Hello, everyone. Sorry to be so delayed in getting a post up. With trying to finish out the summer veggies and get all of our fall ones in on top of a regular full-time job that gets demanding in the fall, the hours in the day are just not long enough.
As many of you have heard, and experienced, South Carolina has been under water since late last week. Thankfully, the Upstate, where we live, is drying out. However, other parts of the State are not so fortunate. A lot of farmers are affected by the massive rains and flooding. We figured it was time to check in with you and let you know how things are here on the farm
At Harp & Shamrock Croft, LLC, we were expecting the worst given our semi-raised beds and regular growing areas are not on a 2% grade. Simply, we just do not have the equipment or time to institute something like this. But as you can see, we had some standing water in our beds and feared the worst. As of the writing of this post, it appears a good bit is bouncing back. We should know the full extent of the excessive rain on the plants and root systems later in the week.
The main issue that too much rain can cause is root rot. You can read a great article on this subject here.
In short, the roots sit too long in water and fungi attack the roots. This is especially prevalent in the summer when the pathogens are most active, but when extreme amounts of rain come in the plant is susceptible to this problem.
We seem to have great drainage in our soil as the rain waters were absorbed fairly quickly. By the morning after when the rains stopped, the standing water was gone. And we had a lot of rather large area that had standing water at least 4-5 inches.
When you see standing water in your beds and it cannot dissipate due to too much rain or over watering your crops may be at risk. Soil drainage is very important, so building up the organic matter in your soil for overall plant and root health. In some circumstances, like flooding, it does not matter how well your soil drains. But if watering and you see standing water and it does not drain within a few minutes after completion of watering, then that can tell you to build up the organic matter of the soil. The best way is composting leaves, small sticks, straw, and grass. But more on composting another time.
In an effort to prevent any issues due to standing water, it is best to remove as much water as possible. Some people are fortunate to have a water transfer pump. We do not. Some can break open their bed and allow water to move out. We resorted to using a hose in the beds that had a lot of standing water. I sucked on the end of a hose, to the point of fainting, and let the water come out. It worked for the most part, but slow going. If anything, maybe this added to the expediency of the water naturally draining. We just worked way too hard on our fall leafy greens and other crops to not try something.
To our utter joy and gratitude, most of our crops have turned the corner and are thriving!
We hope everyone has a great fall harvest. Hopefully, the rain has not damaged any of your plants.