Water is one of the most important things for making our grass and landscape plants healthy. Alas, too much of a good thing can lead to problems. The Indianapolis area has received over 5” of rain in the past week, with the potential for 2 more inches over the next couple of days. As the landscape season is now in full swing, let’s look at some potential impacts of the excessive precipitation…

It’s a Maintenance Nightmare

Our mowing routes are thoughtfully planned out, and while there is some flexibility, day after day of rain not only prompts increased grass growth, but limits our ability to get out and mow. On top of that, low areas, pond banks, and overly saturated soils can take several days to dry out once the rain finally does stop. That means we often must delay mowing even longer to avoid causing ruts and risking our team members’ safety on slick surfaces. Unfortunately, it’s also impossible to get out and mow every location on the first nice day.

Plants Can Drown Too

Just as some plants are more tolerant to drought than others, some plants are more resilient when it comes to too much water. Yews and hydrangeas are just a couple of common landscape plants that don’t tolerate excessive water very well. At the very least, all the extra water dilutes the nutrients in the soil, leading to things like iron deficiency and yellowing of foliage; additional fertilization might necessary. Finally, overly saturated soil can lead to perfectly healthy trees being uprooted due to loose soil conditions.

An Invitation for Weeds, Disease, and Insect Problems

In an unfortunate one-two punch, additional problems like root rot, grub worms, fungus, and other issues are more likely if soils remain too wet for too long. On top of that, weeds love the rain, and herbicide use is largely ineffective, and potentially irresponsible, in rainy conditions.

Erosion

Erosion can certainly impact trees and plants if soil is washed away from roots. Even if that doesn’t happen though, erosion along pond banks, parking lots, and mulch beds can be unsightly, if not downright dangerous and structurally damaging.

We are always working to provide our clients with the best service possible, and we will make adjustments to keep your sites looking great once things begin to dry out. In the meantime, we can enjoy saving some money on our water bills. And just remember, if all this rain were falling as snow, we would have around 60” on the ground this week! That would be a real disaster. Stay dry out there and enjoy your weekend.

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