MetSox
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Location: Maryland

Flooded!

Well we finally got the heavy, heavy rain we were hoping for here in the lower parts of the northeast, but now I have a patch where my lavender is growing, and there is a big puddle just sitting on top! I don't want the sprouts to drown, is there some way I can get out there tomorrow and drain it off? Should I wait for evaporation? I think waiting might be a bit harmful.
MetSox

Bobberman
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I would take a pipe or shovel handls and make small holes all over the area to drain some of the area unless it is too deep! Making a funnel hole will drain water to the lower levels and may help the plants later! I would make a small 2 to 3 inch hole a foot deep near each plant but not too close to hurt the roots!
+++ Another thing is to take a hose say 50 foot hose and hold both ends together! Get a gallon of water and fill up the hose till the water comes out the other end. Hold both ends the same level. Have a small hole in the garden area that will fill up with water and drain the area. Seek a lower level of ground within 50 feet of the garden. Place one end of the hose in the hole while covering the hole in the other end of the hose so no air can enter. Take the closed end of the hose to the lower level and it will drain the garden with the syphon effect!
I enjoy fishing ,gardening and a solar greenhouse! carpet installation repair and sales for over 45 years! I am the inventor of the Bobber With A Brain - Fishing Bobber!

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Kisal
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MetSox, as I'm sure you're aware, you've planted your lavender in a place with poor drainage. ;) Unfortunately, simple siphons won't work for such a situation.

I don't think you need to worry about root rot as a result of one flooding. Root rot is usually the result of weeks of standing in water. Your lavender can probably tolerate sitting where it is for a few days, but I wouldn't suggest that you push it longer than a week, if you can avoid it. I have lavender that routinely sits in very wet clay soil all winter, and it's doing fine, but I have the soil mounded into a berm to increase drainage.

If you think the soil will take longer than 5 to 7 days to drain to a depth of 6 inches, you should probably dig up the sprouts and plant them in a soil designed to drain rapidly (think cactus & succulent soil mix for a temporary basis), preferably in a raised bed or in containers. Otherwise, just leave the plants where they are, at least until the soil is drier. Moving them while the soil is very wet can cause as much damage to the roots as just leaving them where they are for a few days.

If heavy rains are a regular event in your area, you certainly will want to move the lavender to a spot with better drainage before next season. Or, just create a berm, as I have done in my yard. :)
"Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?" - Douglas Adams

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applestar
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I think ultimately, you may want to re-situate your lavender as Kisal said, but it's not too difficult to drain a puddled spot.

First see if you can determine the "grade" or slope of the area -- the house is generally higher than the surrounding landscape. then in the direction that slopes down, make a shallow vertical cut with your shovel (like you are edging/cutting sod) you should notice the puddleed water go down. ow keep going downslope with deeper and deeper cuts.

Depending on the amount of water you're dealing with, this maybe all it needs. For larger amount, rock the shovel and make the cut into a V of sufficient width to move the water.

If the incline/displacement is too gradual and the water isn't going anywhere,, do what shopping centers and business parks do and dig a "drainage pond" -- a deeper pit/hole for the water to drain into. It doesn't need to be a big one if this is only temporary.

In the future, planting on a berm/a raised mound OR digging a "swale" (contoured shallow trench) on the downslope side will help to keep the soil better drained for the plant.

FYI - A swale on the upslope side will do the opposite and help maintain moisture for a plant that perpetually becomes too dried out.

Bobberman
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A small french drain one with even just sand or pea gravel could make the area less of a swamp area. The french drain need not be very wide even just a foot! wide and a foot deep! My original answer was something for just a quick fix. We have a ball field that every time it rains it holds water for 3 days in one area near first base and is a problem but they never fixed it with a french drain!
I enjoy fishing ,gardening and a solar greenhouse! carpet installation repair and sales for over 45 years! I am the inventor of the Bobber With A Brain - Fishing Bobber!

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