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Rain Soaked Gardens

It is hard to complain about the area receiving rain but lately rain seems to be an everyday occurrence. Such frequent rainfall is leading to a few problems in the landscapes and there is not much the gardener can do to prevent such issues.

One of the main problems we are seeing is related to certain landscape plants that are just no able to tolerate saturated soils.  Many flowering plants like salvia, rudbeckia, periwinkle, and lantana may show decline from heavy rainfall. You may try to cut back dead foliage and hope for regrowth with a few drier days.  Frequent rain also leads to increased disease problems since leaves stay wet for considerable amounts of time and rain splashes fungal spores to new foliage. Hydrangeas and Indian hawthorn may have unattractive foliage that falls off as fungal infection increases.

Turf can also be greatly stressed.  Roots of grass need oxygen and heavy soil moisture can lead to poor root function and diseases.  Leaf spots on turf blades will also be more prevalent, causing a thinning appearance in the lawn.  Although you may want to apply a fungicide at these times, it is often too late for an application by the time you are seeing the symptoms of infection and decline. Be sure to cut off the sprinkler system to allow turf to dry out a little between rain events.

The best practice is to be patient and realize that Florida gardening sometimes has feasts or famines.  Try your best to choose adapted plants but realize that nature will also throw us a curve ball on occassion.

 

Permanent link to this article: https://escambia.ifas.ufl.edu/blog/2013/07/16/rain-soaked-gardens/