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Will my garden survive?

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posted on Jul, 9 2008 @ 06:23 PM
I don't know if this is the right forum for this, but I didn't know where else to post it.

We have had lots of rain the past three weeks. My garden has been flooded. I was just out there trying to weed and it was so wet my foot got sucked in the ground up to my ankle. My plants are all turning yellow, and some of my beans are dead. There is standing water all throughout now. What are the chances it will survive?

Someone told me to use straw in between rows. I did that for the first time this year, and I'm not liking it. How can you hoe with all that straw? Do any of you use straw and if so, how do you weed with it all over the place.

I'm really bummed because I was looking forward to some green beans to can this year.

The only thing I'm going to get are tomatoes and two zucchini plants. I had lots of them spring up voluntarily in my garden box, and since that allows for drainage, those look great.

posted on Jul, 9 2008 @ 06:38 PM
you need to drain the water asap cut furrows.

and till the soil it will help dry it. and get rid of your weeds. i wouldnt use straw as plant matter adds back to the soil a good thing in many ways. put the nutirents it puts back may not be good for all plants.

hope that helps and good luck...

irragation ditches help in two ways.

not only do they bring water to your crops but they also allow for the removeal of excess water. you dont need a huge ditch simple furrows will work fine..

[edit on 15pmu62007 by DaleGribble]

posted on Jul, 9 2008 @ 06:47 PM

Originally posted by virraszto
Someone told me to use straw in between rows. I did that for the first time this year, and I'm not liking it. How can you hoe with all that straw? Do any of you use straw and if so, how do you weed with it all over the place.

Using Straw between rows is actually a good idea only I believe that the intention was to use mulch (bits of straw and other heavier organic material). Mulch, when spread in layers about 1 - 3 inches deep, will serve to keep the weeds down. You won't have to weed as much as you will be able to simply hand weed any unwanted plants that manage to make it through this "organic barrier". not allow the mulch to actually touch the roots of the plants in your garden. To keep it simple....this wouldn't be good.

As for the problem with excess water in your garden.....I would have to agree that digging furrows between your planted rows of vegetables might be your only hope of having a decent crop this year. The furrows would help to drain your garden. Good sounds like you will need it.

posted on Jul, 9 2008 @ 06:54 PM
Are you in a flood prone area?

If so, it will pay you to make a big ditch at the edge that moves away from your property with smaller furrows leading into the big ditch. Or failing that you could make a drainage sink hole filled with stones for the furrows to flow into.

posted on Jul, 9 2008 @ 07:30 PM
Thanks guys for your advice. I just went out and dug some trenches and got rid of most of the hay in the bean rows. The water immediately filled in the trenches, but there's still water I'm going to have to deal with. The mosquitoes got too bad for me to keep at it tonight. I'll finish it up in the am.

I used a bale and a half of straw. My garden is apx. 25 ft long x 15 ft wide. When I first laid the straw out it was about 3 or more inches deep, but it rained almost the next day and weighed it down. Then it rained again. And again. I think that had something to do with it, but the weeds, (more like grass) came up through the straw.

I don't live in a flood pron area, but my yard will flood if it rains too much. We have a drainage ditch out back that I can hook up with, but that's a big job.

I think when I go back out there tomorrow, and dig more ditches, it just might be ok---- as long as it doesn't rain again anytime soon.

I'm getting rid of the rest of the straw. I've never used it before, and I don't care for it. I'd rather use the hoe and go out and hoe the weeds.

Thanks guys for the advice.

posted on Jul, 10 2008 @ 03:08 AM
reply to post by virraszto

straw, if its pine straw im just assuming here, will raise the ph level in your soil. which is why i stated that in my first post....

when using organic matter to prevent weeds your matter should be suited to the plant. in a first year garden this may not have much of an effect. over a year or two simple soil tests will prove this...

[edit on 15amu32007 by DaleGribble]

posted on Jul, 10 2008 @ 06:23 AM
reply to post by virraszto

I know its too late for this year, but if you are prone to 'damp/wet' areas in your garden and you have room - you could try planting some Eucalyptus Trees - they just love 'sucking up the water'. They are often planted in 'boggy wet areas' around the world to help bring more land back into use.

posted on Jul, 10 2008 @ 09:49 AM
reply to post by Wotan

you bring up a very good point.

infact there are many such plants that have the same effect...

posted on Jul, 10 2008 @ 06:05 PM
I'm afraid we got more rain. In fact, it's raining cats and dogs right now.
I don't think anything I do now is going to save my garden.
These photos are from last week, during the second hard rainfall. It hasn't even dried up from then and now, it's totally flooded again.
It's rained so much I couldn't get out there to weed, unless I wanted to be ankle deep in water.

posted on Jul, 10 2008 @ 06:09 PM
reply to post by virraszto

tilling soil will often help remove moisture. however with all that wheat straw i dont thing this is going to be very fun.

it would appera that you will not have a full crop this year but some of it should "make".

nice yard. i would hat to have to cut furrows in that grass..

good luck though. i hope ive been able to help at least a little.

posted on Jul, 10 2008 @ 06:20 PM
Yes, you have, thanks.
Next year, I'm going to make it much bigger, wide enough to till between the rows. My husband didn't want me to make a large garden, he thought I would be happy with the little garden box he made me, but he got surprised. lol

I will never use straw again. Some folks might like it, but I didn't. What you really can't see in the photo is that there is a big hole in the ground underneath that leaning tree. It is filled with water. It was the hole left from a pool that we tore down. It goes about a foot down. Even with that hole taking up alot of the water, there's still flooding. There's also two trenches back there, one I think you can see, and the other is back in the woods. We've got to do something about the flooding, I have a huge yard, it's seems a waste not to be able to use it.

posted on Jul, 10 2008 @ 06:38 PM
reply to post by virraszto

Wow your backyard should not retain that much water.

