I love a rainy day, which makes me, by definition, a pluviophile, which by the way is not a word in my personal lexicon!
The garden looks so beautiful during and after a rain. Dust and debris are washed away, leaving behind a lustre that cannot be replicated by watering with tap water.
Have you ever wondered why your garden looks greener after a heavy rainfall than when it had a good soaking with a garden hose?
Nitrogen (found in commercial fertilizers) is the chemical that helps give our trees and shrubs that amazing shade of green only found in nature. Although the earth’s atmosphere is over 70% nitrogen, it cannot be absorbed into plants through the air… this only happens when it rains, allowing the nitrogen to be taken in through the leaves and roots. During thunderstorms this process is greatly enhanced.
Tap water often has chlorine, which may inhibit plants from absorbing available nitrates. If the levels of alkaline or salt in the tap water in your area are high, the pH level will be greater than nitrogen and over time this may have a negative effect on your plants. Also the nitrate concentration in drinking water is limited because, although rare, it could contribute to some health issues such as blue baby syndrome in infants under 6 months of age.
During periods of drought, cities often ban residents from watering their gardens with tap water. Since the benefits of rain water are superior, it’s another reason why we should be encouraged to use barrels to collect fallen rain.
The blossoms and blooms in my garden will explode in the coming days when the sun returns with its own special magic. As you can see, everything is just on the verge…
Rainy days give a brief reprieve for stiff and aching muscles that have been overworked doing the garden cleanup, pruning and seasonal plantings. Plus, occasionally I need a few days indoors to give my house some much needed attention…if all goes well my floors may even get a sweep and a wash!
PS: Snow (like we saw this week) mixed with rain is not something we want to see in May!