Tips to Improve Your Garden Drainage

If it’s not raining, it’s pouring and we’re not talking cats and dogs here – but big fat raindrops! Recent weather events have shown us that heavy rain isn’t just limited to winter and that the damage it leaves behind can be severe. While the location and slope of your garden will play a significant role in the volume of water it can handle, there are a few things you can do to improve your garden drainage. And that’s where these tips come in handy.

5 Tips for Improving Your Garden Drainage 

Whether your lawn makes squishing sounds as you walk on it, or it has a new and unwanted water feature, there are several things you can do to improve its drainage. Here are our top 5:

  1. Plant native trees – we are lucky that NZ has a heap of native trees that love water and thrive in it. Some will happily live with wet feet, while others will do their best to remove and use the excess soil moisture, leaving the ground drier. Some of our favourite native trees for this include the nikau palm, manatu, puriri and koru. Once these native trees are established and the soil is more free flowing, you can happily plant your Mānuka and Kōwhai trees here too.

  2. Add more organic matter – adding organic matter such as compost to your garden helps to improve your soil by spreading the soil particles apart. This results in improved drainage and is ideal for clay type soils.

  3. Aerate the soil – you don’t need to strap on your spiked shoes, as a garden fork will work fine for aerating those damp patches of your garden. The holes produced help to improve surface drainage rates.

  4. Raise your beds up – if there are certain areas in your garden where water tends to pool, building raised beds can be a great way of lifting plant roots out of the wet. This works well for vegetables, shrubs, and small trees!

  5. Divert the water – if you have a continual problem with garden drainage, you may want to consider installing drainage channels with plastic pipes to move excess water away. This could be costly, so is best left to when all else fails.

Of course, you’ll need to wait until it stops raining first, so while you are waiting, come find out what the top 3 autumn gardening projects are!


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