In South Africa we can be a little spoilt, as we can typically undertake garden tasks on lovely, warm and dry days…

When the weather does close in and bring us some much-needed rain, however, what’s a conscientious gardener to do?

Is it better to take the risk and run out before the rain, or head out once the storm is over? We take a closer look.

The answer may surprise you, but it’s better to get your spraying in first – as long as you can guarantee about 30 minutes to an hour before the wet weather hits.

Most modern weed killers are designed to be absorbed through the plant’s tissues very fast, and once they have been absorbed cannot be rinsed away

On the flip side, spraying a waterlogged plant after rain has fallen will dilute the weed killer and make it less effective.

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So if you’re going to have to wait for bad weather to pass, make sure everything has dried properly first.

There is one case where you may want to not spray at all, however, and that’s on extensive paving areas

Heavy incoming rain is likely to wash the herbicide into areas you don’t want it, and can also contaminate the water table.

Rather wait for a better day for tasks involving herbicide and paving.