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Gardening Tasks For Those Wet Rainy Days In Late Summer

by Anne McGowan on August 16, 2023

Wet summers in Ireland are a regular enough occurrence, but don’t let it stop you from ensuring your garden still gets the timely care and attention it deserves! Pay attention to these gardening tasks in late summer (in August), ESPECIALLY during or after prolonged rainy weather.

We’ve compiled a quick checklist for your Irish garden this time of year to help you give it the best chance of surviving too much rain should the season turn that way.

Benefits Of Rainy Summers For Plants And Soil

But first, let’s not forget -  wet summer can feel like a curse! Yet, it is the main reason we can have such lush green and bountiful gardens this time of year. Let’s count our blessings at a time when most of Southern Europe is parched and patchy.

Here are all the reasons to welcome the rain in an Irish Summer 

  1. Rain provides a natural and consistent water supply for plants and promotes growth
  2. It aids in seed germination and supports the development of robust root systems and, therefore, healthier and more resilient plants
  3. Rainwater supports optimal soil nutrition by helping distribute essential atmospheric nutrients and minerals
  4. Rain helps us to protect plants from heat stress and drought stress
  5. The moist conditions from regular rain prevent soil compaction and improve the aeration of our soil
  6. Rainfall will help increase much-desired microbial activity that activates the soil
  7. It will reduce salinity in the soil
  8. Rainfall can also encourage natural pest control by dislodging them from plants
  9. A well-hydrated habitat supports wider biodiversity and more species of plant growth
  10. Flowering and fruiting will also be triggered in many plant species
  11. You won’t have to rely on artificial irrigation systems and conserve piped water

Protecting Your Garden From Wet Summer Weather

Well, we’ve built the case for rain, but despite the massive benefits of rain, we should be protecting our plants against water logging too. Why? We need to prevent root rot and fungal diseases with proper garden management.

Here are some proactive gardening tasks you should check off this season.

Prepare Your Garden For A Rain-Soaked Irish Summer Or Autumn

  • Check the propensity for drainage in your garden. Are there areas prone to flooding that can be adapted? When planning your lawn - ensure proper lawn drainage is in place
  • Long term, you should select plants that will thrive better in a rainy environment, especially if the microclimate in your part of Ireland demands it

Watch Out For Rain-Induced Pests

Some common pests that emerge during the rainy season include Snails and Slugs. Make sure you have activated some pest control remedies; aim for the more eco-friendly, organic pest control  solutions  on the market.

 Prevent Fungal Diseases

You will also need to be on guard for dampness, mildew and rot

  • Use fungicidal treatments in your garden to remedy or ward off the development and spread of fungal disease amongst your plants
  • If you regularly groom your verdant late summer garden, you will also improve air circulation. This is another measure you can use to reduce dampness and Mould emerging
  • Water-logged plants will require trimming too
  • When planting or planning your garden, strategically place sturdier plants to protect more vulnerable varieties or space them out to enhance natural breezes for better airflow between your plants
  • Avoid crowding plants when planting - this will allow for better air circulation

Avoid Overwatering And Water Wisely

  • Avoid supplemental watering when there is constant rainfall, so check the weather report before you start watering again
  • Engage in sustainable rainwater harvesting on your property to capture and recycle water during the drier spell
  • If you have potted plants outdoors, ensure they have drainage holes at the bottom to allow excess water to drain away and protect them from leaving by embedding slow-release fertiliser

Encourage A Resilient Soil Foundation

You can boost soil health and structure while enhancing water retention.

Using bark helps suppress weed growth, improves moisture retention and is a great product for creating low maintenance beds and borders.

Protect Your Garden Plants From Gusty Stormy Weather

When the rainy weather in late summer transitions to more intense storms

  • Set up a wind barrier or sturdy overhead protection from overly heavy and gusty rainfall on standby
  • You can cover or move potted plants to more sheltered areas


Diagnose And Deal With Waterlogged Plants

Despite all these preventative measures you may be working hard to implement, plant victims of this type of warm wet weather may be unavoidable.

A vigilant garden avoids more significant disasters if you spot the early signs of overwatering or disease.

Once identified, diseased and damaged plants must be appropriately disposed of away from your healthy garden areas to prevent the spread of the diseases. You must not mulch the diseased plant material back into the healthy soil in your garden.

Don’t Forget To Enjoy The Rain In Your Garden!

Last but not least, why not enjoy the rain and make it an aesthetic addition to your garden with a well-placed water feature that captures the rain?

Take inspiration from the historic designs of water features in Japanese Zen tea gardens to celebrate the sound and movement of water.