For farmers, when trying to grow any type of crop, there is a natural need for steady rainfall to keep the crops healthy. These rains might sometimes become heavy and drown or damage plants, and this is actually what farmers do not want.
Preventing excessive rainfall on crops is an issue that farmers have dealt with for thousands of years, even up till now. In this article, you will be given some easy tricks to use in preventing the crops on your farm or garden from getting destroyed by excessive rainfall or water.
Step 1 of 4
Preventing Soil Erosion
1. Place mulch around the base of the soil.
Mulch slows down rainfall and helps in preventing the root or soil from damage during heavy downpours or storms; it also reduces too many weeds that grow around crops.
Purchase organic mulch and spread about 2 inches thick around the crops on the farm. You can also use wood, chips, or straw when you cannot lay your hands on mulch.
2. Plant trees near upland areas to reduce water inflow.
Planting shrubs and trees will keep some amount of water away and prevent harmful runoff. If you have raised areas like Hills around your farm, then it is most likely that rainwater might flow down and drown the plants, so using shrubs and trees will serve as a preventive measure.
3. Leave some residue.
These leftovers from harvests are what we call crop or plant residue; some are leaves, roots, and stalks. Leave a small portion of that residue around the plants to reduce the impact of rainfall.
4. Use cover crops.
One of the most widely used cover crops is sorghum; these are plants that look like grass. They reduce the level of raindrops that gets into the soil.
- Plant these crops in bare areas where water can flow into the crops
- They prevent runoff and soil erosion and are very beneficial for your farm.
Step 2 of 4
Protecting Plants from Getting Damaged
1. Place a bucket with a heavyweight over the plant.
When you notice the rain is coming with a heavy storm, simply flip the bucket or pot upside down and place it over each of the plants. If the bucket is too light and can also be affected by the storm, weigh it down with heavy rocks or stones.
Also, ensure that the bucket or pot you are using is tall enough for the plants and trees to comfortably fit under.
2. Tie stakes.
Most times, when the rain is about to fall, it comes along with heavy winds, so for you to prevent the plants from breaking in the wind, tie a stake to different plants to support the plants.
- Use stakes that are long
- Staking can also be useful even when there is no storm; it prevents the plant from bending or breaking away.
3. Avoid planting crops around trees.
When these storms come, they most times can be very heavy, and they may break tree branches which might fall and destroy your crops. To prevent this occurrence, ensure you keep them away from your crop when you’re planting trees or instead do not plant these crops near trees.
4. Spread a fabric plant to cover above crop rows.
Raindrops with force and full speed can do a lot of damage to your plants; so, trying to slow it down with any material will be very effective. In this case, you can use plain fabric sheets or tubes that can cover rows of plants.
- If the wind appears to be too heavy, then you can use strong plastic to cover them.
Step 3 of 4
Working on Your Drainage
1. Dig ditches between rows.
A tilling technique is used by most farmers when the crop is waterlogged; this is to improve the drainage system.
- Dig a ditch up to 25cm deep between each row, and ensure you have ditches close to the place where the row ends. This water will be drained faster and better.
2. Cut a drainage ditch at the point where each row of the crops ends. What you have to do is, dig a ditch at the point where each row ends so that the water can be drained.
3. Ensure that delicate and flooded plants are moved to beds.
When you cannot completely handle the flooding on your farm, raising plant beds will be the right thing to do. You can use it on delicate plants like those crops grown in vegetation gardens.
- Plan out a box that is 2ft deep and fill it up with soil, then plant your crop inside in order for the roots not to get flooded
4. Use dikes around your crops to redirect the water flow.
You can use soil, stones, or sandbags around your plant using a dike to stop runoff from flooding your crops. You can also use the dike to direct water into the drainage.
- This can be very helpful if you have elevated areas like Hills around your farm.
Step 4 of 4
Recovering After the Storms and Rains
1. If saturated mulch dries up, remove it.
If the mulch you used gets soaked in water, it means it is no longer effective. So, you just have to let the soil dry up and then replace it.
2. Watch your plants for signs of mold or rot.
Warm conditions are ideal for rot to affect plants. If you see any rot or mold in any section of the plant, cut it off to prevent it from spreading.
- Check the crops regularly after a rainfall.
3. Don’t step on soaked soil.
When the soil becomes wet, it is going to become softer, and stepping on it may damage the roots. So, when it is wet, you should try as much as possible to walk carefully on it.
4. Repel slugs from crops with salt or pesticides.
Wet crops are very attractive to slugs and snails, especially after heavy rain. Do you have to use pesticides or salt to prevent them from taking over?
Here you were shown different techniques that successful farmers have used in keeping their crops alive and productive. So, if you have an issue with too much water on your farm, ensure to use any or most of these tricks.
Thank you very much for your time reading this article if you have some questions about please leave your comment below and I’ll be happy to write back to you.