You might need to dig a couple of trenches through the yard, put gravel down then that black plastic drainpipe to channel the excess straight to the ditch where it belongs.

You must have a clay bed under the yard, holding the water like that, especially if you are not in a flood zone.

I think if you put two runs of drainpipe you could avoid this miniflooding of your backyard.

I had a similar deal on my side yard and the drain pipe trench did the trick to give the excess water a place to go.

you cover the drain pipe trenches with gravel then sod so the pipe is under the yard and does not affect the look or use of the yard if that makes sense.

[edit on 7/10/2008 by JacKatMtn]

posted on Jul, 10 2008 @ 06:42 PM
reply to post by virraszto

Hmmm, you need some serious drainage.

I know that what i am about to say is going to mean lots of hard work but ........ Have you considered digging it all up and putting in underground drainage channels? These are clay pipes that have gaps in them covered over with stones and gravel, then topsoil and then obviously grass or whatever you want on top. They all lead across your garden in V shapes linked together to a sump hole/pit where it can drain away.

It also helps that each year you 'spike' your grass with dowel size holes and fill them with sand every so many feet or so.

Like i said, it is a lot of hard back breaking work, but it might just help if this flooding is going to be a regular thing.

posted on Jul, 10 2008 @ 06:46 PM
I kind of know what you are going through, though not quite on that scale. Where i live it is all 'blue slipper clay' under the top soil so drainage is virtually a must for winter times.

posted on Jul, 10 2008 @ 06:59 PM
reply to post by virraszto

Very sorry to hear about this. :/ I'm a first-year gardener myself, and would be quite upset if this happened to our plot.

While the only suggestion I have for right now is to dig the biggest, baddest hole you can down-slope from your plot, I would like to make a humble suggestion for your area next year; raised beds.

With several cubic yards of topsoil/compost delivered from a garden center, and some minimal construction work, you could either raise the entire area by a foot or two, or create several beds that are above grade enough to not be affected by this flooding. Personally, I think the idea of a whole raised "plateau" garden, perhaps with some steps, decorative stone, etc would be quite attractive. This would of course be relatively easy to make into a permanent fixture if you so choose, or if you tire of gardening or need to sell the house and feel it's best to do so without the garden, should be easy enough to remove as well.

posted on Jul, 10 2008 @ 07:05 PM
Thanks, guys. I'll talk to my husband about it. He knows there's a problem, and we had planned on doing something, but we didn't know what. In the 5 yrs we've lived here, it's flooded maybe 5 times. We've done so much work to the yard since we bought the place. If you can imagine it, there was a jungle back We backbreakingly got rid of most of it, and there's still alot that needs to be done. If we can't do it ourselves, we'll hire someone to do it.

Edited to add---My neighbor's yard floods worse than mine. If I do put in some type of drainage, will it still work, even if his yard floods? Won't his flood just come over to my yard.

[edit on 10-7-2008 by virraszto]

posted on Jul, 10 2008 @ 07:08 PM
reply to post by pernox

That is another good idea. I do have one small garden box that I used last year more toward the front of the yard. It's not flooded and the plants in there are doing great.

posted on Jul, 10 2008 @ 07:25 PM
I strongly agree with the raised bed idea, especially if you have a small garden. I was immediately going to suggest it myself but then read the replies and saw that it had already been suggested.

I have had excessive rainfall this Spring and early Summer also, but luckily my entire property is basically on a hillside and the water runs through my garden but doesn't stay. If I'd been able to find a flat spot for it I'd be having the same trouble as you!

I do use straw in my garden in addition to cypress mulch, but I use it in the areas where no crops are planted to try and discourage the grass and weeds. I have horses and chickens, so I also use straw/manure litter to 'side dress' my plants but keep it far enough away from the plant roots so that the fresh manure doesn't burn them.

This is my first year to have a real garden and I'm very excited; I have tomatoes, cucumbers, muskmelons (cantaloupes), watermelons, and corn growing.

posted on Jul, 10 2008 @ 07:46 PM
On reflection, I would agree that raised beds is the way to go. If you cant go underground with the water, then go above it.

A nice small brick walled raised bed would look nice - remember to put some type of drainage at the bottom of it before you fill it up.

Also raised beds are generally easier to maintain as well - less bending over - good for when you get older

I hope it all goes well for you.

On a lighter note - You could always build a 16ft high reinforced concrete dam between you and your neighbour

[edit on 10/7/08 by Wotan]

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