Prepare for Rain

Maintaining Hope – and Your Garden – for Rainy Season

December 2022. By Oscar Ortega: After months and months of attempting to will rain from the sky, it is sometimes difficult to believe it will eventually come. Part of our job in maintenance is to maintain hope – and prepare your garden to slow, spread and sink rainwater.

As we work our way through your garden and through the year, we aim to prevent pesky problems, protect property, and prepare LA for a more water positive future.


Prevent Problems

Without regular water-mindful maintenance, getting a garden ready for rain can be a hustle. Simply staying on top of the following tasks can prevent potentially costly issues down the road. We:

  • Want your soil to be receptive enough to drink. We keep mulch fresh to prevent soil from hardening.
  • Oversaturated soil will move with water. For this reason, frequently check for irrigation leaks and adjust systems without time-and-water-saving weather based controllers to ensure soil is calibrated to accept as much rain as possible.
  • Remove obstructions from waterways throughout the year. While rain is most likely during rainy season, we have had the occasional summer shower, and removing litter from gutters in particular is also important for fire defense.
  • Clear invasive mosquito eggs. These eggs can cling to almost any surface through high, dry heat and reconstitute themselves and grow after very little rainfall.


    Protect Property

    When a property is free of the urgent needs defined above, we can use our spring-to-fall time in a garden to build its equanimity to rainfall. We:

  • Stabilize slopes. We look for areas of barren soil – those are the most vulnerable to movement should rain fall. Many slopes can be maintained by deeply rooting native foliage like Yucca Whipplei, Manzanita and Dwarf Coyote Bush. We check and sometimes expand structural support. We note where sandbags may be necessary, so we can are prepared to take action long before rain falls.
  • Prepare catchment systems. We now know just how precarious our access to outdoor water can get. Capturing water onsite with rainbarrels and cisterns means it is on-hand and free of charge should a water agency or two restrict access to water.
  • Look beyond the property line. While we respect property lines, water doesn’t. We look notice how surrounding situations may impact the property we maintain.

    Prepare LA

    While it is smart for individual property owners to save for rain-free days onsite, as a community, we desperately need to recharge our groundwater. Features like this rain garden help us do that while extending the life of stormwater infrastructure and protecting properties and neighbors from debris flow.

    Many of the gardens renovated by our design+build team include substantial rain gardens. We love it! While maintenance includes all the same tasks noted above, the element of emergency is removed, as we know a garden like this can both manage substantial rainfall and enduring drought with grace.

    More Information

    Protect Properties Pre-Rain
    Fight Fire Without Water
    Total Tree Care Timeline
    Month-by-Month Maintenance