Is Excessive Rain Killing My Plants?

JenWiseMay 24, 2013

Hello all, I'm new here, and fairly new to gardening. Learning with a container garden on my SE-facing NYC balcony. Constant rain over the last month has drenched my flower boxes, many of which have seedlings that sprouted and now seem to have stopped growing. I'm seeing mushrooms cropping up all around the seedlings, which I'm sure is indicative of mold growing within the soil. I know mold is harmful to plants, but I'm not sure to what degree and if there's anything I can do. The boxes are duct taped to the rail of my balcony since they could otherwise be blown off by wind and maul someone at the hookah bar beneath me (oh shoot :), and I have 20 or so boxes and pots, so it's not practical to move them when rain begins. Any veterans of container gardening, please lend me your expertise!

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shazaam(NC 7B)

It sounds like your potting mix is too wet/saturated, which is the real problem (not the fungus, which is merely taking advantage of favorable conditions). Too much water and not enough air in the root zone equals unhappy plants. My guess is that you're using a commercial bagged potting mix of some kind? There's not much you can do to enhance drainage at this point, so, should the rainy weather continue, you might want to try to cover them if it's feasible.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2013 at 1:22PM
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Thanks so much for your help! And yup, I used Miracle Gro potting mix. You clarified the problem for me, good to know that it's not the mold or fungus. I am putting trash bags over them as soon as I type this, it's raining yet again. Much appreciated!

    Bookmark   May 24, 2013 at 4:14PM
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What sort of potting mix are you using, how much sun are you getting and is the water from the wall/floors/balconies above you falling into your pots? There is a big difference between rain and a constant stream of water cascading down the side of a building into your pots, I had to move some of mine for that very reason. I also grow on a balcony in NYC and I havenâÂÂt really had a problem with the water this year but that could be because I get a good 7 hours of direct sunlight to help dry them out.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2013 at 4:17PM
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