In much of the country, rain can make or break a successful growing season, but at any stage of a garden, protection is the key to success! While most gardens can withstand and even appreciate a light and short rain (especially if temperatures are high), prolong and steady rainfall can lead to damaging effects. Precipitation can slowly drown your seedlings and a torrential downpour has the potential to wash away germinating seeds, damage the delicate foliage of young plants, or even knock over precious tomato plants and mature herbs and greens.
If you have a moveable container garden, transport it temporarily indoors or undercover if heavy or prolonged rainstorms are in the forecast.
If you have a backyard garden or are unable to move your container garden, cover your garden with a tarp or sheet and weight the edges down. If you have just planted your garden and have yet to see seedlings, this is when your garden is most vulnerable as your seeds can be easily washed away with rainstorms.
If your garden has small seedlings growing, the same recommendation applies-- cover your garden to protect those little seedlings from being drowned and/or matted down.
If your garden has semi-mature or mature plants, they should be a bit hardier, but if you see torrential storms in the forecast, those can be damaging even to mature foliage and again, you’ll want to cover your garden.
Light rain or a gentle sprinkling is generally just fine for an exposed garden, but watch your eaves and gutters and ensure your container or raised bed isn’t going to get the brunt of a direct stream of water.
Don’t forget to uncover your garden and water it if necessary after the storm has passed!
Check out the clip from an episode of Seedsheet Live below!