Hello, and welcome back to another week with the Aspiring Gardener! This week, we’re taking a look at water and flood damage and how to take care of your garden after a flood.
After the water’s receded, first get rid of any solid debris that may be clogging your garden. After that, throw out any produce that was touched by floodwater, as it is likely heavily contaminated. Then you can gently rinse off the mud and debris from your plants.
If the weather remains dry and clear, then much of this debris will fall off on its own, allowing you to rinse it off later. Let the soil dry naturally, only poking holes in it with a gardening fork or pitchfork to help aerate the ground. As the weather remains stable, keep an eye on the plants for dieback. Be careful not to prune still-living stems that may have lost their leaves but are still green.
Wait around 60 days to replant anything, as the complete inundation of water in the soil kills many of the microbes that live in it and help create healthy soil. After the soil dries, however, adding compost and fertilizer as per your preferences will help the soil recover faster. Be sure to empty out any potential pools of standing water, though, as they can quickly become breeding grounds for mosquitoes.