Dealing with a Wet Spring in the Vegetable Garden


| 4/11/2019 10:21:00 AM


 

Organic mulches improve the soil organic matter. Photo by Luke Stovall 

Gardeners and farmers do not control the weather, and it's only going to get more chaotic as climate change bites. Heavy rain events can leave soil impossible to work, because the water can't drain away fast enough. What can we do when it's too wet? Here are some ideas drawing on the chapter Preparing for and Coping with Disasters in my book The Year-Round Hoophouse. 

We need to plan ahead and deal with the possibilities of too much (and also too little) water. We need to pay greater attention to the climate as a critical factor in our decision-making. We need to adapt, our responses when the rainfall doesn't meet our hopes. Here I'll be talking about too much rain.

Prepare Your Soil and Crops

Figure out which crops are already marginal in your climate, and decide whether they are worth keeping, and whether they are important enough to provide more protection for. See Weatherspark.com for easy-to-understand graphics showing the average weather in your locality. The International Cooperators’ Guide Grafting Tomatoes for Production in the Hot-Wet Season recommends using eggplant rootstocks for tomatoes when flooding is expected.



1. Use raised beds or ridge-planting to help excess water drain sooner.





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