Drainage is a vital part of your garden, but if it’s not flowing well it can be a pain to maintain. It can also make your yard look less attractive, which can be frustrating if you want to keep your lawn looking its best. Luckily, there are several ways to improve drainage in your garden.
The first thing you need to do is figure out where the water is coming from. You can do this by examining your guttering system or a nearby building. If there are any holes or blockages, it’s likely that the water is leaking into your yard. This can be easy to fix, but you need to be sure you know where the problem is.
Another way to find out where the problem is is to dig a test pit in the area that’s wet and drain it. The hole should be about 18 inches deep and 12 inches wide. Fill it with water, then wait 24 hours to see if the water level drops steadily and completely drains. If it doesn’t, you probably have a year-round wet soil challenge rather than a seasonal runoff issue.
If the test pit shows that the problem isn’t seasonal, you can aerate or pierce the soil to help it drain better. You can also layer compost, chopped leaves or other organic matter over the area to improve drainage over time.
Depending on the type of soil in your yard, you can plant plants that regulate water. Some hydrangea species are good for wet soils, while some clay-soil gardens can benefit from geraniums and other plants with high drainage needs.
You can also install rain barrels in your yard to collect water from downspouts and redirect it to overflow barrels in the yard. This will stop the water from accumulating in your yard and keep it dry.
Soak away crates are an effective and inexpensive solution for many garden drainage problems. They are essentially plastic boxes that slot together with a void in them which can accept large volumes of water.
They can be placed in a channel that runs along the outside of your landscape and they are then filled with free draining aggregates. These soak-away crates will help groundwater to slowly drain into your landscape, allowing it to be reabsorbed by the land in the process.
If you have extensive hard surfaces in your yard that are not permeable (such as a patio, driveway or pavers) it can cause excess storm water to collect on these impermeable surfaces and overwhelm your gardens drainage networks. These impermeable surfaces can also reduce the amount of natural ground surface available for water to absorb naturally.
Compaction of the ground is a common garden drainage problem that can occur from heavy footfall or activities that require the use of tools and heavy objects. When this occurs it can result in a compacted soil that is less able to absorb water and can lead to flooding.