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Have you noticed water pooling up in areas of your garden after a good rain? This is an all-too-common problem that can lead to the destruction and downfall of an otherwise beautiful garden. These pools of water create the perfect breeding environment for bacteria and fungus to thrive, placing your plants at risk for both disease and drowning. In addition, excessive water can erode the soil, washing away all the long hours and hard work you put into it. The good news, however, is that there are effective methods out there for improving garden drainage.
#1 – Soil
Gardens that suffer from poor drainage tend to have hard, compact soil that doesn’t absorb as much water as it should. When this occurs, the water will simply run off the top layer without absorbing deep into the soil. There are a couple of things you can do to make your soil more absorbent, one of which is to aerate it. Using a spade, try mixing up some of the soil around your garden. As you do this, add in some chopped up leaves, pine straw or other organic plant material. This will increase the amount of oxygen and moisture that’s able to pass through it.
#2 – Raise Your Garden
Another option is to raise your garden slightly higher than where it’s currently at. For this, you’ll need to construct retainer walls out of plywood or some other suitable material and then fill it with topsoil. Since the garden is raised higher than the rest of your landscape, water will naturally run downwards during a heavy rain or storm.
#3 – Trenches
A third method that’s useful for improving garden drainage is to build trenches that allow you to control the exact water runoff. This is arguably the easiest method that doesn’t involve completely restructuring your garden. Don’t just shovel trenches into your garden, though, but instead dig out small trenches and fill them with gravel. The gravel will prevent your soil from eroding once the trenches fill with water. If you intend on using this method, make sure the trenches are designed to completely remove the water from the garden and any surrounding area. You don’t want to channel the water right outside your garden where it gathers before flowing back down into it.