How To Improve Drainage In Your Garden

During the rainy months, there’s nothing worse for the avid gardener than seeing your summertime hard work turn into a boggy, messy swamp, with plants wilting from too much water and heavy rainfall.

Unfortunately, that’s the reality every winter for many of us in the UK, but there are ways to prevent your garden from being waterlogged and allow it to make a revival for spring by taking steps to improve your garden drainage.

Manage Surface Water

Surface water can be an issue for any type of garden, flat or sloping. Thankfully, there are many products designed to assist with this. For a flat garden, you may wish to install a soakaway crate and membrane, which will hold any excess water and either disperse it back into the ground at a controlled rate, or you can direct the excess water back into the main system using drainage pipe and Oriflo Chamber. This will prevent waterlogging and provide strength and support under your soil.

For a sloping garden, a channel drain would be a great option – often placed by patios and driveways, these drains allow water to pass through the top grate (blocking any debris at the same time) holding this excess water and directing is away from an area which may suffer from flooding.

Improve Soil Drainage

Improving the permeability of your soil is another option to assist with garden drainage. There are multiple ways to do this, such as mixing compost with your soil to improve the permeability, as more organic matter helps water drain through more easily.

You could also line your ground or planter boxes with Nero Cell, specialist drainage cells designed to hold excess rainwater and assist with passive irrigation in drier months or transport groundwater away from boggy areas in wet months. Nero cell can be built and cut to any size, so there’s no limit as to where it can be installed.

Slit or Prick Your Grass

Slitting or pricking your lawn with holes approximately 2-3cm deep can assist with drainage. You should fill these holes with a free-draining material (for example lawn top dressing or sand) which will allow the water to flow from surface level to less compacted layers underneath, preventing a build-up on the surface.

Install Artificial Grass

Artificial grass is generally more porous than natural grass. However, to properly manage excess rainwater, it is crucial to only install this if you’re also installing a permeable sub-base beneath the turf. Some use sand and other use fine chipping (about 25mm depth), lay it on the area before the installation and then level with a sweeping brush – this layer will help drain rainwater.

Install Land Drains

Land drains are an incredibly efficient way of collecting surface water from the earth. They are laid in trenches under the ground, and the perforations on the drain allow water from the surface to seep through and be transported to a more suitable dispersal point.

Grow More Plants

This one is pretty simple – the more plants you have in your garden, the more water you need! More plants means more will need feeding, and excess rainwater being spread between more plants means individually, they have less of a chance of being overwatered. This tip would be especially useful if you’re growing plants that need a lot of feeding, or plants that thrive in soggier conditions.

Use Bark Chippings

Bark is incredibly absorbent, meaning that it can help hold absorb moisture from surfaces, therefore improving drainage in your garden.

It can also assist with preventing weed growth and insulating flower beds in colder periods, not to mention the fact it’s relatively inexpensive and easy to install compared to other products.

If you really want to go the extra mile, you could install bark over permeable paving cells for added drainage effect. This creates a permeable surface and allows water to infiltrate through the profile, giving your garden the extra helping hand when it comes to avoiding boggy surfaces and soil.

Use Raised Beds

Building raised flower beds means you can somewhat control the amount of water being fed to your plants – it can help get your plants away from the boggy ground below, and gravity can assist with draining any waterlogged soil in the planter boxes.

Raised beds can be made from timber railway sleepers or brickwork, and can be quite an eye catching feature too.

For more help finding the perfect garden drainage system for your home, get in touch with our expert team today.