Top 5 easy tips to help your garden recover after flooding
It’s wet, really wet, and it’s becoming a more and more regular occurrence in the UK. Unfortunately thousands of homes and gardens are affected by flood damage every year and in a lot of cases, there is very little that can be done about it. However, as distressing as the sight of your garden filling up with water is, the clear up job afterwards is actually quite straightforward.
First of all, ensure that no harm has come people and pets, the garden can always wait until after everyone is safe and well. Most items in your garden can be replaced and in a lot of cases, the gardening community will pull together to share plants and lend a helping hand. Once you’re happy everything else is in order, then you can start on the garden recovery.
1) Immediately wash down and rinse plants – This should be done as soon as possible, especially if you’ve suffered a salt water flood. Rinse off any mud or salt spray covered foliage and remove any build up of storm waste at the base of your plants. This rinsing process removes the likelihood of disease spreading through wounds on the leaves and stems of your plants. Once the plants have been rinsed and cleaned, they can begin to recover.
2) Prune and remove damage – After clearing as much mud and salt from your plants as possible, it becomes easier to see what the actual damage is. This will make your decisions on where needs pruning easier. In order to be as efficient as possible in your clear up, deal with larger trees and shrubs first and work your way down to the smaller plants. Be cautious at first as your plants have already gone through a large amount of trauma. Over time it will become clearer which areas need pruning.
3) Clear debris and make compost – Whist clearing up, begin to create a flood compost pile out of the way in a hidden area of the garden. This way you’ll be able to throw the leaves, stems and debris with the mud brought in by storm waters to create your own nutrient full compost. This is a great way of taking some good from a bad situation.
4) Water plants – Now it might seem like the last thing you should be doing, especially because over saturated soil is bad for your plant and root health. However, trust us when we say that you need to flush all those pollutants away. The good from a thorough watering to clean mud and pollutants will outweigh the negatives effects of over saturation.
5) Look after pots and containers – In the case of your garden planters, rinsing, pruning and clearing debris are all steps that should be followed along with the rest of your garden. If you’ve suffered from a salt water flood then you should completely replace the soil in your containers. If your plant cannot be removed for any reason, then flush the pot with loads of water, it is unlikely to become saturated because pots drain most of their excess water away. If there was no salt water involved, you can just give your pots a chance to recover, however, replacing of soil is still a viable option.
Most important of all, don’t get defeated. Your garden is a resilient place and often the flood water is nutrient rich. It is a time to rebuild for a healthier, greener and more beautiful future.