures for rain damage.
- Treating parts of your exterior walls can be one preventative step. For example, the Fleetwood Fungicidal Wash kills all mould & mildew on walls before you paint and is suitable for use on concrete, stone, paving, walls & wood
- The Westland Resolva Xtra Clean Green & Algae also kills green mould, red & grey algae. It is biodegradable and can be used on patios, driveways, fences, walls & more
- Ronseal’s Shed and Fence Preserver is another helpful product. It is a solvent-based preserver that protects your wooden structures from rot, decay, insects and fungi. It also adds colour and waterproofs the wood from the elements
- Take measures to prevent rust and corrosion of your metal sheds and furniture with treatments. Check out the Triflow range of Metal Care provides various solutions for metal structures. It is known for its advanced triple protection, an anti-corrosive formula that protects your metal from rust for up to 5 years
Last but not least, don't forget to enjoy the rain in your garden!