Break from Dry Weather Causes Mixed Results for Gardeners

After a long time without much rain, wet weather has found its way to South Mississippi. At the beginning of this month, the rainfall level was nearly 10 inches below normal for the year. Now, seven inches has fallen in just the last week.

Avid gardeners Becky Stanley and Dan Burrows put a lot of time and care into their Ocean Springs garden. When Dan had surgery, they had to spend two weeks out of town and they worried that their flowers blooms wouldn't hold up against the dry weather.

"We've had to hire different people to come in and help us keep things damped down enough that when we came back when we came back we wouldn't have lost all the summer's effort," said Stanley.

Then Mother Nature came to rescue with lots of rain. As a result Stanley says their yard grew lush.

Stanley had good results but nursery owner Michele Hale warns that the wrong kind of rain can be hurtful. She says the ideal rainfall would come in the early morning and be spread out over a few days. Hale says some plants like impatiens or Mexican Sunflowers can't handle excessive watering.

"When you have heavy periods of rain and then cloudy weather with high humidity, it can lead to fungus and bacterial problems with your plants," said Hale

Heavy rain, she said, can be more detrimental than no rain at all.

Hale said, "The way we look at it is you can always add water during a drought, you can add water but once you have something saturated with water it's very hard to get it dried out."

Hale recommends that people buy rain sensors. The sensors monitor the amount of water in the yard and automatically turn sprinkler systems off. If you don't have one, Hale suggests you cut sprinklers off for a couple of days so you don't get both afternoon rain and sprinkler water.