We may not need Noah just yet, but the Bay Area is prone to winter flooding. Years with El Nino events can bring severe rain and flash floods, wrecking havoc with homes, drainage, and the garden.
Soil is an amazing structure, but the bedrock that holds it in place also creates a water barrier that can lead to pooling, flooding and more mud than your landscape can handle.
As we have discussed earlier, permeability refers to the ability of water to drain. Our heavy clay soil does not drain well, which makes it great at holding on to water during the dry months, but creates significant problems when rainfall rates overrun carrying capacity.
Flooding and standing water can drown your plants. Roots need air space to breath and to conduct photosynthesis. Standing water and poor drainage also encourages the development of fungal infestations, mosquito breeding grounds and disease carrying pests such as fungus gnats.
Just as over-watering causes leaching of nutrients, salts, and chemicals, flooding can wash away valuable topsoil and pollute local groundwater. When you notice standing water in your garden, it is time to take action.
How to reduce the negative impact of flooding in the garden:
Floods can be devastating, but you can reduce the negative impact with these simple steps. Also, have a care when driving - go a bit slower and give yourself a little more space between you and the car in front of you.
Keep yourself and your garden healthy and safe!
You can grow a surprising amount of food in your own yard. Ask me how!