Gorgeous gardens need plenty of water to survive. However, too much water is as bad as not enough! If your backyard had lots of rainfall lately, and your garden is a muddy mess, you are not alone. Seeing more puddles than dry spots the day after a rainstorm (or even after you’ve had the sprinkler on for awhile)? You may have to make some adjustments to your outdoor space. After all, nobody wants standing water that will breed a zillion mosquitoes and rot your plant roots! Here are some solutions to keep your garden puddle-free.
Boost your soil’s drainage rate
First, figure out if your soil is draining properly by removing the top and bottom of a large can, then digging a hole about four inches deep, and fill the can with water. After an hour, measure how much water has drained: Ideally, two inches of water should have drained in one hour. If the water’s all gone, your soil drains too quickly, which might deprive your plants of moisture. If most of the water is still there, your soil is probably waterlogged, and won’t drain properly.
Test your soil and see if you have too much clay. If so, work some compost and other organic matter into your earth to encourage better drainage. Bonus: earthworms will be drawn to this richer soil, and they are nature’s best aerators!
Steer water elsewhere
Do you have a sloped property that drives extra water from your roof or driveway straight into the garden? Don’t let it drown your plants! Instead, dig some trenches, put in some drains or carve out some gravel paths so that water can go elsewhere! (While you’re at it, check that your garden hose and sprinklers aren’t leaking, and that gutters are clean so the overflow doesn’t add to the problem.)
Play around with garden design
While adding rain gardens is a great way to keep water on your property when you need it, you don’t need unwanted ponds! Figure out if there are any spots in your yard where slight depressions in the land end up filled with water, and add more soil to even everything out. Plant some new flowers or veggies here, because the roots will make sure nothing washes away. Or, consider putting in some raised bed gardens if you have large areas where water accumulates. Bonus: less weeding, plus gardening is way easier on the back in a raised bed!
Put in water-loving plants
Lots of plants thrive in water, so consider adding them to your back or front yard. They’ll even absorb excess moisture! Try irises, ferns, astilbe, monarda, mint or, if you want some trees, maple or willows enjoy being wet!
How have you solved having too much water in your garden? Share your tips with us!
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