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How to Improve Drainage in Your Garden

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Some frustrated homeowners whose backyards become swamps during the rainy season often wonder how to get out of this messy puddle. In this article, we’ll share 11 ways to improve your garden’s drainage.

11 Tips to Improve Your Garden’s Drainage

1. Prick or Slit the Lawn Surface

One of the most straightforward solutions to accumulated puddles in the garden is to prick, slit or spike your lawn surface. You can use your garden fork to create 2-3cm holes across your lawn. You may also use aerating shoes to provide deeper and better drainage.

In some cases, creating about 8-10cm deep slits and filling them with proprietary lawn top dressing or horticultural sand allows water to sip through deeper soil layers that are less compact. By doing so, you can prevent your lawn from drowning in unwanted puddles.

2. Add Some Compost

One characteristic of compost is it consists of pore spaces for oxygen. This makes it a good option for better soil drainage. Although compost works with smaller and not too severe water puddling, it can lighten clay and compacted types of soil.

The best thing about compost is it caters to multi-year processes. By adding about an 8cm thick compost layer every year to your soil, your garden drainage is sure to improve over time.

3. Grow More Plants

Another sure-hit solution to poor garden drainage is to grow more plants. Aside from added garden appeal, it also offers cost-efficiency. One perfect plant for this job is the sunflower. It has a deep rooting system that needs a good volume of water.

You may also choose to grow some vegetables, especially those that help aerate the soil. This includes alfalfa, clover, radish, and turnips. Deep rooting plants help loosen the soil, hence, giving it proper drainage and oxygen circulation.

4. Create a Berm

What is a berm?

It is a mound of soil built linearly or sometimes around a tree to hold water and provide a good water system to deep-rooted trees. Berms are also built to drive the flow of water away from flat terrain. Sometimes they are built as a landscape element to ensure that foot and bike traffic stays on course.

Berms work best for garden drainage to redirect the water from areas that get flooded easily. They can be used to create a path where water may flow without having to worry about drainage issues.

5. Mulch It Up

One of the benefits of using mulch is to improve the water level in the soil. Adding a good layer of mulch over your plant beds can help enhance soil drainage. Make sure to use wood chips or bark as these are moisture-absorbent kinds of mulch.

Wood bark mulch is affordable and easy to spread across waterlogged plant beds. They also help prevent weeds from growing and insulate plant beds during cold weather.

6. Dig a Creek Bed

Another way to redirect water accumulation is to build a creek bed. This typically involves digging a long shallow trench where water can freely flow away from your garden. In some cases, landscape experts add gravel and decorative stones for an added attraction to your garden.

7. Manage Surface Water

A great way to efficiently improve drainage in the garden is to manage surface water run-off. Similar to building a creek, you may add some sloping features in your garden where water tends to puddle and direct the excess water somewhere with proper water draining.

8. Raise Your Plant Beds

If your ground-level plant beds get swamped during rainy days, it may be best to elevate them. Build raised plant beds out of timber railway sleepers, stone slabs or brickworks.

Raise Your Plant Beds

9. Build a Rain Garden

Rain gardens provide an excellent solution for areas prone to periodic puddling. This can also be a great combination of a creek bed. Although this may require a lot of work, you’ll be surprised at how it can improve your garden’s drainage and curb appeal.

10. Extend and Redirect Your Downspout

If puddles accumulate underneath, beside or near a downspout, it may be best to extend and redirect it to a place where water drains without any problem.

The first thing that you should do is inspect the area for a location where water drains properly. After locating a good draining place, take measurements for your downspout extension. Build the extension accordingly but make sure that it will not cause nuisance or hazards, especially if you have kids or pets at home.

11. Install Rain Barrels

If you opt to redirect your downspout but can’t find an area with a good draining system, it may be best to install barrels below your downspouts. This solution is more cost-efficient and requires minimal work. The best thing about this is that you can water your garden on sunny days or use the water to clean your car and garage.

Install Rain Barrels

While these 11 tips can help clear away the puddles in your garden, make sure to choose the best solution for your garden. In some cases, local regulations may prevent you from redirecting water flow to public drainage systems or areas outside your property. So, make sure you do not violate any rules.

Contact Mazzega’s Landscaping Supplies for the soil drainage system that suits your garden!

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