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How to stop your garden from getting waterlogged in periods of heavy rain

Collect rainwater

Surface water flooding or waterlogging is when rainwater is unable to drain away from the grass or other areas of the garden it has fallen onto. This leaves no air spaces in the saturated soil, causing plants and grass to literally drown.

Collecting rainwater in a water butt will help prevent any excess water from pouring onto the grass. Use a rainwater diverter to connect your roofline drainage to the water storing tank. It’s a great way to minimise the impact of heavy rainfall, and the water can be used for plants or even to wash cars. If the water gets too high, simply pour it down the outside drain.

Clear gutters and outside drains

Fallen leaves and other types of debris can build up in gutters and outside drains over time. Without cleaning, overflowing water from gutters during heavy rainfall could wash away soil, destroy flowerbeds and cause waterlogging, as well as water damage to decking.

Climbing onto the roof or standing below the gutter, could be dangerous when trying to clean your drainage system during a storm. Wait until the rain has passed, and if you don’t have the correct equipment, it’s better to call a professional service to take care of it for you.

Aerate your soil

When soil is too compact, it prevents water from seeping in. This in turn causes the rainwater to sit on top of the soil, which eventually floods flowerbeds and other areas of the garden. Aerating your lawn provides the soil with good air circulation and a route for water to flow. This can be done with a lawn rake or a aerator tool to poke a hole directly into the soil.

Invest in high-quality mulch

Mulch is usually made from organic materials like wood chippings. It is applied to the surface of the soil to suppress weeds, keep the soil cool, prevent frost damage, disperse out water and prevent flooding.

Introducing mulch around your garden, or any areas where you have plants or soil, will help to absorb as much rainwater as possible. When it comes to laying mulch, you should make it 2-4 inches deep. The mulch should be heavy enough so that it won’t float away if it is overflowing with rainwater.

Create a rain garden

Identify areas of your garden that get waterlogged easily during a storm and create a rain garden in its place. Instead of letting these areas turn into muddy pits, a rain garden can help catch rainwater runoff in a practical and beautiful way.

Your rain garden can incorporate a mix of big and small plants, small trees, flowers, grass and any other elements that you can think of. The more parts you add to your rain garden, the more water they require to grow, therefore decreasing water flooding in your garden.

Add leaf mould

Leafmould is formed from decaying autumn leaves and is a great soil conditioner. The leafmould helps the soil to absorb and retain more rainwater, which will intern help to prevent flooding on your flower beds and lawn during a storm. You can add leafmould once a year.

Add a French drain

A more expensive solution to preventing your garden from flooding is to build a drain, in particular, a French drain. Although this will likely involve additional costs, having a French drain installed would allow water to run away from the problem areas. This method is the perfect choice for those who have gardens that suffer from frequent flooding.