The Joy of Gardening in the Rain

Don’t let a little wet weather keep you from your beloved plants.

C'mon, admit it: Everyone loves a rainy day once in a while. But when the rain shows up on the day—or a string of days—you want to get out in the garden, it can seem like a bit of a downer. From our point-of-view, though, dampness and gardening can be excellent raised-bedfellows.

Here are some unexpected ways that you can defy the rain clouds on your weather app by using the rain to your—and your garden's—advantage.

  • Bid weeds goodbye. Those little green interlopers are much, much easier to pull when the soil is wet.
  • Dig in the dirt. If you've ever struggled digging a hole when the ground is rock-hard, you know the resistance is greater than getting a toddler into a car seat. A rainy day is the perfect time to put in stakes or poles for sturdy trellises or deer-proof fencing around the garden. Just don't dig into soil that is soggy. Use the squeeze test – if soil clumps into a ball, it's too wet.
  • Transplant the newbies. Veggie and herb seedlings started indoors will have an easier time if you move them into the ground when the soil is moist and there's no hot sun to bake them.
  • Get edgy. We all love the crispness of a sharply edged landscape bed. When you cut those edges into moist ground, it feels as easy as a warm knife slicing through butter.
  • Capture the moment. In a few weeks, your garden will explode with growth and look completely different. So, why not step outside in the lovely rain or mist and take some pics of your plants' childhood? (Here are some tips for taking great photos in the rain.) The way the light bounces off the water droplets gives images a cinematic look!
  • Satisfy your inner berry lover. Wet weather is a good time to plant fruiting vines like strawberries and raspberries. They adore the rain (and a bit of frost won't trouble them, either).
  • Serve up a good meal. Your shrubs, perennials, and trees need nutrients just like you do, so spread some fertilizer, like Miracle-Gro® Shake ‘n Feed® All Purpose Plant Food, and let the rain work its magic. Plant food spikes, like Miracle-Gro® Tree & Shrub Plant Food Spikes, are another good rainy day choice, as it's easier to drive them into moist soils.
  • Soak up the drops. Watch where rain collects in a depressed area (away from the house) and then create a rain garden using native plants with well-developed roots.
  • Celebrate the showers. After you come into the house from your wet backyard, change into something dry, pour your favorite beverage, sit back, and listen to Sinatra sing "A Garden in the Rain."