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When organizing community gardening events, weather sometimes gets in the way. In most cases a little rain or cold doesn't hurt and the event goes on with dedicated gardeners doing their thing in the rain. In some cases though the weather is too severe, as is the case with thunderstorms or high >30mph sustained winds.

In terms of precipitation alone, how much rain is too much to garden in? For example, <5mm seems like fair weather to garden in, 10mm is probably OK too for people not too bothered by the rain, but >15mm seems like it's pushing it to even ask folks to show up. What threshold is used by gardening organizations to decide when to cancel an event due just to rain?

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  • This seems very subjective. There are many sub categories to the overarching 'gardening' category. Also, are you looking for advice from someone who runs a volunteer gardening organization, specifically?
    – Rob
    Apr 26, 2019 at 15:24
  • Are you asking for the comfort of the human participants, or for the wellbeing of the garden being tampered with while there's heavy rain? Apr 26, 2019 at 16:43
  • Put a thick layer of wood chips down so you can garden when on woodchips, not in the mud. You also forget that some soil has better infiltration capabilities than other soil. Apr 26, 2019 at 16:56
  • Asking for advice from someone running a volunteer organization, yes. It is a bit subjective as Bamboo pointed out in a good answer. My concern is for both the humans and the garden, and while the gardens are well mulched, it still seems like at a certain point any kind of gardening task becomes futile.
    – cr0
    Apr 26, 2019 at 18:22

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It sounds like, when you say 'community gardening events', these events are arranged for people to actually be doing some gardening work, rather than, say, walking round looking at plants and gardens. If that's the case, it's not just rain on the day that counts; if digging is involved, and the weather has been very wet prior to the event, the soil is likely to be waterlogged, and those are not suitable conditions to work the soil, regardless of how much is falling on the day. If it's not digging, but more rough clearing or something, its pretty difficult to decide how much rain is too much, because that's down to people's choice... they might be prepared to work in, say, drizzle, or intermittent showers, but not prepared to do so in torrential or persistent, heavy rain. A measurement in mm isn't much of a guide - it's more down to how hard it's raining as to whether it's comfortable to work in and anyway, any accurate measurement of a rainfall event is usually made after the rain has gone, not while it's happening.

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