Why does it always seem like rain comes when I’ve finally got time to spend in my garden? If you feel this way too, be sure to check out my list of rainy day garden activities!
From where I see it – the rain is just a part of the experience. The plants love it! I’ve enjoyed weeding and planting in my raised beds during light rain plenty of times.
Now I do understand that some gardening tasks do NOT mix well with rain at all. That’s to be expected, and we just save those for a nicer day.
Just because it’s raining, doesn’t mean you have to give up your gardening time! Give some consideration to these rainy day garden activities you can do solo or with your kids.
But first, let’s go through a few common questions!
Is Rain Good for Plants?
Pure and fresh, rain is great for plants. Rain helps plants grow by making water adequately available in the ground for the plants to uptake, along with naturally occurring nitrogen in the soil. Plants grow greener, larger, and healthier after a good rain.
Of course, like all good things, too much rain can also be problematic for sensitive plants. This can be particularly true when plants are just starting out and not established yet. If you use an irrigation system, consider disabling it temporarily during periods of heavy rain.
Can You Plant on a Rainy Day?
Yes, you can plant on a rainy day. Plant seeds or transplant seedlings from seeds you started indoors. (Just make sure you’ve properly hardened them off!) Planting between rain showers or during light drizzle is relaxing and the rain water may help the plant to feel right at home.
Rainy Day Garden Planning
Sometimes a rainy day is just what we gardeners need to get organized. Time to do some rainy day garden planning!
Here are some ideas on where to focus your attention for the rainy day garden planning:
- Companion Planting
- Garden Layouts
- Seed Starting
- Seed Collecting
- Planting Dates and Gardening Zones
- Pest Control
- Best Practices and Lessons Learned for Next Year
These are just a few ideas – make your garden planner whatever you want it to be!
Indoor Rainy Day Garden Activities
Sometimes the weather just doesn’t cooperate. Don’t give up on gardening! Take some time to do a few indoor rainy day garden activities, instead.
- Plant Seeds – Start seeds using the paper towel method, a clean and quick way to encourage germination.
- Update Your Garden Journal – Put together a helpful collection of tips, insights, dates, and other ideas for your garden. Make it like a scrapbook or a stream of consciousness journal. Your garden journal should tell your own story!
- Arrange a Seed Swap – Find a seed swap pen pal on social media or someone you know in real life. Get involved in various seed swaps that are already going on!
- Go Plant Shopping – Even if it’s rainy outside, you can still check out some plants for sale indoors or at the local greenhouses.
- Wash Your Garden Gloves – A rainy day is a great time to throw your dirty garden gloves, gardening apron, and other washable gear in the washing machine.
- Build a Rain Barrel – Make great use of the rain with a fun DIY project! Build a rain barrel to collect rainwater and use it to water your garden and potted plants.
- Preserve Your Harvest – Take some time to freeze, dry, freeze-dry, can or otherwise preserve the wonderful fruits, veggies, and herbs you’ve grown. This is one of the best rainy day garden activities.
- Work on Some Garden Recipes – What could be better on a rainy day than baking and cooking? Use some of your garden-fresh ingredients to whip up new recipes, make dinner, or make meals you can freeze for easy dining later.
Gardening Crafts to Do on a Rainy Day
Try these fun gardening crafts with your kids or on your own!
- Make a Fence Herb Garden Planter – Running out of garden space? An airy herb garden for your fence is a fun and attractive way to expand your growing space.
- Crochet Plant Hammocks – If you’re planning to grow vertically this year, making crochet plant hammocks is a great use of your time on a rainy day. Make different sizes for pumpkins, watermelon, squash, and others.
- Make Seed Envelopes – Decorate seed envelopes or make origami seed envelopes on a rainy day. This gets you super organized for any upcoming seed swaps you’ll be doing!
- Make Plant Markers – No matter if you cut them from an empty milk jug or paint gorgeous seashell plant markers, a rainy day is the perfect time to whip up some plant tags.
- Decorate Vases – Upcycle some old empty jars into gorgeous vases for your fresh-picked flowers. Enjoy decorating glass jars with your kids or making decorative vases solo.
Outdoor Rainy Day Garden Activities
If you aren’t afraid of a little rain, look no further than these suggestions for fun and rewarding outdoor rainy day garden activities.
- Weeding in Light Rain – There’s just something so therapeutic about pulling weeds on a rainy day. It’s almost uplifting as you enjoy a gardening activity in the rain that generally would be done on a swelteringly hot day instead.
- Transplanting Seedlings – In a pinch, you can totally transplant seedlings on a rainy day.
- Planting Seeds – Planting seeds outside in the rain can be a great idea, as long as it isn’t a full week or so of rain that could rot your seeds. (That happened to me once with most of my green bean seeds.) Don’t forget to put plant markers where you plant the seeds so you can remember what everything is.
- Potting up in the Container Garden – Some fast-growing plants will love having an upgrade to their containers, even on a rainy day. You can also pot up some companion plants, like tomatoes and marigolds with basil.
- Manually Removing Bad Bugs – Even in the rain, you can remove bad bugs from your plants like a boss. Wait for a little break in the weather to avoid getting totally soaked.
- Helping Vining Plants Climb – Once you see those adorable spirals, you can start helping your vining plants to climb whatever’s available to them. Train your plants to go up fences, trellises, and other structures as appropriate.
- Cutting Flowers for Arrangements – No matter what the weather, you can always snip a few lovely flowers from your garden. Enjoy a nice indoor arrangement with fresh-cut cosmos, zinnias, marigolds, dwarf sunflowers, or whatever you’re growing.
- Manage Your Rainy Days Irrigation Systems. If it’s rainy outside, you probably don’t want to double water your plants. Suspend your irrigation system or timer to avoid saturating your gardens even further.
Final Thoughts – Rainy Day Gardening
Rainy days can be disappointing when you’d hoped to spend your time in the garden. A rainy garden can still be fun! Chase away the gloom and try any of these fun and rewarding rainy day garden activities.
Inside or outside, you can find lots of gardening activities in the rain. Consider the crafts or actual rainy garden chores and projects.
My favorite rainy day gardening activities are planting and weeding. The rain seems to help jumpstart new plants and give seeds a good start in life.
Weeding is especially awesome and therapeutic in the gently falling rain. The weeds come out so easy and it feels so empowering.
Do you have any other suggestions for rainy day garden activities? Drop your favorite rainy day idea in the comments and I’ll be sure to update the list!
12.28.21 – Edited to add rainy days irrigation system item #8 in the last section.