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How to Garden in Wet Weather Conditions

Insects and Fungi on Plants

It has been a particularly wet and rainy year here on the east coast of the USA and growing conditions have been harder to control for local gardeners. With the amount of rain fall we’ve had, here are a few tips and tricks to help you get through this wet season.

A typical garden is planted on level soil and is the hardest to maintain in wet weather due to the lack of drainage. There are many diseases that can accrue on your plant roots and, once started, can be uncontrollable. Stem root and root rot are normally the first to show up on your plants, especially tomatoes.

Some of the first signs of these rots include yellowing leaves, wilting, and loose leaves. When you see any of these symptoms starting, it is best to examine your plant by cutting off a branch or lower leaf. If you see any brownish discoloration in the veins in the center of the cut branch, your plant will likely die. Remove the infected plant from your garden and place it in your trash. Do not use it in your composting pile because the disease can still spread.

If you’re growing your plants in a raised bed or a container, root rot is less likely to develop. If you do start seeing any symptoms on your plant, you can carefully lift it out of your raised bed with a pitch fork and mix dry compost into the soil that has the damaged roots. For container plants, carefully remove the plant and wrap some newspaper around the root system to help dry everything out. In addition, change the soil in the container and make sure you have some type of drainage in the bottom of your container (like rocks) to avoid more rot in the future.

Some of the same symptoms for root rot are also the same for some types of insect infestations. Remove a small amount of soil from around your plant and examine it for insects. If they are present, use a chemical or organic methods to remove the infestation.

So while all of this rain may have your garden bogged down, keep a close eye on your plants and you should be able to keep your plants afloat during particularly rainy seasons.

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