Drainage is one of the most aspects of good gardening practices as it influences plant growth as well as soil conditions. It is a complex subject that involves a number of scientific disciplines. As far as finding the perfect solution to a particular problem related to garden drainage is concerned, it depends on a number of variables and therefore, several approaches are usually used to deal with the drainage problem in the best manner.
Maintaining a healthy garden requires proper watering but if there is a problem with the drainage, even the most meticulous watering schedule is not going to help the garden. In other words, poor garden drainage can undo months of hard work if it isnít properly planned. For instance, the water retention capability of the soil could be low due to high sand content whereas it may also retain too much water due to too much compaction and high clay content.
In both these conditions, your garden is not going to thrive as the drainage conditions are not right for growth of plants. Therefore, you need to understand the principles and practices of garden drainage if you want to have a beautiful looking garden. In this article, you will learn some of the best garden drainage practices to help you develop a beautiful and healthy garden.
Best Garden Drainage Practices
Before learning the best garden drainage practices, you need to be aware of the common drainage problems. These problems may arise due to a number of factors. The extent of these problems usually depends on the level of the ground as well as permeability of the soil. Therefore, it is important for you to understand the basic principles of permeability and leveling to determine the actual cause of drainage issues.
If a site is leveled and the soil is well drained, it will dry out easily when the transpiration and evaporation exceeds the rainfall. Similarly, when rainfall exceeds transpiration and evaporation, the soil will become wetter. If a soil isn’t well drained and the site is level, water will keep collecting on the surface.
If the soil is well drained on a sloping site, the soil is not going to become wetter as water will keep moving downhill. Similarly, if the soil isn’t well drained on a sloping site, it will result in loss of topsoil as water will flow downhill and may take topsoil along with it.
Causes of Poor Garden Drainage
One of the most important factors that affect the drainage of the soil is the soil structure and the content of organic matter in the soil. The amount of organic matter in the garden depends on a number of factors. If there is too much organic matter in the soil, it does not drain very freely.
Another factor that affects the drainage is the amount of rainfall received by the area. The amount of rainfall also determines the importance of garden drainage. For instance, people living in arid climate do not need to worry too much about draining water as their main worry is to retain enough water for the garden. Similarly, garden drainage is going to be a major concern in case you have garden in a rainy environment.
Other factors that affect drainage include surface water and ground water.
Garden Drainage Solutions
In most cases, the solutions to the garden drainage problems are limited by the budget. For instance, the cost of a comprehensive underground drainage system is extremely prohibitive in most cases and this is the reason that garden drainage problems cannot be resolved in some places. Similarly, many other areas suffer from this problem due to difficult weather conditions inhibiting plant growth.
As far as the basic strategy for solving garden drainage issues at a low cost is concerned, the best way to solve drainage issues is to cut a system of small surface channels for draining the site. You may also do it by hand in case your garden is small. If you have a bigger area, you may use a small mechanical digger to create these channels.
In some cases, the garden drainage problems exist due to the soil structure. The soil structure in these areas has either slow permeability or is totally impermeable which affects the flow of water into the ground.
The only solution in such cases is to improve the permeability of the subsoil by tilling the soil and refilling the subsoil with a more permeable material. It is important to mention here that it involves a great deal of soil and a lot of work which means you will need to use heavy machinery to undertake this project.
Overall, a number of different types of water drainage problems may exist in a garden but the best way to solve these problems is to perform the work in a logical manner. There are a number of factors you need to consider to resolve the problem in a structured and organized manner and if you manage to miss a step, your problem will remain there and you will have to do everything again.
Therefore, you should begin your project by doing a preliminary survey to find out the potential benefits of garden drainage solution and the existing limitations at the site.
If you find the above tips overwhelming, you should consult with a professional in the field to advise you the right solution for your garden drainage problems. You can easily find such professionals by searching for drainage professionals on your favorite search engine.