Garden Dilemmas, Delights & Discoveries, Ask Mary Stone, New Jersey Garden blog

Raining Cats and Dogs

Mary Stone, Garden Dilemmas, Ask Mary Stone,Gardening tips, Garden Blogs, Stone Associates Landscape Design, Garden Blog, Planting in rain, raining cats and dogs

Hello fellow readers,

Mary Stone, Garden Dilemmas, Ask Mary Stone,Gardening tips, Garden Blogs, Stone Associates Landscape Design, Garden Blog, Planting in rain, raining cats and dogs

Planting in the saturated soil is harmful to new plants.

Last week we were on deck for a new planting, but heavy rains were forecast. While a light drizzle or overcast skies are ideal for planting, when it’s raining cats and dogs it’s not. Just as walking around soggy soil is not good for existing plants, planting in the saturated dirt is harmful to new plants. It compresses the soil inhibiting adequate oxygen and root growth. So, as it turned out, we placed the plants in position and planted them after things dried out enough.

One of the chores ideal to do in rain, or soon after, is weeding. Again, being careful not to tromp too near desirable plants. It makes for easy pulling and a better likelihood of getting to the root of things. Removing the taproot is critical for invasive intruders such as mugwort and the stealth ragweed which has no showy flower unlike the glorious goldenrod, also in bloom this time of year, that wrongly takes the rap for itchy eyes. (A previous column on the topic Goldenrod’s Bad Reputation.)

Mary Stone, Garden Dilemmas, Ask Mary Stone,Gardening tips, Garden Blogs, Stone Associates Landscape Design, Garden Blog, stilt grass

One of the chores ideal to do in rain, or soon after, is weeding. Stilt grass be-gone!

Over the weekend I finally had a few hours to tend to my own garden which is chockfull of undesirables. My mission was to tackle the Japanese stilt grass (Microstegium vimineum) also known as Mary’s grass, though I take no ownership. The mini-bamboo looking trespasser is easy to pull. It’s an annual grass so getting the full root is not critical as with other weeds. Still, the seeds are viable for five or more years so pulling or weed whacking it before it goes to seed is vital unless you have some way of convincing deer stilt grass is delicious. Where’s Dr. Doolittle when you need him?

We’ve talked before how too much rain along with warm temps can create a mayhem for fungi and bacteria dilemmas. And it has! So while you’re weeding, remove decaying, diseased or fungi ridden branches, foliage, or other “droppings.” Depending on the offender, dispose of them either far away from your garden or in plastic bags to head to the dump. I know, not the best practice to add to the wasteland which will outlive us all, but certain diseases warrant containment such as the highly contagious canker disease killing off spruces from the bottom up.

So, what is it with the saying Raining Cats and Dogs anyway; one of my dear old mom’s favorite idioms. Truly, when have we’ve ever seen cats or dogs falling from the sky? According to The Library of Congress, “We don’t know. The phrase might have its roots in Norse mythology, medieval superstitions, the obsolete word catadupe (waterfall), or dead animals in the streets of Britain being picked up by storm waters.” Bottom line – no knows or can predict the mysteries of nature. All we can do is help nurture nature the best that we can.

Mary Stone, Garden Dilemmas, Ask Mary Stone,Gardening tips, Garden Blogs, Stone Associates Landscape Design, Garden Blog, Planting in rain, raining cats and dogs

Yup, those soggy boots are mine :^)

Garden Dilemmas? AskMaryStone@gmail.com

 

 

Mary Stone, owner of Stone Associates Landscape Design & Consulting. As a Landscape Designer, I am grateful for the joy of helping others beautify their surroundings which often leads to sharing encouragement and life experiences. These relationships inspired my weekly column published in THE PRESS, 'Garden Dilemmas? Ask Mary', began in 2012. I dream of growing the evolving community of readers into an interactive forum to share encouragement and support in Garden and Personal Recoveries - seeking nature’s inspirations, stimulating growth, weeding undesirables, embracing the unexpected. Thank you for visiting! Mary