GARDENS IMPACTED BY THE RECENT FLOODS?
Recently the East Coast of Australia was hit with an unprecedented weather event that saw floods devastate communities all along the East Coast. Over 20,000 homes and businesses in Queensland were flooded, and more than 5,000 homes in NSW suffered a similar fate. We live and work in Northern NSW and experienced this first hand. For those that returned to flood-damaged homes, the discovery of a place that did not resemble what they once knew was hard to reconcile and we feel deeply saddened for those who have truely lost so much and in many cases everything.
As many of us grapple with the clean-up, we wanted to offer our guidance. As a company that cares about gardens and the amazing gardeners that create them, we want to help you revive them and get them back to their best as quickly as possible. So here are our tips to get your garden back up and going again.
SAFETY, SAFETY, SAFETY!
Now the water has subsided there still may be contaminated water, mud, or debris so ensure you are appropriately protected. If you are unsure if something has been contaminated, it is best to act as though it has. Wear the right protective gear, including gloves and closed-toed shoes, and cover any exposed cuts or wounds to avoid the risk of infection. If you find surviving fruits or vegetables that may have been affected by contaminated floodwaters, do not eat them, but you may be able to save them for seed.
REBUILDING THE SOIL
Depending on how the clean-up of the debris and mud went will depend of what course of action to take to get your garden back to looking it’s best. If you have trees that have survived give them the best chance and Horticulturist, Annette McFarlane, recommends removing as much of the mud as possible by using a high-pressure water cleaner (if you have access to one), or by scraping it away from the roots and trunks. It is also a great idea to rinse down any surviving plants. Start sharing plants with your neighbours or even asking for cuttings, buy seedlings for when you are ready for planting out. Getting some vegetation back into the soil will help protect it from the weather and compacting.
Consideration for the drainage and where additional drainage may help move water across your property can be a worthwhile exercise. Next is rebuilding the soil especially the organic material. Compost, mulch and worm castings can all help the process of building the soil.
GET LIFE BACK INTO YOUR SOIL
Rebuilding the soil also means getting the pH, nutrients and most importantly the microscopic life balanced. This life is crucial to a successful garden as you know. We have found through our own and our customers experiences after the floods using a product like the ones we make here at SoiLife will get your garden back up and running faster than you could imagine.
Feel free to get in contact if you require any advice on how to manage a flood affected garden.