June 7, 2013

Reviving a Garden after a Storm

It seems like the perfect storm just ripped through your perfectly manicured garden. As you took shelter inside, your plants were less fortunate. Now that the storm has subsided, you know that in order to
save your garden, you must act fast. Here are some ways to revive your garden so that the damage isn't permanent.

Remove Damaged Limbs – First things first, remove dead and damaged debris. You’ll find most of it on the ground, piled in the corner or littered across the yard; however, some damaged limbs will still be hanging from your plants. Carefully prune off any and all dead or damaged limbs. The reason you should do this is, as long as the limb or flower is still attached, the plant will continue to supply it with precious nutrients. The plant doesn't know the difference between a dying limb and a live one; it will waste what little strength it has nurturing dead flowers and limbs. Reduce its stress by pruning of the damaged and dead sections.

Wart-like Growth – Be on the lookout for wart-like growths found on the underside of leaves and stems. These brown warts are a sure sign that the plant is waterlogged -- a dangerous and damaging state. When plants are waterlogged, excess water ruptures the cells, usually underneath the leaves. In order to help plants recover, add organic matter to the soil and decrease watering until you see the warts recede. For potted plants, go ahead and re-pot them with fresh soil. Whatever you do, do not remove the affected leaves. This will make the problem much worse. 

Handle with Care - The bottom line is this: Your plants are going to be stressed. Without warning, they were tossed by the wind, and their roots were flood with more water than they could handle. In order to revive you garden, you must treat each individual plant with care. Your plants will be delicate and fragile for quite some time. Water carefully and avoid transplanting unless it is absolutely necessary. 


Phil Goold is a retired landscaper of 30 years. He loves being outside more than anything else, except maybe pie. He enjoys connecting with other landscapers and gardeners because everyone brings something new and fun to the table. Connect with Phil on Twitter and Google+.

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