Well-drained soil helps plants absorb water, air, and nutrients effectively through their roots. Soil that drains adequately can help your plant avoid diseases such as root rot, fungal infections, and vascular wilts. Do you want your green friend to grow into a healthy adult plant? You need to nurture it using well-drained soil!
Here are some ways to make well-drained soil:
Choose the right soil
Some soil types are more well-drained than others, owing to their texture and composition. For example, sandy soil offers better drainage than clay soil as it weighs less, does not clump together, and is easy to break apart by digging around. Sandy soil, silt, and loam (a mixture of clay, sand, and silt) are all soil types that drain quickly because the particles are spaced far apart from each other. If you want to make well-drained soil, you will have to use suitable soil types!
Mix in compost
To improve the drainage of your soil, you can add in organic compounds such as compost, mulch, rotted manure, or peat moss. Compost is rich in pockets of air and nutrients needed to encourage plant growth. Introducing it to your soil can improve the oxygen content of your soil and allow faster drainage. If you are working with a garden or yard, then add 3 – 4 inches (7.5 – 10cm) of compost every year to improve drainage over time. Results are slow to show but worth it!
Grow water-loving plants
Certain soil types such as clay do not drain properly because they lock in moisture for extended periods. You can combat soggy soil by growing water-loving plants such as turtlehead, marsh marigold, and cardinal flower. These plants have an incredibly high tolerance for water and will soak in excess moisture so other plants in your garden are not bothered by your wet soil. In the long run, growing water-loving plants will help dry out your soggy soil.
Create an underground drain
An underground drain for your garden.
You can redirect the flow of water in your garden by building an underground drain, also known as a French drain. This drain is a ditch that is filled with gravel and then covered with soil from your garden on top. Alternatively, you can build underground drainage well. These solutions are particularly effective if you live in a rainy climatic zone where spells of heavy rain leave your soil soggy and wet. Depending on the size of your garden, building an underground drain can be slightly costly.
Well-drained soil can do wonders to help your plants thrive. Invest in ways to make well-drained soil and keep inspecting the top few inches (around 5cm) of your soil to determine whether it is wet or dry.