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Recovering the Flooded Landscape
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  1. Recovering the Flooded Landscape Tennessee Master Gardeners

  2. Ashland City Courtesy of Ashland City Times

  3. Kingston Springs Courtesy of Ashland City Times

  4. Residence Courtesy of Ashland City Times

  5. Welcome to Ashland City Courtesy of Ashland City Times

  6. First Things First: • Be aware of personal safety (downed power lines, sewage-contaminated water, displaced wildlife) • Attend to your damaged home • Document damage and report to insurance company, TEMA/FEMA

  7. The Clean Up: • Is the site dry enough to enter? • Thick silt will cover the landscape & may have a raw sewage-like odor • Caused by lack of oxygen in the soil • When dry, remove trash, debris & uprooted plants • Separate home trash from yard waste—place in designated place for pick up

  8. Your Landscape May Recover!: • Established plants have a good chance of survival • Many plants will look dead, but don’t pull them out unless physically damage is major • Known to survive after 2 weeks under water: • Native trees • Native shrubs • Native perennials • Hardy bulbs

  9. Plants at Risk (don’t like “wet feet”): • Japanese Holly • Japanese Boxwood • Indian Hawthorn • Nandina • Hybrid Junipers • Hybrid Azaleas Encore Azalea

  10. Plants Most Likely to Survive: • Crape Myrtles • Chinese Holly • Casissa Holly • Burford Holly Burford Holly & Crape Myrtles 3 months after flood

  11. Plants Most Likely to Survive: Crape Myrtle Chinese Holly

  12. Deciduous & Evergreen Plants: • Most deciduous plants will defoliate immediately after a flood • Before pruning, wait to see if bare branches bud out in next month or two • Hardy evergreens (like Chinese Hollies) may hold their leaves • Washing the silt off evergreens will aid their survival (do not pressure wash) • Cover any exposed roots • Apply fresh mulch (never use fresh hardwood mulch)

  13. Trees: • Remove excess silt and soil from trunks and crowns • Cover any exposed roots • Remove broken or damaged limbs • Wait to see if bare branches start to bud out in next month or two • Apply fresh mulch (never use fresh hardwood mulch) • Trees may experience a forced dormancy due to flood shock & lack of soil oxygen • Leaves will turn yellow & drop off, and some branch die-back may occur

  14. Trees: • Trees may experience a forced dormancy due to flood shock & lack of soil oxygen • Leaves will turn yellow & drop off, and some branch die-back may occur

  15. Anticipate: • Plants will be stressed • Poor growth • More diseases • Wet soils encourage root and crown diseases (fungi) • Fusarium spp. • Phytopthora spp. • Pythium spp. • Rhizocotonia solani • Improve site drainage • Helps reduce stress and disease • Replace lost soils with organic matter

  16. Nutrients: • Avoid excessive nutrients during recovery • High nitrogen fertilizers are not beneficial to trees & shrubs at this time • Excessive fertilization can increase diseases • Take a soil sample to determine needs • Organic matter replaces lost soil microbes as well as slow-release nutrients

  17. Your Flooded Garden:

  18. Gardens: • Food Safety!! • Flood waters are contaminated with raw sewage • Handle with caution • Eating leafy or bulb/root vegetables should be avoided Spinach or lettuce Garlic, onions, radishes • Some vegetables are less risky if they can be boiled Turnips • Visit http://foodsafety.govfor more information on food preparation & safety

  19. Newly Seeded Gardens: • Most did not survive the flood, or were washed away • The good news? We have much of the growing season left to start over • Let soil dry out completely--working wet soils leads to large dirt clods and future soil compaction • Add amendments, composted organic matter, straw and mulch

  20. Flooded Turfgrass: Golf Course Athletic Field—after flood

  21. Turf & Lawn Areas: • Most resilient to flooding: • Bermuda grass • Bahia grass • Hybrids of the above • Bermuda grass, under 4 weeks of floodwater, has responded with re-growth after drying out • First, remove sediment, silt, organic debris • Mow, removing only 1/3 of height • Apply 1/2 lb. of nitrogen per 1,000 sf – will encourage turf recovery • Follow normal maintenance practices

  22. Sprinkler Systems: • Turn off power & inspect electrical systems • Replace irrigation clock if it was flooded • Have backflow prevention system inspected by a professional • Shut off water supply, open drain valve, drain water from underground pipes • Rotors—remove, shake out, & rinse • Flush the pipe system before replacing the heads

  23. Sprinkler Systems (cont): • Open valves one at a time to full open position & turn system on manually • Run water for 5 minutes at each zone • Reinstall heads & run system for 10 minutes • Turn off water & be sure all heads retract • Replace heads not working properly

  24. Patience • Salvaging a flooded landscape can be economically feasible if you have the time & patience • Let your plants return naturally • Replant with native species

  25. Nature’s resilience will amaze you

  26. Websites for Additional Information: • http://www.extension.org/pages/Recovering_the_Flooded_Landscape • http://utextension.tennessee.edu/Pages/default.aspx • http://fcs.tennessee.edu/nutrfdsfty/safefd/index.htm • Facebook: Tennessee Master Gardener page

  27. Thank You Nancy Coop, Cheatham County MG