Gardening AdviceSpring Bulbs: What & When to Plant
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Every self-respecting gardener understands the importance of soil quality. Many Australians face the challenge of waterlogged earth, especially in the autumn months. You see, some plants don’t have a problem with a bit more water around their roots, while others… let’s just say that they have a far shorter lifespan.
So, if you are…
We got you covered.
Waterlogging may sound self-explanatory, but in order to understand it best, it’s important to know the various factors behind the problem and the main traits to help you recognise it. So let’s start with the main characteristics of the waterlogged soil:
Now that you know which soil is waterlogged, it’s time to look into what’s causing this common lawn and garden problem. Here are the most common reasons behind the issue:
So, basically, soil that is slow-draining will store excess water. You may think that this shouldn’t be an issue for your precious roses, but plants also need oxygen to survive. When flowers sit in soil with higher moisture levels, they don’t receive enough of the O element and get very sick. Their roots start to rot and eventually perish. Of course, the coin has two sides.
Free-draining soil is one thing, but earth with way too much air circulation is a whole other story. You see, if the soil in your garden has more oxygen in it, the draining process becomes more rapid. Sandy soil, for instance, is known to have such a problem. In translation: Your roses won’t have enough time to soak up all the H2O from the earth. Similar to the waterlogging issue, your flowers will get weak and die.
So, obviously, the solution lies in finding a way to improve the soil’s drainage. Here are a few methods that can help fix your lawn’s or garden’s drainage.
Also known as aeration, pricking, slitting and spiking can work pretty well. However, we have to admit that spiking is most effective for improving soil water drainage, especially for heavily waterlogged soils. Here is how you can do it:
In terms of tools, you can find a wide range of hand spiking tools available on the market. Still, you can complete these gardening tasks with just an ordinary garden fork.
If you have a bigger garden, you can purchase a powered tool that will make the job easier and cut some of the time, as well. A good option is a hollow tiner. You can create free-draining soil with it by making holes into the ground, while at the same time removing parts of the soil. If you want to purchase a hollow tiner, you can choose from a powered model or a manual one – it’s all up to you.
Another solution for waterlogged soil worth considering is adding a backyard drain. Its main purpose is to transfer rainwater away from your lawn and garden. In case you still don’t have that type of drainage system installed in your backyard, perhaps it’s time to consider it.
French drains are actually among the easiest to install and the good news is that this is a project that you can even do yourself. Given you have the time and the patience, of course. You will have to dig up at least 1m deep trench, then cover it with landscaping fabric and add some gravel on top. A pipe is also added, so the water can easily travel away from the soil in higher quantities.
You can check here the detailed step-by-step guide with visuals on How to Install a French Drain in your backyard!
Two of the most important factors for a proper French drain installation are the location, as the water needs to run downhill, and checking what the laws and regulations in your areas are before taking up such a project.
In some cases, ill-drained soils just contain too much clay and there’s nothing that you can do about it. No amount of pricking, slitting or spiking can create a free-draining soil type or these techniques can bring only temporary improvement.
While It may sound a bit radical, in certain cases it is best to avoid wasting time and just replace the whole lawn with a new one. You can create a better draining lawn system by:
If you don’t feel like pricking, slittling, spiking or replacing your whole soil, but still, want a pretty garden, here are 6 types of plants for waterlogged soil that you can grow: