Improving The Condition Of Your Garden Soil Using Drainage.

By: Gambo Navi


Too much drainage in sandy soil can be a nuisance, you need to water frequently in dry weather and it is necessary to build up a water-holding structure by adding as much organic matter as you possibly can. Faulty drainage is a lot more than just a nuisance, it can be a plant killer. Stagnant water laying all around the roots starves them of air.

Helpful bacterial activity is stalled and harmful organisms flourish. Toxic gases build up and the overall result is poor growth at first followed by the eventual death of the plants if conditions donít improve.

Poor drainage is caused by heavy topsoil. Water moves very slowly through clay, so the answer is to improve the structure by cultural means. blocked drainage is a more serious problem, because the downward movement of water is not just delayed - it is blocked.

There are actually three prime causes:
Non-porous rock below the soil, a sub-surface pan below the topsoil or a high water table in the area (the height at which porous rock is saturated with water). Soils with blocked drainage are waterlogged for long periods in the winter time, so some remedial action is vital.

Either of the following methods mentioned below could potentially solve your problem. All of it is dependent upon what problem that you find yourself having to face as well as the kind of soil you have.

Cultural Aids:
Poor drainage brought on by a high clay content in the topsoil can be improved by double digging in the autumn. On no account should the rough clods be broken Up at the time of digging - leave them to be crumbled by the action of wind and frost during the winter months.

Double digging will also break up a thin soil pan and so allowing water to drain through. Sometimes the sub-surface pan is too thick to be penetrated with an ordinary garden fork, instead use a pickaxe or steel bar and sledgehammer. In rare|In some cases} the pan cannot be broken. You will probably then have to use an artificial drainage system or else raise the level with brought-in-soil.

The crumbs created by digging provide temporary relief, but you have to build up a permanent crumb structure by adding heavy dressings of organic matter at regular intervals. Add calcium in the form of lime or chalk if the soil is acid - use gypsum if it is neutral or alkaline.

If the causes of poor drainage is either non-porous rock close to the top or an abnormally high water table, a man-made aid will likely be advisable. Laying drains is an expensive, complicated and time consuming project, it is often better to tackle the issue by raising the soil level. Buy good quality topsoil and add it to the whole surface if the garden is small or use it to fill raised beds.

Artificial Aids:
A tile drainage system consists of a herringbone pattern of plastic or earthen ware tile drains. A rubble drainage system is created in the same way, but the drain pipes are left out.

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I have been a keen gardener for many years now, but no one has all of the answers. If I ever require help I always use a company called Home Repairs. They are always willng to offer help and advice as and when I ask them for it.

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