Hello again Westside gardeners.

So commonly gardeners find themselves at a loss during rainy days.

I am sorry to say that many gardeners have one track minds. The first thing that comes to their minds is to start mowing the lawn and blowing debris around and into the street. During wet damp rainy days, the lawn does not need to be mowed. There are many other things to be done, but it takes a Master Gardener to know this.

First, the gardener needs to take the time and walk the property. Look to see, if there are any immediate issues. Secondly, make contact with the client. Many times, your client might have something extra for you to do. This should be done whether it’s rainy or not.

Here are some examples of what a Master Gardener would do on a rainy day. Check to see if there is any runoff damage. If rain gutters are clear of debris, make sure irrigation system is off. Sweep walkways off of debris and pick up fallen branches.

Horticulture duties include deadheading flowers, culling fruit, selective pruning of shrubs, making sure soil hasn’t built up around root collars and bud unions of trees.

Additionally, check for insect infestation and remove snails by hand.

Apply tanglefoot sticky barrier to citrus trees. It’s very important to wrap the tree trunk first with plastic stretch tape. Then apply tanglefoot over tape.

If it’s not too wet, your gardener can also mix white latex paint with water and paint newly planted stone fruit trees. This will prevent, the tree trunks from burning and scabbing. The paint should start from graft union to top of trunk.

Check potted plants, especially those under cover and not receiving rainfall. Do they need to be watered or given a liquid organic fertilizer? Does the plant need deadheading or selective pruning?

If there is anyone out there with garden questions or wanting advice, feel free to contact me.

Mark Koehler

Mark Koehler of Los Banos is an arborist and master gardener, who has degrees in Landscape Architecture and Landscape Horticulture from UC Berkeley and Northeastern University.