The Blog

How To Help Your Flooded Lawn and Garden

Tuesday, August 08th 2017 posted by Lindsay

All across the U.S., rainfall has been increasing. While some areas are actually flooding, other areas are experiencing more water than typically expected during the summer. A little extra water in addition to organic lawn care are usually good solutions in maintaining a green lawn, but too much water can be harmful to your plants. Here are some tips to follow if your garden is being flooded this summer:

What to Do for Waterlogged or Flooded Gardens

We have less control over our plants during prolonged periods of rain or flooding, than during drought. Unless they are in moveable containers, there is little we can do except wait for the weather to change. Then it is time to take stock of how your garden held up.

Sunlight coming through trees

If your soil is waterlogged, chances are good your plants are showing signs of stress - or soon will be. The waterlogged and flooded soil has insufficient amounts of oxygen in it, for the plant roots to take up and release water or release excess carbon dioxide.

Plants may paradoxically look like they are wilting, but it is not because of too little water, it is because they can no longer access the available water. This leads to root rot and death. While we may not be able to prevent flooding, we should at least be on the alert for signs our plants are struggling. Start by watching for these signals.

Symptoms of Water Damaged Plants

Symptoms of water damage can look just like many other plant problems. Symptoms are generally first apparent on the leaves, although trees and shrubs may not exhibit symptoms for a year or more. Signs you plants have been damaged by waterlogged soil include:

• Stunting

• Yellowing leaves

• Twisting leaves

• Dropping leaves

• Soft, spongy areas at the base of the leaf

• Wilting despite plenty of water

• Roots turning dark, often with a rotting odor.

• Lack of flowers or fruits

• Shoot dieback

Several factors determine how much damage is done to plants by flooding, including how long the soil is waterlogged, whether it is fresh or salt water, the time of year and the type and age of the plant.

Flooding during warm weather is more damaging to plants because they are actively respiring and need more oxygen than during cold weather.

A short-term period of soggy soil probably won't cause much damage. It is prolonged periods of flooded soil that cause problems. Although some plants, like willows, bald cypress, flag iris and other bog plants, can adapt to long periods of flood waters, most plants cannot; some can handle as little as a few days.

Read the full article at thespruce.com