10 Rainy Day Activities for Frustrated Gardeners

You’ve got the day all planned. No commitments. Yay! A whole day to garden and then……it rains. But fret not I have 10 Rainy Day Activities for frustrated Gardeners.

God made Rainy days so Gardeners can get the housework done

All is not lost! Yes! There is always Housework to do but how about some “house-work” for the Garden for a change? Whilst we don’t all have Potting sheds to …well…potter in or glazed greenhouses where we can feel that we are gardening outside, without actually getting wet. There are some things we could be doing……

The Shed

We get so busy at this time of year when the weather is fine, cutting, tidying, sowing seeds and planting out, etc,etc, that tools often get flung back in the Shed at the end of a busy session just before we race indoors for a Shower or (if you’re like me) to get the Dinner on.

1. Now is the time to create Order! Not just straighten up the tools but give them a good clean over. Clean the blades of your secateurs and shears and oil the locking nut. Brush dried mud off the handles of your other tools and then rub wooden handles with a rag and Linseed oil. Not only will it preserve the wood and make it easier to clean next time. but will also be kinder on your hands too. Clean and oiled tools are always a joy to use.

2. Rainy days are a good time to check over your supplies for the rest of the season. Have you got sufficient supplies of twine, plant labels, canes or other plant supports. How about the nylon line in your Strimmer, will you need another roll before the Season is out?

3. If you have room to work in your shed how about checking the Lawnmower. Scrape off any packed dried grass on the underside and around the blades. Don’t forget to check the oil level in Petrol Mowers. And if you use one, how about cleaning any encrusted grass off the Strimmer  too.

NOTE Don’t turn a petrol mower onto its side where the Air filter is or you will flood the filter and it will belch smoke next time you start it up! 

10 Rainy day activities for frustrated gardeners

4. Now where have you been keeping all your seed packets? Somewhere cool and dry? Time to scoop up all the half used packets lying on the bench, and take them indoors to sort. Throw ripped, old and damp ones out. Make a note of the Seeds that have done well for you and that you would like to repeat sow next year. You are more likely to remember specific varieties and how they germinated if you make some notes now. Come the Winter with all those glossy Seed catalogues and you will probably struggle to remember, if you are anything like me!

5. How many plastics plant pots have you managed to accumulate with that planting frenzy you had a month ago? It may be wet out side but now its a lot warmer than trying to sort them in midwinter. I run a big hot bath and chuck them all in there. You could use a bucket of warm water in a sheltered corner if you can find one. Use an old kitchen washing up brush to give them all a good scrub. You can dry them off on the lawn tomorrow when the sun is shining. Time to cull the pots? I stack my pots in size order and any that don’t stack neatly with the rest of its fellows, I recycle. As a rule of thumb I try to keep to a round dozen or two for each size. You need to be realistic in how many you keep. Its a rather arbitrary way of dealing with them but it does reduce them to a manageable number.

NOTE Do remember to rinse out the Bath tub before your significant other gets in there!

Gardening from Indoors

You run the risk of being labelled a lazy Body by the neighbours who see you stand and stare for my next idea but who cares?!

We can get so involved with working in the Garden when we’re out there that we forget to really look at the big picture so……

6. Stand in the doorway or sit by a window which will give you the best view of your plot. And give it a good long look with a critical eye and ask yourself:-

Is the layout of the garden working? What would improve it? Is the planting scheme as you envisaged? Are there any obvious gaps in the planting that need filling? Are any plants in danger of swamping or being swamped? Are there any plants looking as if they could do with some TLC next time you can get out there? Could you increase the length of the season of interest? Is there a focal point? Does it need one?

Jot your observations down on paper as you go, you can draw up an action plan later, perhaps even plan a little plant shopping 😉

Prolonged period of wet weather forecast….?

7. Then perhaps it is a good time to widen you garden knowledge. Read up pruning techniques for Clematis, Roses or fruit trees for when the weather gets better. You will make better progress when you can get into the Garden if you’ve already mugged-up on the techniques you need.

8. Sort through the garden photos you have squirreled away in boxes or on Disc. It is always enlightening to look at the progression of a garden in photos, how things have changed, which years did better than others. Perhaps be reminded of a forgotten planting combination that once gave you so much pleasure, that you could repeat. Make notes as you go

9. Take some time to check out recycling for spare pots, plants and tools. Some Garden centres have a swap shop for unwanted plant pots. Some even collect for recycling projects. Surplus plants? Then check out local organisations that would welcome donations for their next plant stall. If you’ve tidied your shed and decide that you don’t need all 4 pairs of secateurs or six spare trowels, search out the local representative of Tool recycling like T.W.A.M that can make good use of them.

10. Time to start that Garden Journal you’ve been meaning to get around to. Gather together all the notes you’ve made whilst doing these rainy day tasks for future reference. Start a list of all the things you want/need to do when the skies clear, the ground dries and you can get outside……..

Dovewood plaque in the Norwegian garden in Dorset

So there you have it, 10 Rainy Day Activities for frustrated gardeners! And before you know it the sun will be shining again, the dishes will be piling up in the sink, the Ironing will be in danger of reaching mountainous proportions…..but you will be in your Garden!

Happy gardening at Leaves From My Garden (c) Helen Cronin

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