If your garden has water-logging problems or gets flooded during rains you need to take extra care of your own garden.

Plants that need thinning, seedlings in need of fertilizing, and a truckload of compost that you need to spread. However, you also sink ankle deep into the soft mud of your vegetable garden.

This can be truly frustrating, and even heartbreaking for families that make their living off of a short growing season.

Just staying out of the garden has its benefits to the soil. If you do not do that you will destroy the soil structure by compacting the mud and tearing up the garden. You should wait until it dries out enough that you don’t sink will keep the soil structure, with its pockets of air and moisture, stable and benefit the garden in the long run.

When the soil dries, it will be important to keep an eye on the moisture level. Just because the garden was flooded, doesn’t mean that it will never need watering again. Try to maintain an even supply of water after the floods recede — this is especially important for protecting the delicate roots of tomato plants and preventing blossom end rot.

Keep in mind that the excess water can leach nutrients out of the soil. If you fertilized early in the year, you may need to repeat it. Take a look at your plants before making this decision — are they yellowing and straggly, or are they deep green, with lots of new growth?

If they aren’t growing well, try more fertilizer, or even better, organic mulch such as compost or manure. Make sure not to over-fertilize, because this can create lots of dark green, bushy foliage with no flowers or fruit, as well as the possibility of pollution from run-off. It is best to apply only as needed.

If plants are only moderately damaged by the water, they probably have a good chance of recovering — just baby them along a little by keeping water levels even, fertilizing, thinning, and being patient.In the meantime, you can use the time you would have spent in the garden catching up on other chores or reading a good book.

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